A Wearside police officer is ready for a knockout summer as he prepares to set off for the Olympics.
PC Danny McFarlane, of Northumbria Police, has been selected to travel to Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro to be a boxing referee and judge at this summer’s Olympic Games.
This is a dream come true for mePC Danny McFarlane
Danny – a former boxer himself – is the only British person who will officiate at the boxing events, and will be joined by 35 others from around the world.
He will fly out on Wednesday, and will be part of the opening ceremony on Friday before refereeing or judging his first match.
He will be at the Games for nearly three weeks, and has described it as a “dream come true”.
Danny said: “This is a dream come true for me.
“It is the highest honour for any referee and it’s what we all aim to achieve. You can’t put into words how you feel, it is tremendous.
“I’ve got to thank the force for their full support and I really think my role as a police officer has given me the skills to get me to Rio as a referee.
“I also couldn’t have got this far without Mr Ray Scott, who was my mentor from Newbiggin Boxing Club. He saw something in me and it really pushed me through my boxing and refereeing career.
“I am also so thankful to my wife Deborah and son Jacob, who have both had to sacrifice me being away from home on a regular basis over the last few years, especially this year.”
Danny started boxing at the age of 15 for Silksworth Boxing Club, and has competed around the world for the British Police boxing team.
He retired from boxing at the age of 34 before coming a judge for Tyne and Wear.
He joined the police in 1992 after leaving the Royal Marines, and is currently a public order instructor, Taser instructor and personal safety trainer based at Etal Lane.
Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: “I am really proud of Danny and what an achievement for him.
“We are proud to have him as an ambassador not only for Northumbria Police but for the North East out there in Rio.
“Danny has also played a major part in raising over £20,000 through the Northumbria Police Boxing Team charity events to help support a number of worthwhile causes, and helped use boxing as a way of keeping youngsters away from crime and keep them on the straight and narrow.”
Det Chief Inspector Paul Knox, a boxing and police colleague of Danny, said: “This is such an achievement for Danny and we are very proud of him.
“He really is a prime example that if you remain focused and dedicated, you can achieve your ultimate goals.
“He has also done a lot for the community by encouraging youngsters to get involved in boxing to keep off the streets.
“He has also helped raise money through the Northumbria Police Boxing Team events to help support local causes.
“But to go to the Olympics is a once in a lifetime opportunity and from all his police colleagues and boxing colleagues, we wish him the very best experience.”