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World champion boxer John Conteh in Hetton memorial golf tournament

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A FORMER world champion boxer took part in a golf tournament to raise cash in memory of his late nephew.

John Conteh took to the fairways at Hetton-le-Hill golf course, along with 71 other players, to do battle for the inaugural Lee Conteh Shield.

Lee, of Easington Lane, died of a brain tumour in August last year, aged 46.

A keen golfer, he played regularly at the Elemore Vale club.

The day is arranged to fall on the closest Saturday to Lee’s birthday, which would have been yesterday.

Families also enjoyed food stalls, raffles and a bouncy castle as they raised money for St Cuthbert’s Hospice, in Durham, where Lee died.

In the evening, the group enjoyed entertainment from a Motown singer and an auction, including boxing memorabilia donated by John, featuring a pair of shorts worn by former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

Organiser Lorraine Burlinson and Lee’s wife Berna were confident of raising in the region of £2,000, with a full count yet to take place. “It’s been really good,” said Berna.

”When my husband was dying, I wanted to set a charity up and with him loving golf, I wanted to do an annual tournament.

“We want the Lee Conteh Shield to be a day to remember every year and with John coming up, that’s given it a real lift as well.”

Former world light-heavyweight champion John said: “The golf was good but it was tough.

“If it had been a fight, the ref would have stopped it in the course’s favour.

“But it was great because it’s been so well organised by everyone.

“It’s tinged with sadness to come here and see Lee’s name up there on the board.

“People have been sharing stories about Lee on the way around today.

“It’s a sad day but it’s great to see everyone here.”

 

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