South Shields writer’s moving play will mark 30th anniversary of famous North East boxing triumph

A new show tells the story behind Glenn McCrory's historic boxing match.
A new show tells the story behind Glenn McCrory's historic boxing match.

A South Shields writer is hoping his play will prove a knockout with audiences when it takes to the stage next summer to mark the 30th anniversary of one of the region’s greatest sporting triumphs.

‘Carrying David’ tells the story behind Glenn McCrory’s victory over Patrick Lumumba that saw him crowned IBF world cruiserweight champion at the age of 24.

Glenn McCrory with his uncle Arthur Barrass at Westoe Colliery in 1989.

Glenn McCrory with his uncle Arthur Barrass at Westoe Colliery in 1989.

McCrory won the belt following a unanimous points decision even though many rated him as an underdog going into the fight, which took place at Stanley Leisure Centre on June 3, 1989.

The play, penned by Ed Waugh, will showcase the love between Glenn and his adopted brother David, whose own battle against muscle wasting disease Fridriech’s Ataxia saw him sadly die in 1996 just before his 30th birthday.

David’s courage was an inspiration to Glenn and Ed said writing the play was very emotional.

He added: “Carrying David is the most dramatic thing I’ve ever written.

“It’s very funny but also very emotional. I was in tears writing it.

“The person who inspired Glenn was his adopted brother David.

“David was 17 months younger than Glenn and joined the McCrory clan of six siblings in 1972, aged six.”
“David had a degenerative muscle wasting disease called Fridriech’s Ataxia which meant he struggled to breathe and walk.

“Glenn often carried David on his back, hence the title of this fantastic story about two brothers inspiring each other.”

After becoming world champion, Glenn defended his belt against Siza Makathini in October 1989 before being defeated by American Jeff Lampkin in March 1990.

He would later move up to heavweight, where his fights included a defeat by Lennox Lewis in September 1991.

He ended his boxing career in 1993 before going on to become a very successful pundit.

Carrying David will tour the North East in May/June 2019 and will be performed at the Westovian Theatre, South Shields on Saturday, June 8.

It is supported by Arts Council England.

For tickets, costing £16, call: 0191 4247788 or www.westovians.co.uk