Fylde dad’s Marathon bid for sight charity

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Fylde father-of-two who has been partially sighted since birth is taking on the London Marathon for the third time  to support a charity close to his heart.

 

Lee Good, from St Annes, is raising funds for VICTA, which supports children and young people who are blind or partially sighted.

October’s 26.2 mile challenge in the capital will be the 43-year-old’s third Marathon since March

The London Marathon has been delayed this year due to Covid from its traditional spring date to Sunday October 3.

Lee with business backer Martin Rowley of Lytham Carpets

Lee with business backer Martin Rowley of Lytham Carpets

Before that, Lee will be running his delayed Great North Run half marathon in Newcastle on Sunday, September 12 while also taking part locall in the Blackpool night run and Beaverbrooks 10k.

Lee said: “This charity is especially close to my heart as I have been partially sighted since birth.

“Although I have managed to lead a fairly normal life this sort of help was not readily available when I was growing up.

“I was diagnosed with a rare form of cataracts and underwent numerous bouts of surgery as a child.

“My condition is stable now but the major effect on me is being unable to drive.

“VICTA is only a small charity and Covid has hit it really hard so I thought I must don my trainers and try and raise money for a third time. ”

Lee is hoping to raise a minimum of £2,500 and has had generous business sponsors from kind hearted local businesses Mark Rae Funerals, Rarity School Of Dance, Carpets of Lytham, Kingdom Lodgings Ltd and Willis and Thornley Ltd

Rebecca Liddeel, principal of St Annes-based Rarity School of Dance and Drama, where Lee’s daughters Olivia and Millie attend, said: “It’s great that we can support one of our dads in his London Marathon quest and we feel proud to be able to support such a worth while charity.”

VICTA was founded in 1987 by a group of parents of blind and partially sighted children who found they could help each other.

Lee added: “The charity offers support and guidance to families on all aspects of life from schooling, equipment advice and guidance on disability benefits .

“It provides some fantastic life experience such as activity weekends, sports camps, and holidays.

“Any local businesses that may want to come on board as a business sponsor in particular to sponsor travel and accommodation would be very welcome.

“I am looking to better my time of 4 hrs 56 mins from 2019. Training through the summer has proved a challenge – I much prefer cooler weather – but i am hoping to get around the 4hr 15 mins mark.

Details of Lee’s run at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?pageId=1245586

Jack’s dream to light up Blackpool Tower for Illuminations comes true

Home | Blackpool Gazette

 

From Lady GaGa’s costumes to lighting up his hometown, Blackpool artist Jack Irving has quite the portfolio and visitors to this year’s Illuminations will soon get their first-look at his latest creation  –  a state-of-the-art laser show on Blackpool Tower.

Jack Irving

Jack Irving

London based Jack will present Astral Dreams – an ambitious light depiction inspired by abstract dreams.

It will be beamed directly on the front of the Tower nightly during the Illuminations season.

It is one of two extraordinary new features with Illuminations’ creative curator and renowned interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen creating a brand new water feature which will be displayed at South Beach Promenade and turn into a drag-themed sound and light show, Venus Remixed. Two of Britain’s leading designers are preparing to bring a unique twist to Blackpool’s annual Illuminations display.

George CornesGeorge Cornes

Both will be unveiled for the first time at the Switch On event on September 3 with Switch On 2021 star Shirley Ballas.

Jack, 27, a graduate of London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins art school, said: “The Blackpool Illuminations are a huge part of my life and have been since I was a child as I grew up here.

“The lights were always such a huge driving inspiration behind my work so they mean so much to me.

“It’s so incredible to work on this laser show and to be able to use the Blackpool Tower building as our canvas for the installation is amazing.

Laurence Llewelyn-BowenLaurence Llewelyn-Bowen

“The show is a journey through light and sound and a depiction of the abstract visions we have when we dream.”

Five high-powered lasers will beam the display on to the historic frontage, accompanied by a new soundtrack composed by local music composer and producer, George Cornes.

George, who is based in Fylde, added: “The Astral Dreams project has brought together a group of artistic-minded people to construct a laser show unlike anything Blackpool has ever seen before – with original musical scores and tailored laser programming to give a unique experience to those who attend.”

Laurence, who has just seen the revival of show Changing Rooms alongside new host AnnaRichardson on Channel 4, said: “This year, perhaps more than any other year, switching on Blackpool’s Illuminations marks an important moment of brightness as the country moves into autumn and winter.

