A brave son who has shared a lifetime’s passion for boxing with his now terminally ill dad is preparing to climb into the ring in his honour.
Jonathan Parkinson, of Rhyddings Street, Oswaldtwistle, has been in training for six months for a ‘white collar’ boxing bout this weekend to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Jonathan’s dad Steven Parkinson, 68, a retired steel fabricator from Accrington, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July 2017.
An initial operation was a success but he has just found out that the cancer has returned and is now terminal.
Jonathan, who said his fellow Burnley FC fan father is also his ‘best mate’, is determined to make Steven proud in the bout at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Clayton-le-Moors.
He said: “After dad had his operation he suffered a stroke and was paralysed for several weeks.
“He has lost most of his speech but continues to fight on. His inner strength and resolve humbles me.
“Dad came out of hospital this week and the first thing he said was ‘how’s the boxing?’ He’s determined to be there.
“Our passion has always been boxing and some of the happiest memories I have of us together are watching fights.
“I want to fight back on behalf of my dad and raise some money that might help families like ours in the future.”
Both dad and son were big Carl Froch fans, following his career from ringside, and they have also watched Anthony Joshua live.
Jonathan, a director of Duckworth Estate Agents in Accrington, has been doing 5km runs three times a week, on top of gym boxing sessions.
The 29-year-old will also be supported on the big fight night by his brother Neil and partner Lin Slater.
He added: “When that bell rings I’ll be very scared, despite all the training. But I’ll be thinking of dad. It’s nothing to what he’s going through.
“I owe a lot to my coach Jamie Stranger and corner man Gaz Simpson for their help and support... maybe not as much to Gaz for the black eyes and smashed noses!”
Organised by UK Ultra White Collar Boxing, Jonathan’s fight will comprise three 2-minute rounds.
The event is on Saturday, March 18 and £20 tickets are available from Jonathan by calling 07969 083108. Donate to Jonathan’s cause.
Delight as football fan meets his hero
Lifelong Clarets fan Steven Parkinson was awestruck recently when he got the opportunity to meet his idol and ‘legend’ Sean Dyche.
Terminally ill Steven, of Accrington, was greeted by the Burnley FC manager at the recent opening of Duckworth’s Estate Agents in Burnley.
His son Jonathan is a director at the firm, which also sponsors the club.
Steven was a well known amateur footballer in his younger days, playing as a goalkeeper for teams in the Accrington Combination when living at Owen Street, Accrington and Sawley Drive, Great Harwood.
He has been a season ticket holder in The Bob Lord Stand at Turf Moor for more than 40 years, sitting alongside Jonathan as the club rose from almost being relegated from the fourth tier to the upper reaches of the Premier League.
Jonathan said: “Sean was kind enough to come along and when he heard that dad was poorly and was such a longstanding supporter he came over for a chat and pictures.
“Dad couldn’t have been more delighted. Sean is his favourite person at the club.
“All he kept saying to me afterwards was ‘legend, he’s a legend’.”