BOXER George Groves drew hordes of people to the Oasis boxing gym on Friday night to help rocket community fundraising efforts for a very sick little boy.
Sebastian Murtough is not even two years old but has already undergone weeks of chemotherapy and an invasive operation to slice a tumour from his left kidney.
Now the 23-month-old youngster will have to go another intensive period of chemotherapy in London, which will put a significant emotional and financial strain on his family.
On Friday night Paddy Fitzpatrick, who runs the Boxing Gym in Ferndale Road, used his latest boxing show to help raise funds for the little boy’s care.
Paddy said: “It wasn’t put on for Seb, it was already going to happen but when his uncle Jose Mantinan came to me asking for George to sign some boxing gloves he could auction to raise money for Seb I suggested we could do something.
“The family have to travel up and down to the hospital for the treatment for the next three months and the parents won’t be able to work because they’ll be caring for the child and I just thought it would be something we could do.”
Paddy’s most famous boxer, world title contender Groves, was a special guest on the night and took part in a Q&A session as well as an auction for Sebastian.
Paddy said: “All the people turned up for George and it was just another opportunity to raise some money.
“I think it is great if anybody can do anything for another human being but when a man like George Groves, who is in training for the fight of his life, gives up his time to support something like this that is fantastic.”
To top the show off, Jose won his fight on the night.
Paddy said: “There were loads of people who came along and it was great that his uncle won his fight. There was a lot of emotional pressure on him.”
The show was a sell out and has now boosted the pot for Seb to around £1,500.
Seb’s dad, Steve Murtough, was touched that so much has been done to help his little boy.
The 33-year-old said: “I always knew that Paddy was a generally nice guy but that he wanted to help out was really touching.
“It was just a little fundraising thing my brother was going to do and Paddy got everything together himself.”
Although little Seb is beginning to recover, there is a long road to go before he is back to full health.
Steve said: “It’s still a long road to go but we’re just looking forward to next year and hoping that he’ll make a full recovery.”