Turning the lights on has always inspired an optimism and positivity of which Blackpool is understandably proud.”

Other immersive light-based installations include a Spiro Light Tunnel on Tower Festival Headland to provide some ‘selfie and Instagram moments and Sandcastle and Beach Balls, two giant seven metre pixelated beach balls – made up of 7,000 tiny lights.

Other features to watch out for in 2021 include:

n Princess Parade the closest to our modern-day Illumination displays first appeared in May 1912 to commemorate Blackpool’s first royal visit as Princess Louise opened the new section of promenade named after her – Princess Parade.

n Spitfire Island – back by public demand, a replica Spitfire returns to Gynn roundabout courtesy of Blackpool’s Hangar 42 Visitor Centre. For this year’s display, the fighter plane will once again

be tastefully illuminated with sweeping search lights

This year’s Illuminations season will run every night from Friday 3 September, 2021 to Monday 3 January, 2022.

 

Hunt for ‘Scottish Tony’ and woman wanted after Bispham SPAR ATM explosion

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Explosives were used during an attempted burglary of a cash machine in Bispham

 

Lancashire Constabulary are chasing John O’Brian and Toni Butcher.
Lancashire Constabulary are chasing John O’Brian and Toni Butcher.

Police are hunting two people after explosives were during an attempted raid of a cash machine.

Lancashire Constabulary are appealing for information in order to find a man and woman wanted in connection with the attempted burglary where a cash machine was damaged in Bispham.

Officers were called around 3.50am yesterday (Tuesday, August 17) following an incident in Kincraig Road.

It was reported that an ATM machine at the Spar store had been damaged following a small explosion.

No cash was stolen and the offenders making off from the scene.

Following CCTV enquiries, Lancashire officers are keen to speak to John O’Brian and Toni Butcher, in connection with the offence.

The explosion caused damage to the SPAR building on Kincraig Road
The explosion caused damage to the SPAR building on Kincraig Road (Image: BplBible)

Detective Constable Paul Edmondson, of Blackpool Police, said: “O’Brian and Butcher are wanted by police in connection with a serious offence.

“A Spar store was left badly damaged during this incident in an attempted burglary. If you have seen either person, or know where they are, please call police immediately on 101 quoting log 0170 of August 17.”

O’Brian has several aliases including Scottish Tony and Ryan Mckeenan.

The 36-year-old, of Portree Road, Bispham, is white, five foot eight inches tall, and has a slim build, he is descrived as having a large, crooked nose.

Butcher, 32, also of Portree Road, is white, five foot eight inches tall, of a medium build with long brown hair and blue eyes.

She may have a red mark around her neck.

Detectives are appealing for information and urging anyone who knows where O’Brian and Butcher are, to come forward.

Police investigating claims fan racially abused footballer during Blackpool FC v Coventry City FC match

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Officers are appealing for information after a Coventry City player was racially abused at Bloomfield Road Stadium

 

Lancashire Constabulary are investigating an alleged racist incident during Blackpool's clash with Coventry at Bloomfield Road.
Lancashire Constabulary are investigating an alleged racist incident during Blackpool’s clash with Coventry at Bloomfield Road.

Police are investigating an alleged racist incident at a football match.

Blackpool FC’s one-nil defeat to visiting Coventry City FC last night (August 17) has been marred by accusations of racism towards a fan in the Bloomfield Road Stadium.

Lancashire Constabulary announced today (August 18) that they will be investigating an incident of alleged racism during the match.

A police spokesperson said: “We are investigating an alleged racist hate crime during last night’s football match between Blackpool FC and Coventry City FC.

“It was reported a racist comment was made by a fan towards a Coventry player taking a throw-in close to the dugout during the second-half.

“The matter was reported to the fourth official, Coventry FC and Blackpool FC, with the police later informed.”

They have strongly condemned all forms of racism and say that they take hate crime very seriously.

Viktor Gyokeres’ first-half goal was enough to give Coventry all three points against Neil Critchley’s side.

Anyone with information related to the Lancashire police investigation can contact them on 101 quoting log 1029 of August 17.

Alternatively you can report online.

Blackpool hotel guests set up support group with dozens of members after ‘holiday from hell’

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

“I wouldn’t even let an animal sleep in there, a rat couldn’t even sleep in there.”

 

Royal Windsor Hotel
Royal Windsor Hotel

Blackpool Promenade is lined with countless hotels housing thousands of tourists every year.

