Rubix Nightclub

A WEST End man who took up Thai boxing to help his daughter continue in the sport has raised more than £5,500 for the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices by taking part in a fight, in which he suffered a broken rib.

Kelvin, a lifelong Woking-area resident who runs an electrical contracting company, turned to his business contacts and wide circle of local friends in his fundraising.

Coach Chris Murphy helps Kelvin warm up

He has previously raised £7,000 for the hospice, most of which came from running the London Marathon in 2014.

In January this year, after training regularly for several months, Kelvin noticed that there was to be a Thai boxing show in Guildford in May .

“I thought this would be a great way of raising money for the Woking Hospice. I would be able to sell lots of tickets and due to my age would be the complete underdog in this fight.”

Before he could take part in the full fight, he had to compete in two interclub bouts, which are similar to intensive sparring in which no winner is declared and the referee steps in if someone is getting hurt.

“Mick Murphy, Chris Murphy and Paul Boosey at Woking Thai spent lots of time with me improving my technique and fitness. Everyone at the club was really supportive and helpful in my training.”

The fight, at Rubix Nightclub at the University of Surrey, was refereed by Chris Batcheldor, a former Thai boxer, who was at The Winston Churchill School with Kelvin.

He was drawn against an opponent who had just turned 25. In the third of five scheduled rounds, Kelvin suffered a broken rib, but refused to retire.

“In the fourth round, I couldn’t breathe, and so the fight was stopped. The best man won and the greatest respect to Harry Vito Hale for smashing it and I wish him all the best in his future. This has been one hell of a journey.”

Kelvin said that he had always planned to take part in just one fully competitive fight, but is continuing training with Woking Thai at the Leisure Centre and nearby boxing club and will take part in interclub bouts.

He said that his wife Rebekah said the fight was the “craziest, most stupid” thing he had done.

Kelvin said he has been amazed at the amount of support he has received from friends and family.

“I have also been amazed and overwhelmed at the generosity of people. I was in the barbers talking about what I was doing and the chap next to me who I had never met before just handed me £5 to put towards my cause.

“It is an absolute pleasure to give just a little bit back for the great things that the people at the hospice do for others.”

DONATIONS can be made via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kelvin-franklin1.

For the full story get the 30 may edition of the News & Mail