A LYMM man – former professional footballer Alan Thompson – will be swapping studs for gloves as he prepares for a celebrity boxing event this weekend.

Alan, who has lived in the village for more than four years, will be fighting British singer-songwriter Simon Webbe this Saturday, October 2 at Manchester’s AO Arena.

“I met him at the press conference, he seemed a really nice guy but when you get between the ropes it’s man against man – fight for your life,” Alan, formerly of Celtic, Bolton Wanderers Aston Villa, Newcastle United and other clubs, said.

“As nice of a fella as he is or as nice as he thinks I am, it’s different on the night because it’s two warriors fighting.”

The Boxstar event promotes and supports the mental health charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). They run a free, confidential and anonymous helpline as well as a webchat service, offering help, advice and information to anyone who is struggling or in crisis.

Alan, 47, continued: “It’s brilliant. Out of the 18 fighters, 17 of them said they had problems with their mental health so it just shows how popular it is, it’s good that people can talk about it so it’s great to be supporting something like that.”

Alan was approached by an organiser more than a month ago after someone dropped out and following his holiday, he has been training ever since.

He has been training with Lymm amateur boxer Ant Wardle at Spartan Gym in Altrincham and the owner Darren Harrison, as well as his Turkish friend in the kickboxing game.


Alan training with Lymm amateur boxer Ant Wardle

Alan training with Lymm amateur boxer Ant Wardle


“I’m working with three guys who I’m getting plenty of tips off,” Alan added.

“I’ve really enjoyed the training. I’ve done my first sparring which was a nightmare, it was really tough and not what I thought it would be at all against three lads that have been boxing for years and are miles ahead of me.

“They were giving us good tips but it was far, far harder than I expected it to be. I’ve been training so the more I do it, the better I’ll become.”


Alan outside Spartan Gym where he has been training

Alan outside Spartan Gym where he has been training

The likes of Tom Zanetti, Mark ‘Bez’ Berry and Jake Quickenden will also be part of the nine fights that will take place at Manchester’s AO Arena.

With the legendary Michael Buffer as Master of Ceremonies and football commentator Chris Kamara hosting, it has the makings of an ‘unbelievable’ night.


The full list of fighters:

Tom Zanetti VS Luke Mabbott

Dan Osborne VS Jamie Jewitt

Mark 'Bez' Berry VS Clayton Blackmore

Rachel Lugo VS Leanne Brown

Jake Quickenden VS Marcel Somervile

Simon Webbe VS Alan Thompson

James English Vs Rogan O'Connor

Tim Bradbury VS Anthony Hutton

Dom Lever VS Alex Beattie

Tickets can be found here.