Fans fight their fears to raise funds

fight-night (1)

DALYMOUNT FIGHT NIGHT (Saturday September 14th, 7pm; Members’ Bar open from 5pm)

Players and supporters of Bohemian FC step into the ring next weekend as Dublin’s oldest football club hosts a Fight Night, writes BRIAN TRENCH.

The brave volunteers have been in training for five weeks as they prepare for battle under the Dalymount Park floodlights on Saturday 14 September.

Paul Walsh, lead singer with rock band Royseven (‘We Should Be Lovers’) and Bohemian fan, is among those taking part. Bohemian striker Dave Scully will take on his brother William.

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They will follow in the illustrious footsteps of Barry McGuigan and Charlie Nash, who fought at Dalymount Park in October 1981, and of Jack Doyle who boxed in front of 23,000 people at Dalymount during World War II. Doyle’s nickname, The Gorgeous Gael, has been claimed by one of next Saturday’s participants, Bohs supporter Brian Gartlan.

Other fighters have also taken on names aimed at instilling fear and awe. So, the Scully family affair pits Mad Dog Scully against The Bully Scully. The bill includes too The Silent Assassin and The Meath Mauler.

The fights are over three rounds of one-and-a-half minutes each and the opponents have been matched with each other on the basis of similar size and ability. There will be ten or more fights involving the volunteers and a couple of exhibition bouts of kick boxing.

The fighters’ training has involved three or more intensive gym sessions a week, as well as running and other fitness work. The participants report on the strength and conditioning exercises as a form of torture: while doing “the plank”, lying down with only hands, elbows and toes touching the floor, they were liable to have the trainer kick them in the stomach for not keeping it in the right position.

When it came to full sparring, as Ben ‘The Donaghmede Destroyer’ Ryan noted, “Getting punched full-force in the face had the same effect on most of us who had never boxed before – all instructions on combinations, stance, defence and so on went out the window and a brawl developed until exhaustion set in”.

Tickets at €15 are available for this fund-raiser event at shop.bohemians.ie, at the Dalymount Park offices and at the venue on the night. Doors open on Saturday 14 September at 7pm and a DJ will provide music after the fights.

Website by Simon Alcock