After the lifting of restrictions across the UK, many have travelled to the popular tourist destination for a ‘staycation’ or just to get out after the past year at home.

Carly Denham, from East Derby, travelled two hours with her partner, children, friend and friend’s children to do exactly that.

Their weekend away, taking place on August 13 – August 15, was left “absolutely ruined” according to Carly after they checked-in the The Royal Windsor Hotel on the Prom.

The incensed mum has since set up a support group on Facebook, which has gained 70 members, many of whom have stories of their own.

Talking of her stay, Carly said: “My mistake really, I should have read the reviews beforehand” but Carly saw photographs of the hotel and thought that it looked “nice.”

Carly told LancsLive that their stay at The Royal Windsor Hotel was a “holiday from hell” that left her in tears, apologising to her children for ever taking them there.

Arriving at their holiday destination, Carly and her family parked in the hotel carpark which she described as “abysmal”

She said: “The minute we walked through I just thought ‘oh my god’, I turned to my friend and we both just thought, what is this?”

The two families quickly searched through Booking.com to find somewhere else to stay, but due to the season, had no luck. They committed to staying at the hotel to try and enjoy their holiday.

The New Windsor Hotel Kettle
The New Windsor Hotel Kettle

The families reportedly paid for their rooms before being told their rooms would not be ready at the allotted check-in time.

Carly explained: “They said that one room had a smashed mirror because the room had been smashed up the night before, so due to health and safety, we had to wait for them to replace the mirror.”

The two families said they were “fine” to wait as one room was ready, so they would all wait there until the second room was ready.

“My heart sank,” Carly said, “I was thinking, oh my god, what have I done? I can’t believe I’m going to let my children sleep in here.”

When Carly’s friend’s room became available, they said the formerly “broken mirror” had “just been chucked out the window, there was broken glass everywhere.”

Carly said her friend then went to the toilet to find no toilet roll was left for her to use. She then turned on the light when “the electricity blew in the entire room.”

Carly said: “She went downstairs to report it, he’d come up and said to her that the room had been smashed up and it wasn’t his fault. If she wanted to move the children into separate rooms -as if that is something you would do- then she would have to pay £50, even though she had just paid £300 for the room.

Carly’s friend’s asked the hotel if they “were having a laugh” and said they were met with “threats” to remove them from the property.

Finally leaving the hotel at 6pm, Carly felt that the day had been “wasted” trying to sort out their accommodation.

The New Windsor Hotel Window
The New Windsor Hotel Window

She said: “I boiled the kettle on the floor and washed my toddler in the sink.”

“Due to the horrific experience we tried to spend as much time out of the hotel as possible.”

The two families went to the pier where Carly tried to pay for something on her card, then finding that there was no money there for her to pay.

After checking her mobile banking, she reportedly found that she had been charged a further £50 by the hotel.

Carly said that her partner then returned to the hotel to ask why they had been charged. They were allegedly told that they had “extra people in the room” to which they replied “we have two children, why would we do that?”

Carly claims that the mirror was thrown out of the window
Carly claims that the mirror was thrown out of the window

Carly then said they were accused of smoking in their room, which she denies.

Carly’s partner demanded a refund and they said it would be refunded tomorrow, but the money is reportedly yet to be refunded.

Carly said: “I came home and I was just crying, I felt so bad for my children – I was apologising to my own children because I’m thinking what have I just taken my children to?

“I wouldn’t even let an animal sleep in there, a rat couldn’t even sleep in there.”

Since returning home, Carly claims she hasn’t heard back from the hotel. She said that had she been refunded, she may have “let it go” and reported it to the appropriate authorities, but Carly decided she would make a Facebook support group to see if anyone else had a similar situation.

The New Windsor Hotel Switches
The New Windsor Hotel Switches

She said: “My children have been in a pandemic, they’ve not been allowed out, they were looking forward to getting out, seeing our family, having a good time and these people have absolutely ruined it. We had to stay out all day and not take our children back.

“They think it’s okay to just charge people’s cards and just take what they like.”

Carly said she held back tears as she stepped into the hotel room wondering if she was a “mug” or whether or not she had “done something wrong.”

Carly isn’t alone in her experience at The Royal Windsor Hotel. The hotel has two stars on TripAdvisor, with over 300 ‘Terrible’ reviews – with several from August and July.

