Boxing has been my life since I was 9 years old, I always struggled with school and what it expected from me but at the Boxing club I excelled. At school I was classed as ‘naughty’ , I couldn’t concentrate, and I couldn’t retain information which meant I left school unable to read or write. This was back in the 1960’s and 70’s and my lasting memory of school was running, pretty much every day the school’s way of dealing with me was to get me to do laps around the field with another lad, PE was my education.
I was an only child and unable to mix properly at school I found the boxing club gave me an opportunity to be around other kids my age and to constantly be included rather than excluded as I was at school.
When I was 18 my club got me to do my first training qualification, by the time I was 20 I had my pro badge and that was the start of my coaching journey.
The glamour of being the ‘boxer’ wasn’t where my heart lay, it was never about me it was about the person I was working for, the person I was training, it drove me to work harder and gave me more enthusiasm for the sport.
I was married and had 6 children and working a fulltime job alongside my coaching, in addition to this I also went back to education and finally learnt to read and write, this is where I learnt about my condition and why it had been so hard for me, I had been born with a condition that effected my long-term memory and retaining information was a real struggle. This didn’t stop me though and with the right support and belief I finally learnt the skill that had held me back all those years ago and I was able to overcome the stigma associated with it.
With these new skills behind me I finally had the confidence to open my own club and Chester Boxers was created in 1998.
As a professional coach I have been in the corner for some big fighters, notably Robin Reid v’s Joe Calzaghe, Paul Lloyd for his commonwealth title and Michael Gomez for his British and world title. I have been on televised fights on Sky Sports, BBC, ITV and Eurosport and also had fighters on the bill for the Ricky Hatton fight at the MEN but when I opened my own club, I was able to bring all I had learned back into the community and start an amateur club at Chester boxers. My own son Chris Goodwin came through the amateur club and turned professional at 18 and went on to hold International, World and Inter- continental titles, my Grandson Lloyd is currently coming through the amateurs now, both of them add to the family feel we try to create at the club.
Paul Economides started as a young child with Chester Boxers and is still fighting professionally now for us, Paul also works for the club and is testament to the lifelong attachment and sense of belonging you can find through boxing.
Like anyone I’ve had challenges to overcome in life, I’ve struggled with my own mental health and watched those around me do the same; however, the strength that boxing has provided me with has helped me to manage and overcome them and most importantly help others too.
Working with the community and sharing what boxing has brought to my life is my drive, changing people’s lives through boxing is my passion.
To collaborate with Inspiring Your Future and bring all the skills I’ve developed in boxing to more people in he community is something I’m really excited about. To know what we do at Chester Boxers has changed so many people’s lives is my biggest professional achievement to date, to work with so many agencies and to be part of a support network that engineers life-long change in people is an honour, my ethos is simple - when you are part of Chester Boxers you will always have somewhere you belong.