Champion boxer Billy Hardy has landed a knockout new charity role.
The 52-year-old former bantamweight and featherweight champ is the new patron of blood cancer charity Bright Red, which aims to improve the lives and treatment of people across the North East.
I want to help as many patients and their families as possible and I’m really excited about this new venture.Billy Hardy
To date the charity has invested £5.5million into improving patient care, staff development and blood cancer research.
Billy has a very personal reason for agreeing to take on the role.
He was 33 when his sister Susan was diagnosed with non hodgkins lymphoma – a disease he had never heard of before. Susan had a short battle with the disease but sadly passed away.
Now Billy is looking forward to helping to save other families from the pain he experienced: “There’s a lot still to be done in the fight against blood cancer,” he said.
“I know that we’re very blessed in our region with fantastic facilities, support and amazing medical staff, but there’s still a lot to be done.
“I want to help as many patients and their families as possible and I’m really excited about this new venture.”
Charity manager Ashley Elliott thinks Billy is the perfect match for the charity: “We are delighted to have Billy join the team at Bright Red,” she said.
“He has such an enthusiasm and positive attitude which will undoubtedly help us continue with our very important work. We have already come such a long way as a charity, and Billy’s involvement will mean we can do even more.
“We will soon be employing our second Outreach Nurse, this one is to be located in Sunderland. It’s a perfect project for Billy to get behind as our new patron and will make an enormous difference to the area.”
One of Billy’s first duties as patron was to call in at As You Like It in Newcastle for the launch of their new Bright Red Cocktail and to accept a cheque for £1,000 from the Sunderland AFC Former Players Association.