One guest wrote: “I’ve been brought up with if you’ve got nothing nice to say keep quiet… but this hotel is a major exception! Please don’t book this hotel. It’s filthy everywhere, rude staff, horrendous breakfast. I’ve stayed in many budget hotels but there is just no excuse for these standards.”

A second guest wrote: “The worst hotel ever. service very bad . cleanliness zero. room is disgusting . bathroom stinks . sink was broken and blocked and the lights were dimmed where you hardly see. no TV remote . never book again in this hotel.”

A third guest wrote that they were “gutted” to have stayed at the hotel, describing the room as “dirty” and “smelly”.

They continued to write: “You expect a certain level of noise from entertainment, which we were prepared for, however this was a joke. The karaoke finished at 12am, so you think, fine, now we can get some sleep. But then the night staff decided to carry the party on and have the music blasting until 4am, singing the same songs over again.”

“I was surprised when I went down to see what all the noise was that it was staff of the hotel that were playing the music, there were no other residents in the bar area.”

The New Windsor Hotel Ceiling
The New Windsor Hotel Ceiling

The guest continued to say they were left “fuming” and wrote: “I wouldn’t stay there for free.”

A fourth guest wrote “I would not do it again.”

They said: “The rooms are exceptionally small, we had issues with the shower not working and throughout our stay they continuously told us they would fix it but never did. The shower was either scorching hot or freezing and could not get it to a safe standard to shower.

“There was no Wi-Fi access in the rooms, and we were told that we would need to go down to the reception area should we need it, which was frustrating as the phone signal in the Blackpool area is poor.”

“At night it sounds like a zoo, walls are paper thin. Continuously seen people complaining about their rooms. Definitely not worth the money that you pay for the stay. Unless you are out to party then, the plus side is that the bar is 24 hours. Don’t expect big things if you stay here.”

Blackpool Council confirmed that it has received a complaint about the New Royal Windsor Hotel, saying: “We have only recently received one complaint and if a customer of any business has a concern we will look into it.”

The Royal Windsor Hotel has since contacted the guests to apologise and offer an explanation.

It said: “We do apologise and are very sorry to hear that our other guests were upset. We are trying our best to improve the standard and service this hotel provides. Our hotel is already in the process of ongoing refurbishment, which with ongoing staff training will improve our standard and service considerably over the winter period.

“Please bear in mind a lot of our staff continue on furlough and as with other hospitality venues we are unable to recruit staff from anywhere in UK.”

Management also addressed the main points put forward by the group.

 

Blackpool hotel responds to support group over ‘holiday from hell’ claims

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The Royal Windsor Hotel does not accept all of the accusations made but has apologised to customers if they had a bad experience

 

The New Royal Windsor Hotel
The New Royal Windsor Hotel

A Blackpool hotel has responded to claims that guests had a ‘holiday from hell’ after encountering numerous problems with their rooms.

Yesterday (August 18) LancsLive reported that a Facebook ‘support group’ had been set up for guests of the The Royal Windsor Hotel after a guest said her holiday ‘was ruined’ by a recent stay.

Carly Denham, from East Derby, travelled for two hours with her partner, children, friend and friend’s children to the Promenade hotel, where she says she was left ‘in tears’ due to a number of errors.

Their weekend away, taking place on August 13 – August 15, was left “absolutely ruined” according to Carly for a number of reasons, including a broken mirror ‘thrown from the window’ into the courtyard below, a delay to entering one of the rooms due to an electrical fault and £50 being taken from her account without warning.

Left upset by her experience, she set up a Facebook group for other people who have stayed at the hotel to share their views. The group, which now has more than 150 members, was contacted this morning by a representative from The Royal Windsor who responded to the concerns.

The statement was then shared with LancsLive via email and a follow-up call was arranged with the hotel.

It said: “In the first instance guests were offered drinks from the bar and were informed that the room had significant damage caused by the previous guests. We informed the guests that although the hotel was fully booked, they could find alternative accommodation or wait and we would do our best to accommodate them.

“The guests stayed in two different rooms but only provided pictures of one of the bedrooms whilst photographing small parts of the room instead of showing the whole room.”

The statement also adds that the roof is cleaned every seven to 10 days to clean up any mess left by guests throwing items from their windows onto the roof.

Addressing Carly’s previous concern that a kettle had to be boiled on the floor, the hotel statement said that there are no kettles on the floor ‘in any of the rooms’.

