Tributes paid to boxing trainer and granddad who died aged 72 after contracting coronavirus in hospital
A boxing club has been left devastated by the death of a much-loved and ‘super fit’ coach after he contracted coronavirus in hospital.
John Pollock, who turned 72 on April 4, died at Sunderland Royal Hospital on April 25, two weeks after being admitted with an unrelated bacterial infection.
He was tested for the disease upon admission with negative results, but later succumbed to Covid-19.
John’s daughter, Alison Henshaw, said: “He was a great family man and he loved having our support. Lambton Street boxing club had become like a second family to him.”
John had been a trainer at Lambton Street for four years and was a very fit man.
He was hugely respected at the Ford Estate club, training boxers of all weights and ages.
He first became involved with the club through with his grandson Niall Bowler, who went on to box for the club and his commitment to Lambton Street grew from there.
He would spend around 20 hours per week over five or six days at the gym coaching. He would also accompany his boxers in numerous tournaments around the country.
Before John became ill, his youngest son David Pollock, a soldier, had set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for Lambton Street and ran a marathon two days after his father’s death raising almost £2,500.
John spent most of his working life working as a highways inspector for Sunderland Council.
Among those paying tribute was Lambton Street’s lead boxing coach Gary Bunting, who said: “It was devastating news to us. He’s going to be a massive miss. He was such a fit man. He had abs at 72 years old.
“He was always here and had such a lovely relationship with the kids. I can’t believe how much this gentleman’s going to be a miss, especially to his family.
“The sad thing for the club is that we can’t mourn him as we would like. It’s not what he deserved, but we have no control over that. You feel inadequate, because there’s nothing you can do.
“When this is all over we’re going to have a night out in his honour.”
The father-of-six also leaves behind seven grandchildren.