I found out on Facebook that my gym had been torched
ABOXING coach found out on Facebook that his club had been gutted by fire. Colin Day said that vandals set fire to a wheelie bin outside his club during the early hours of Wednesday last week.
The blaze gutted the building and destroyed thousands of pounds worth of equipment, including two boxing rings.
Colin, who boxed in the Royal Marines, trained around 30 boys at Birch Green ABC in Skelmersdale.
He said: “At around 6am on Wednesday morning I noticed someone had posted a message on Facebook about a fire at my gym.
“I drove straight round, and could not get in. The whole place stank of smoke, so I drove around to the fire station.
“They told me someone had set fire to a wheelie bin in front of the gym. They sent four engines to the scene and it took them four hours to put the flames out.
“Both boxing rings have been ruined and we have lost thousands of pounds of worth of equipment. It’s gutted.”
Colin relaunched the amateur club around six years ago. His son Colin, who is now a professional based at the Rydal gym in Stanley Road in north Liverpool, used to train at the Birch Green club.
He said: “I learned to box at Birch Green ABC. It’s such a shame because there are few facilities for young people in Birch Green.”
His dad said: “Fortunately, boxing clubs from the Liverpool area have been in touch and offered some support. Alan Lynch from the Solly (Salisbury ABC) has been very kind. The insurers have been out and we hope to be able to move to another unit soon.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service said that the fire had been in the roof and that crews from Skelmersdale, Ormskirk and Wigan attended. He added: “There were no casualties.”
A spokesman for West Lancashire Borough Council said: “WLBC owns the building the club uses and was very sorry to hear about the fire.
“Council staff are doing everything they can to help the boxing club, including helping club organisers identify possible sources of grant funding to help replace equipment.”
If anyone has any information about how the fire started and who was responsible they are asked to call Lancashire police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.