Boxing club to ‘soldier on’ after thieves break-in for third time

Coach: John Hall at the White Rose Boxing Club on Denby Dale Road.
Coach: John Hall at the White Rose Boxing Club on Denby Dale Road.

A boxing coach who has been at his club for more than 60 years has vowed to “soldier on” after thieves broke into his gym.

It is the third time in 18 months that the White Rose Boxing Club on Denby Dale Road has been targeted by burglars and head coach John Hall estimates £2,500 worth of equipment was taken.

Mr Hall said: “I’ve been at this club since 1951 and we’ve always struggled with rent and paying for equipment. It’s always been difficult.

“When we started a punch bag was just an old army kit bag but gear is so much more expensive now.

“Just for gloves you can pay £60 or £360.

“And someone coming in and robbing you after you’ve spent that much would be enough to make some guys just pack it in, but we’re going to soldier on.”

A £1,500 PA system that the club uses when it puts on events at Lightwaves Leisure Centre, a new pair of boots, and a set of boxing scales were among the items stolen.

All the club lockers were broken into and several smaller items were also taken.

Mr Hall said he knew “immediately” that something had happened when he arrived at the club last Thursday evening and found the contents of his desk drawers had been emptied out.

He said due to repeated break-ins the club had resorted to leaving the till in the bar open so any would-be thieves could see there was no money and would not cause further damage.

The club has played a key role in the careers of boxers from the district. In December, White Rose’s Maya Robertson produced a dazzling display in England Boxing’s inaugural Women’s Winter Box Cup, in Manchester.

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Police took a report of a burglary at a premises on Headway Business Park, Wakefield on January 9.

“The incident happened overnight between January 9 and January 10. The suspects gained entry into the building and stole property.”

Anyone with any information should or who witnessed anything suspicious is asked to call police on 101 quoting crime reference 13190017587.”