Posted 9th February 2019

A ‘white collar’ boxing event is being held in Bournemouth to raise money for a popular local sportsman who has been diagnosed with incurable Motor Neurone disease.

We were introduced to Matt Gay and his family through BC Club member, Jamie Hughes. Matt, 46, from Southampton, is a former schoolboy motorcyclist and amateur footballer, who later played cricket for Michelmersh and Timsbury, Twyford and BAT.

The boxing event in which executives are set against each other in the ring will be held at The Littledown Centre on March 22, a Sunday.

The white collar bouts will take place between other fights on the main card at ‘Warrior Fight Night’, tickets for which are still available.

All the fighters have volunteered to help with the fundraising efforts.

The BC Club – a group of businessmen which raises money for good causes – is behind the white collar boxing part of the evening dubbed ‘The Challenge’.

One of their members, Jamie Hughes, used to employ Matt at his Delicious Dining Group business, and said: “We want to raise money to buy things that will make life slightly easier for Matt in his day-to-day living.

“There are specialist devices that would be very helpful for him and there is more sophisticated equipment he’ll need over time.

“Matt has an aggressive form of the disease and there is no cure for it. It is very debilitating and means he can’t do things that others take for granted.

“Another one of our BC Club members, Paul Meyer, is fighting on the night and people have been extremely generous so far.”

John Orchard, who trains the white collar boxers at the Bulldog gym in Bournemouth, said a proportion of ticket sales will go towards Matt’s care.

Other fights on the bill involve various types of pugilism including Thai boxing and mixed martial arts.

Motor Neurone disease (MND) affects motor neurons, the cells that control voluntary muscle activity including speaking, walking, swallowing, and general movement of the body.

It is neurodegenerative in nature and causes increasing disability and, eventually, death.

“Hello to you all, My family and myself, would like to thank the BC Club for its generous donation and for inviting my family and I to a great night at the boxing. It was certainly an entertaining and interesting evening with all the various styles of boxing and of course the highlight for us all was watching Paul Meyer win his bout, and the bonus came when he handed me his trophy, which I shall treasure. When I was first diagnosed, I hit an all time low, but with the support that I’ve received from the BC Club and that great Sunday night, I realise people’s kindness can certainly lift your spirits. Thank you all once again.” — Matt Gay