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Boxing club fights for survival
A BOXING club is fighting for survival after an arson attack wrecked their home.
Runcorn Boys Club was gutted in a fierce blaze after vandals torched the building in Boston Avenue, for the second time.
All the equipment volunteer coaches and families spent years raising funds for has been destroyed.
John Lally, aged 58, who has coached kids for 30 years, said: “All our stuff is gone.
"I used to box and wanted to give something back.
“We’ve taught generations of kids. You wouldn’t believe the change it makes to them. It gives them so much confidence “It got them off the streets and filled them with pride.”
John was invited to join the club by former Olympic team captain, George Gilbody.
He said: "I'd like to thank all the people who have gone before me including Billy Boy Williams, Kenny Balmer, John Orde and many more."
Girls and boys from the age of six trained five nights a week at the gym and competed in Canada, Ireland and Guernsey.
Only months earlier, the club received a massive makeover, thanks to the 02 call centre in Preston Brook.
John said: “02 gave the gym a complete refurbishment, it looked fantastic.
“Then, someone burnt it to the ground. They’ve ruined everything, but hopefully we can start again.”
The club is now raising funds and appealing for support from local businesses.
Halton Council hopes to find them a temporary venue.
A charity night is being held at the Royal British Legion in Halton Village on Friday, February 22.
Tickets, priced £3, are available from Rab Shearer on 01928 718101.
Andy Royle, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service station manager said: “This is the second deliberate fire and the third on site this year.
“The Boys Club is very popular and because of this criminal act, they have now suffered the loss of their club.
“We are sure someone knows something that may help bring this spate of criminal attacks to an end, we just need them to come forward.”
The fire broke out at 12.40am on Friday, December 14.
Anyone with information can call Cheshire Police on 101.