The New Windsor Hotel Kettle
The New Windsor Hotel Kettle

Regarding the incident in which £50 was taken from Carly’s account, the manager said that this was a damage payment for smoking in the rooms, an accusation which Carly denies.

The statement adds: “Our housekeepers came and reported to reception about the smell of cigarettes in this particular bedroom that the guests were staying in. The guests were told that our policy requires a payment of £50 as a fine for smoking in the bedroom and that is when the problems started.

“Regarding the noise complaint we acknowledge that this may have upset our guest but we did not receive any notification at the time from the guest regarding this. We also haven’t received any other complaints regarding noise. We have duly implemented a new policy to lower the noise overnight.”

The spokesperson continued to write that the hotel find it “extremely unfair” that they had not been given the “opportunity to defend themselves”.

LancsLive had no response when they called the hotel on several occasions yesterday (August 18) but have since spoken to management who explained that extra training will be put in place for staff returning from furlough.

Carly claims that the mirror was thrown out of the window
Carly claims that the mirror was thrown out of the window

The New Royal Windsor Hotel went on to admit that their reviews are “not at the best at the moment” but said they do accommodate between “400-600 people every week for 52 weeks a year” so the amount of bad reviews only account for “a very small percentage and does not show a balanced and fair view of our hotel.”

The hotel then went on to apologise to the support group for the upset caused by their accommodation.

They said: “We do apologise and are very sorry to hear that our other guests were upset. We are trying our best to improve the standard and service this hotel provides. Our hotel is already in the process of ongoing refurbishment, which with ongoing staff training will improve our standard and service considerably over the winter period.

“Please bear in mind a lot of our staff continue on furlough and as with other hospitality venues we are unable to recruit staff from anywhere in UK.”

The Royal Windsor Hotel asked guests to appreciate the “Covid break and Brexit” which they say has been “detrimental to the industry and unfortunately this situation has made the hospitality sector extremely difficult to trade in.”

They added: “We are only human after all…”

Members of the support group were not left satisfied with the hotel’s statement.

One member commented: “So why do you take people’s money and not provide refunds! Even when you yourselves cancel bookings! Absolute joke. It’s theft! Maybe you should upgrade your phone system as well so phone calls can get through and be answered.”

A second commented: “As for being in a pandemic it should be so clean it’s practically sterile!! Please don’t blame the pandemic I work for the NHS and it’s insulting!!!! Please don’t go there!!”

A spokesperson for the hotel has confirmed that actions are being taken to improve guest satisfaction, including extra training for staff, a noise limiting policy to prevent excessive noise from entertainment and the replacement of windows – six of which have been refurbished at the time of publication.

 

Blackpool takeaway responds to ‘brown substance’ on chicken nuggets

“We have a five star hygiene rating and we have so many good reviews so I would urge everyone to please go and check them out.”

 

Brown "substance" found on chicken nuggets from Dino's takeaway
Brown “substance” found on chicken nuggets from Dino’s takeaway (Image: Victoria from Boomerang B&B)

A Blackpool takeaway has responded after pictures were posted online of a strange “brown substance” on an order of chicken nuggets.

Rory and Victoria, who run the Boomerang Hotel in Blackpool, placed a large order for themselves, their godchildren and their children on Monday night (August 17).

They ordered food from KFC, Pizza 4 U and Dino’s based on Ansdell Road. All was fine apart from the chicken nuggets box from Dino’s where a quarter of the box was reportedly ‘soggy’ and they claimed there was something brown and strange on a few of the nuggets.

 

Victoria stated the following day: “It was like melted cardboard, it was all on one side and all the cardboard box was mushy, so maybe something leaked on it and they were microwaved in a box? I’m not 100% sure but I’ve worked in catering for 20 years and never seen anything like it.”

Her husband Rory rang to report it and said he felt like the person on the other end of the phone was quite unprofessional and apparently stated “what are you gonna do, phone the council? Do what you want, ring the environmental health, I don’t care”.

The side of the box also appeared to be melted
The side of the box also appeared to be melted (Image: Victoria from Boomerang B&B)

This prompted the couple post the pictures online and warn others.

Rafat Kamal, owner of Dino’s, has since learned of the pictures and has responded.

He set up the business around 10 years ago and can’t understand what went wrong with the order.

He told LancsLive: “We check every order and we have very experienced staff. If a chicken nugget, or anything was mouldy, we wouldn’t send it out. We can’t understand what the substance is or how it got there.

