A boxing champ from South Tyneside was blindsided by a party thrown in his honour.
Anthony ‘Babyface’ Nelson claimed the Commonwealth super-flyweight title at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena earlier this month after his Scottish opponent Jamie Wilson was retired by his corner.
In honour of the 29-year-old’s achievements, his former coach Steve Winter, of Horsley Hill Amateur Boxing Club, threw a party in his honour.
Anthony started out at Horsley Hill 18 years ago, and more than a 100 sporting colleagues, friends and family attended the bash at the club’s base, at Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre, South Shields. Mr Winter said: “I rang Anthony up and asked him to come down with his belts, so he could pose for pictures with the boxers, and he was all for it.
“Sure enough he turned up, but he was left stunned when he realised that we’d organised him his very own party. He was totally shocked.
“We just wanted to be able to do something for him, to show him how proud we all are of his hard work and his achievements, it’s incredible to think he is a Commonwealth champion.”
We just wanted to be able to do something for him, to show him how proud we all are.Steve winter, boxing coach
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham, and Mayoress Stella Matthewson, also attended the party.
Meanwhile, Mr Winter has been given permission to hang a banner celebration Anthony’s success outside South Shields Town Hall. He said: “We wanted to display the banner in a prominent place in recognition of his title.
“We’re hoping it can stay there for as long as possible so everyone can see.”