Emotional farewell to boxer Scott
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