Joe Calzaghe and Richie Woodhall auction aims to be big hit for women's cancer charity
Shropshire boxing legend Richie Woodhall has roped in the support of fellow former world champion Joe Calzaghe for his latest charity auction.
A boxing glove signed by Calzaghe, as well as a 7ft poster also signed by the Welshman, will go under the hammer at Shrewsbury-based Halls auctioneers next month to raise money for the Swimming After Surgery charity, which supports women who have cancer surgery.
Richie, who is an old friend of Calzaghe's, holds regular auctions in aid of cancer charities in memory of his father Len, who died from the disease in July 2015.
He said he chose Swimming After Surgery after meeting founder Fiona Smith at a recent event.
The charity runs swimming classes for women of all ages who have had surgery. It also provides support and advice as well as specialist underwear for women who have had mastectomies. Richie said he was particularly impressed that the group had committed to raising funds by setting a target of swimming 93,000 lengths, equivalent to the distance from Land's End to John O'Groats, during the course of the year.
"It's incredible they are doing 93,000 lengths, I swim like a terrapin, and there's no way I could to that, no chance," said Richie. "It's a fantastic local charity, and a superb way to get people active when they have been treated for cancer."
Fiona, 49, has endured eight operations for breast cancer. She first developed the disease at the age of 22, but it was another 10 years before it was finally diagnosed.
She said she had been a keen swimmer before having a mastectomy, but after that she felt nervous about going into the pool.
"After the surgery I was too worried about going into the pool, if my prosthesis would fall out, what the reaction would be if people saw it," she said.
"But after I bought a specialist swimsuit in 2008 I went back in the pool and it was like I was back.
"My husband Steve saw a difference, it put the smile back on my face for the first time in months."
She founded the charity after speaking to a friend who also had a mastectomy.
The auction will be held at Halls headquarters in Bowmen Way, Shrewsbury, on February 15, starting at 10am.
The items can be viewed the day before, or on the morning of the auction.
People unable to attend in person can place an absentee bid by telephoning 01743 450700.
Alternatively, it is possible to bid live over the internet, by registering on www.the-saleroom.com/halls