A group of 14 star-struck youngsters from West Auckland Amateur Boxing Club were invited by two-time world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to join him on a gruelling training run.
They accompanied him for 4.3 miles over a 1,024 ft fell in Lancashire as part of The Gypsy King’s preparations for his heavyweight unification showdown in April with Oleksandr Usyk.
He even filmed some of the run before posting it to the 5.7m followers on his Instagram site, saying: “Early start for these kids from an amateur club in County Durham. An experience I suppose they’ll always remember!”
Also accompanying the group were Tyson’s father John Fury, cousin, WBC featherweight champion Isaac Lowe, and his younger half-brother Tommy Fury, who took time out from boxing in 2019 to star in ITV’s Love Island, and who is himself preparing to face You-Tuber turned boxer Jake Paul.
The invitation was made through Lowe, who is a friend of Stephen Nicholson and head coach Ernest Spowart, who set up West Auckland Amateur Boxing Club in the spring of 2020, during the first Covid lockdown, to give something back to the area.
They were then left with the difficult task of selecting 14 members of the club to accompany them across to Tyson Fury’s home county of Lancashire.
Ernest said: “Tyson was fantastic with all the kids and provided plenty of inspiration and motivation as they continue to prepare for the biggest competition in our calendar, the Riviera Box Cup in August.”
The club also had another surprise up its sleeve, announcing its members will have an opportunity to go to a training camp in the Spanish resort of Marbella in July – all funded by a mystery benefactor.
Stephen Nicholson, who is managing director of Bishop Auckland-based painting and decorating service S Nicholson and Sons, added: “They were all buzzing from meeting one of the greatest ever heavyweights and now they are really looking forward to going to Spain.
“We are just a little boxing club from West Auckland, but this shows just some of the life-changing opportunities this sport can offer.”