Emo­tional farewell to boxer Scott

The Chronicle - - News - By LISA HUTCHIN­SON Re­porter lisa.hutchin­son@ncj­me­dia.co.uk @lisachron

TEARS rolled down the faces of boxer Scott West­garth’s fam­ily and friends as they said their fi­nal good­byes at his funeral.

His cof­fin was draped in a New­cas­tle United shirt signed by Rafa Ben­itez and play­ers and amongst the mourn­ers was County Durham’s for­mer IBF cruis­er­weight world cham­pion Glenn McCrory.

Scott died from an ap­par­ent brain in­jury af­ter win­ning his last fight on Fe­bru­ary 24. He was rushed to hos­pi­tal af­ter fall­ing ill back­stage fol­low­ing his vic­tory over Dec Spel­man at the Don­caster Dome and his death was con­firmed two days later.

The 31-year-old, who orig­i­nates from Prud­hoe, Northumberland, was cre­mated in Sh­effield in an emo­tional cer­e­mony on Tues­day.

Hun­dreds gath­ered to cel­e­brate his life along with his ex-boxer dad John, 58, mum Re­becca Mar­shall, 58, broth­ers Adam, 35, Lewis, 21, sis­ter Bethannie, 24, and girl­friend Natalie Kerr.

Scott’s dad John - nick­named ‘Mean Ma­chine’ - was a heavy­weight in the 1980s and 1990s who boxed for the Euro­pean ti­tle.

He said: “There were hun­dreds at the cre­ma­to­rium and even more at the Royal Vic­to­ria Ho­tel in Sh­effield at the wake. It was a fan­tas­tic turnout. Glenn McCrory came down and it was re­ally nice to get his sup­port. Me and Glenn go back a long way and it was great to see him there. He com­mented on Scott’s last fight and he said Scott would have done re­ally well.”

Scott, a part-time chef and per­sonal trainer, was a huge New­cas­tle United fan and af­ter mum Re­becca asked for a shirt to lay on the cof­fin, the club went one step fur­ther and had it signed. Rafa also sent a heart­warm­ing let­ter say­ing: “It sounds as though Scott made a great name for him­self in his own sport of box­ing and I’m sure he made you and your fam­ily very proud. I hope the en­closed shirt which has been signed by all the play­ers will be a fit­ting sym­bol of his pas­sion for New­cas­tle United.”

John added: “It was an emo­tional day but it was heart­felt and the fam­ily are re­ally thank­ful to Rafa and the play­ers for sign­ing it.

“Scott would spent hours talk­ing about New­cas­tle on the phone with his grandad.”

His funeral was held at Greno­side Cre­ma­to­rium in Sh­effield, which was at­tended by more than 20 peo­ple from the Sh­effield Box­ing Cen­tre where Scott trained.

Brother Adam, who has launched a pe­ti­tion to make it law for brain scan­ners to be on hand at all bouts, said: “He was a fun type of guy and never shied away from any­thing. The day was all about Scotty and cel­e­brat­ing his life.”

Scott’s or­gans were do­nated, sav­ing the lives of seven peo­ple.

To sign Adam’s pe­ti­tion, visit https://bit.ly/2LLBnnS

The funeral of boxer Scott West­garth, inset

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