By Terence Dooley
Former British and Commonwealth flyweight champion Chris Edwards (17-15-4, 4 KOs) died of a heart attack in March at the age of 41, and fans and fight figures in his hometown of Stoke and other areas are banding together to try to raise enough money to pay to have a statue erected in his honour.
Edwards beat Jamie McDonnell by decision in December 2007 to win the British Super flyweight title then picked up the British and Commonwealth Super flyweight belts with a retirement win over Wayne Bloy in 2009, he was a fan favourite here in the UK.
Stefan Hanks, his friend and a promoter, has been working tirelessly to put on a charity event to raise enough money to honour the former fighter, who brought a lot of sporting success to Stoke.
Plans are in place for an event called “Firepower” at the King’s Hall in Stoke on September 15, with any additional funds raised earmarked for the Douglas MacMillan Hospice. Fighters from all around the surrounding area and beyond have been asked to help contribute to what organisers hope will be a fitting tribute to a man who died too soon.
“We were all devastated when Chris died,” said Hanks when speaking to Matthew Simpson of The Stoke Sentinel. “We wanted to do something to raise funds for a local charity, as well as get together enough money to erect a statue in Chris's memory.”
Talks are currently taking place with the local council as Hanks explores the possibility of a lasting, visible tribute to his friend, who was inducted into the Stoke-on-Trent Sporting Hall of Fame in 2016.
There will be white-collar boxing on the night as well as an auction and collection. Fans can purchase tickets directly from Hank by phoning 07725 753573 or from the Supreme Fighter Colosseum Gym in Longton. Prices are between £20 and £40.
“As well as raising funds to keep Chris's memory alive, we wanted to give something to a charity that supports local people who have the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones at the end of their life, a luxury we didn't have with Chris,” added Hanks.
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