I found out on Face­book that my gym had been torched

Ormskirk Advertiser - - News -

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.

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