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James Legal funds new kit for talented St Paul's boxers
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PRESS RELEASE                                                                                      10 October 2019



James Legal funds new kit for talented St Paul’s boxers – as supporters raise over £230,000 for historic refurb to commence


Members of the historic St Paul’s boxing club in Hull are sporting snazzy new kit, thanks to a generous donation from James Legal.


The Hull and Beverley-based law firm has provided new shorts and sweatshirts worth £3,000 for members to wear when representing the club at national and international competitions.


They will don their new kit at an England Select via Ireland Select boxing match this Saturday night from 7.30pm, the latest of many international fixtures run by the club. Olympic gold champion boxer Luke Campbell, a ‘graduate’ of the club, will also be officially named the gym’s patron at this open event, including food, drink and a fundraising auction, for which tickets are still available by calling trainer Mike Bromby on 07989 907344.


James Legal’s donation marks the latest show of support from Hull businesses, which have collectively helped raise more than £230,000 towards a much-needed renovation of the club’s premises in Church Side, next to Holy Trinity cathedral in the city centre. The changes are planned to create a more fit-for-purpose training environment for its 500 members – and also help it extend its life-changing formula to more people in the East Yorkshire community, including those with disabilities.


Established in 1948, the club has turned out many boxing greats, including Luke and Commonwealth lightweight title holder Tommy Coyle. But it is its role in providing young people - some of them from socially disadvantaged and troubled backgrounds, and with learning and behavioural difficulties - with a future pathway, for which it is most respected. In fact, many successful Hull people cite St Paul’s as the cornerstone for what they have gone on to achieve.


Yet, despite this huge contribution at the hands of dedicated trainer Mike Bromby and his team of volunteers, the building St Paul’s inhabits has fallen into serious disrepair.


So, he – and a committee of well-wishing local businesses, inspired by what the club has achieved – launched a major fundraising campaign in 2018, for cash to turn the historic gym into the kind of environment it deserves to be.

Of the latest donation from James Legal, Mike said: “For many years, we’ve run the club on a shoestring, just surviving from year to year, but since we launched the appeal we’ve had an amazing group of people on the ground working with us to truly honour the legacy of the club and make it a fit-for-purpose space for our athletes to train in.


“It’s always been more of a community gym than a boxing gym, and the refurbishment will enable us to build on that even more. Over the years, the club has literally saved lives by giving our members a sense of purpose and belief, sometimes when they are in despair, to help them live their best lives as part of a team. 


“Our 70 competing members represent the club, and the city, all over the world, and therefore we’re really grateful to James Legal for its generous donation to help ensure they will look the part when they do.”


Byron Swarbrick, who presented the kit on behalf of James Legal, said: “We’ve been absolutely bowled over by what St Paul’s has achieved and it’s our privilege to be able to help in any way we can.


If you’re inspired by what you’ve read and would like to find out how you can help, contact John Rutherford on 07802 872102 or email


Picture caption: (l-r): Mike Bromby, competitive boxing member Harvey Lambert, our Byron and boxer Naseem Stowel



Notes for Editors


For more information or to arrange photographs and interviews, please contact Tracy Fletcher of By Tracy Fletcher Limited PR via or 07983 633385.


About St Paul’s


The biggest amateur sports club in Hull, St Paul’s Boxing Academy was established in 1948.


As well as successfully training some of the most renowned boxers in the world, its sporting reputation is second-to-one. It was the first boxing club in the country to receive the Sport England Clubmark quality accreditation, which covers aspects like safeguarding, strong financial management and coaching standards.


It also won the Hull Daily Mail Sports Club of the Year accolade in 2018.


Its members range in age from five to 60 years, and take part for a variety of reasons, from keeping fit to socialising and learning some serious boxing skills – around 70 of them are card-carrying competitive boxers and 80 are female.


Mike and the rest of the St Paul’s team have been overwhelmed by the number of people who’ve come forward to help with its transformation. On the development committee and providing their time and expertise to the project free of charge are: John Rutherford, deputy chairman of the John Good & Sons shipping company; Alan Wood and Partners structural engineers; funding expert Darren Peacock of Peacock Finance, Property development entrepreneurs Tony and Andrew Horncastle, and local businesspeople Shelagh Devereux and Dave Garness, who are also supporting with the building plans.


Hull City Council, which owns the building, is providing significant support with the exterior re-roofing of the building and is gifting the long-term peppercorn lease of the site.


Together, this group of influential partners helped St Paul’s – which relies on the dedication of 20 regular volunteers, including 14 coaches and a catering and cleaning team of six – to gain ‘charitable incorporated organisation’ status last Spring, to help secure its future through access to ongoing grant funding and fundraising.


Their fundraising target for the initial, essential works and equipment is £300,000. This will 

pay for the complete refurbishment of the gym’s interior including new showers and changing rooms, a new kitchen, the refurbishment of the interior roof space to reveal the stunning vaulted ceiling space which is currently boarded over, new heating and the creation of a glass-fronted viewing area for boxing officials and parents watching the sporting activities. The St Paul’s team also want to invest in new IT facilities to enable them to, among other things, video and play back sparring sessions so that the competitors can learn how to perfect their technique.


So far, they have raised over £230,000 towards this grand total through donations, fundraising boxing dinners and grants from local charities including The Tribune Trust, Hull & East Riding Charitable Trust, the Matthew Good Foundation, the James Reckitt Charitable Foundation and Howden Rotary Club – as well as a substantial grant from Sport England. This is enough for them to commence the refurbishment work, and the club is shortly moving into temporary accommodation elsewhere in the city centre while the work – expected to last around seven months – takes place.


Their grand plan is to widen the reach of St Paul’s, including opening it up for other community groups to use, including autistic children; schools like Aspire that cater for children with behavioural issues who can benefit from having a new outlet and interest, and disabled groups.


As a result of all their collective efforts, the club’s membership has also shot up from 200 to almost 500 over the past two years. 


About the two fighters pictured:


Harvey Lambert


Harvey is currently the Amateur Boxing Association’s England Champion at welterweight and is destined for selection for the Olympic team for Paris 2024. He has been boxing since he was six years old and a member of St Paul’s for the past 10 years.


The 22-year-old, from west Hull, said: “I just took to boxing straightaway, even from the age of six and it’s been something I’ve enjoyed doing ever since. St Paul’s is more of a family to me than a boxing gym. It’s very successful and we do everything we can to win, but it’s more than that as well.”


And the gym has been instrumental in helping Harvey forge a work ethic and get a job.


“Boxing is a discipline,” he said.


“I train every day and the gym is always open. It’s helped me forge my way in life and get a job, and the support has been phenomenal.”


Naseem Stowel


Naseem was dismissed at school when he was younger, as someone who would never amount to anything. That was because he suffered from learning difficulties ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), autism and ticks. However, boxing and joining St Paul’s has dramatically changed all that.


Naseem, from central Hull, a three-times champion in international competitions, said: “A lot of my issues were caused by excess energy – I was always really hyper and struggled to focus.


“A doctor suggested I take up a sport to help channel it, and I tried boxing and I clicked with it straightaway and really enjoyed it. Now I’ve started competing, I’m trying as hard as I can to achieve the best I can, maybe even trying for the Olympics or going professional one day.


“St Paul’s has played a big part in what I’ve achieved in life so far, because it has helped me overcome the difficulties I was experiencing, for which I was also being bullied. It has helped me prove those who didn’t believe in me, wrong.


The discipline and life skills Naseem has gained at St Paul’s have also helped him to secure a job as an administrative assistant at a city centre firm.