Step­ping into box­ing ring in mem­ory of pal

White-col­lar fight for can­cer char­ity

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­

SE­RI­OUS WORK: Luke Tofts trains for his fight A BUSI­NESS­MAN who has never boxed is pre­par­ing for a fight in mem­ory of his friend who died aged 53.

Luke Tofts, 27, of Mon­u­ment Lane, Chal­font St Peter, is train­ing for his first white-col­lar box­ing match to raise money for the Pan­cre­atic Can­cer Re­search Fund (PCRF).

The bout, on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 13, is in mem­ory of his friend and race­horse trainer, John Hills, who died in June.

The box­ers are trained for eight weeks be­fore be­ing matched with oth­ers of a sim­i­lar stan­dard.

Mr Tofts, who works as a free­lance business de­vel­op­ment con­sul­tant in Bea­cons­field, said: “I’m not re­ally built to run a marathon and I wanted to do some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent to raise money.

“I’ve never boxed be­fore so this is ac­tu­ally a real chal­lenge for me.

“I could also be knocked out and it’s that pos­si­bil­ity that will keep me go­ing through all the com­pul­sory train­ing – I’m def­i­nitely

I could also be knocked out and it’s that pos­si­bil­ity that will keep me go­ing

through all the com­pul­sory train­ing”

tak­ing it very se­ri­ously.”

Mr Hills was from a well-known horserac­ing fam­ily.

His fa­ther was fa­mous trainer Barry Hills and his four brothers are also in­volved in the sport.

Mr Hills rode 21 win­ners be­fore be­com­ing a trainer in 1987. He was di­ag­nosed with pan­cre­atic can­cer ear­lier this year.

Mr Tofts’ fam­ily is also into horserac­ing – the book­maker’s firm Wal­ter Prince was founded by his grand­fa­ther, who was the old­est on-course book­maker in Eng­land and Mr Tofts was the youngest, gain­ing his li­cence at 18.

He be­came a race­horse owner and used Mr Hills’ yard.

Mr Tofts said: “He treated ev­ery­one the same, whether they owned one horse or 10, and his death at such a young age was a real shock to ev­ery­one.”

Each year about 8,800 peo­ple in the UK are di­ag­nosed with pan­cre­atic can­cer.

Only three in ev­ery 100 di­ag­nosed will sur­vive longer than five years.

Mr Tofts added: “I hope the horserac­ing world, as well as my friends, fam­ily and business con­tacts, will support me in rais­ing as much money as pos­si­ble to fur­ther PCRF’s re­search into pan­cre­atic can­cer.”

Visit www.just­giv­ing. com/luketofts or text BASH90 £10 to 70770.


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