Life of notorious Wakefield prisoner Paul Sykes to be turned into a movie

Paul Sykes in his boxing heyday
Paul Sykes in his boxing heyday

Millions of pounds could be spent on making a film about the life of controversial Wakefield character, Paul Sykes.

Independent film makers Western Edge Pictures will give the one-time boxer the Hollywood treatment and have even lined up a famous TV face to play the towering hard man.

An ageing Paul Sykes battled with alcoholism in his later years.

An ageing Paul Sykes battled with alcoholism in his later years.

A volatile man, Sykes grew up in Lupset and spent years behind bars for petty crimes and violence.

And author Jamie Boyle, who has written two books on Sykes, has been in talks with the film company who have snapped up the rights to his books, along with Sykes’ autobiography.

Mr Boyle said: “There’s been talk about this for a while but there’s no question about it now, it’s happening.

“They’ve got a budget of £2 million and they’ve got an actor to play Sykes who we can’t reveal but he is the absolute double of him.

“He’s been in ITV programmes, he’s 6ft tall and he’s been working on his Yorkshire accent.

“They’re looking at filming in Lupset as well.”

He says work on the script is to begin soon and filming is scheduled to start in October 2020.

Western Edge Pictures, based in London, has already completed feature-length documentaries about boxer Joe Calzaghe and disgraced Paralympian, Oscar Pistorius.

Mr Boyle said: “I do not know if it will be a smash hit or end up in the bargain bin, but it will get to Leicester Square for a premiere.

“Whether you loved or hated Paul Sykes, there will never be another character like him in Wakefield.”

Sykes became a heavyweight contender in the late 70s, but is perhaps best remembered for spending years of his adult life in prison.

He made a name for himself by becoming one of Britain’s most difficult prisoners, much like his friend Charles Bronson.

In later life he was banned from Wakefield city centre for his bouts of heavy drinking and anti-social behaviour.

He died in Pinderfields Hospital in 2007 from pneumonia and liver cirrhosis.