“There have been times when people have had a problem with the order or it hasn’t been right in some and we say ‘no problem’ and refund or replace.

“We look after our customers and can’t be rude or nasty to them because we need them. I answered the phone when the gentleman rang and he said about reporting it to the environmental health department and I said he could do that but I don’t understand why he said I was rude.

“We have a five-star hygiene rating and we have so many good reviews so I would urge everyone to please go and check them out.”

Upon hearing Rafat’s side of things, Victoria has responded to say: “We did initially post the pictures online because we were angry and because we felt like it wasn’t dealt with professionally.

“We were gutted because we’ve used Dino’s for so long and we recommend it to all our guests.

“It was out of courtesy too really that we told them as if there was ever a problem with a room in our B&B, we want to know about it.

The total amount of food ordered from Dino's, Blackpool that had to be binned
The total amount of food ordered from Dino’s, Blackpool that had to be binned (Image: Victoria from Boomerang B&B)

“We have a business too and we certainly don’t want him to go out of business and we don’t wish it any harm.

“We just felt that the way we were treated wasn’t right. We probably won’t order from there again now but we understand mistakes happen and we don’t wish them any ill.”

Troubled Blackpool hotel to host controversial bare-knuckle boxing showdown

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The bare knuckle match will take place on August 28 and a documentary is being filmed

The Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool

The Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool (Image: LancsLive)

The Norbreck Castle Hotel is most recently notorious for its extensive TripAdvisor reviews, but next week the hotel will become the backdrop for an upcoming film about bare-knuckle boxing.

The sport is essentially boxing without gloves. With some rule changes from the gloved-up sport, it is in fact legal in the UK.

The sport is controversial though, as many believe it to be too dangerous. Most fighters end up bleeding from facial cuts and can suffer from severe facial swelling.

However, many defend the sport by pointing out that gloved boxing grew from the bare knuckle form. In the 1880s, John Douglas, Marquis of Queensbury developed a set of boxing rules that included gloves.

The BFBA, Bare Fist Boxing Association, has become the first licenced governing body for the spot and has held events in the O2 in London, the Echo Arena in Liverpool and now the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool.

The troubled Norbreck Castle Hotel has been in the spotlight recently, after guests cut their holiday four days short due to being woken every five minutes with groups of children said to have been “smashing things, knocking on doors and screaming” in the middle of the night.

However, the venue has now become the host of the bare knuckle fight between James McCrory and Kofi King, being held by one of the biggest bare knuckle promoters in the country – BFBA.

Bare Knuckle Boxing at the Norbreck Castle Hotel

Bare Knuckle Boxing at the Norbreck Castle Hotel

Cy Biggs, producer and screenwriter at Walk The Line Productions, is set to produce a film about James McCrory’s “emotional” journey through three heavyweight fights during his career, as he started following James’ career around five years ago.

Cy Biggs told LancsLive: “Bare knuckle boxing has always been legal, but its always been deemed as illegal by everyone that has approached it. When it first started out, it was always held in four hay bales because its a smaller surface area so fighters can engage in combat with no choice about it.

Cy said the combat sport is becoming very “big in the UK” and even though it looks “very blood thirsty” the fighters remain “respectful” making sure to shake hands after the fight.

He added: “The blood thirsty bit, maybe – but gangster? No.”

Known as the “Gypsy Boy”, James grew up in Ireland and Newcastle but has sadly suffered from “some life changing events” like addiction.

Having been in recovery for over two years, James shared social media posts that are said to prove to “help out a lot of other people struggling with various issues.”

The Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool

The Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool (Image: LancsLive)

James retired in 2018 after a sanctioned heavyweight world title belt win against Corey Williams. During his retirement he has helped to raise funds for various causes and support charity events.

Next Saturday, the “gypsy boy” will come out of retirement again to fight Kofi King.

Cy Biggs, producer and screenwriter at Walk The Line Productions, said: “The film represents and presents the story of his personal life, as it is mainly focused on his life struggles and not solely the fighting aspect of his BKB Career.”

He continued to say that he hoped the film will “communicate to people that change and help is only a conversation away”

James’ fight against Kofi King is being hosted by the Bare Fist Boxing Association whose long term goal is to follow a similar path to the UFC.

The ‘Toe The Line’ fight set to take place at the Norbreck Castle Hotel on the bank holiday weekend is officially sold out, but is available to watch live at 11pm via the BKTV app.