Record deal for former Kellingley miner
A CAGE fighting former miner is hoping to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional singer after an unusual birthday present led to him being offered a record deal.
James Aspinall suffered from depression after his mother's death last year and is determined to succeed in the music business to honour her memory.
The ex-Kellingley Colliery miner, who worked in mining for eight years, said he has always loved singing and was a contestant on the X Factor in 2009 when her sang Elton John's Your Song, but didn't get past the first round.
Mr Aspinall's girlfriend Lindsey Hayward bought him an experience day at a recording studio in Castleford for his 31st birthday in June.
He sang Here With Me by Marshmallo and I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz at the Pro2 Recording Studios and got a CD of the recording.
Producer Paul Twohig was impressed with Mr Aspinall and has offered him the chance to record three singles over 18-months with the possibility of making an album at the end.
Mr Twohig, who owns Pro2 Recording Studios, said: "He has got a unique selling point. He is a 6ft 2in tall, tattooed and bearded cage fighter singing love songs.
"You just don't expect him to start singing like he does when you see him.
"He is a very good singer. He lacks a little confidence, but a lot of singers do until they start to get some success and then they start to believe in themselves."
Mr Aspinall, who now works as a Yorkshire Water engineer, has already recorded his first single called One Word One, which is set to be released on EBA Records on November 8.
Mr Aspinall, whose mother Lesley died aged 50 last July after suffering heart disease, said: "She was so supportive of everything that I did.
"She always believed in me when others didn't and told me to pursue my dreams."
Mr Aspinall, who is an amateur cage fighter who has been training for five years, said he fell into depression following his mother's death,.
He said: "I have got a goal and a focus now and I'm determined to work hard and make it successful.
"I want to become a full time singer. It is what I have always wanted to do and for that to happen would be immense."
Mr Aspinall, who is from Morley, said he had a troubled childhood and cage fighting has helped build his confidence.
He said: "I absolutely love it. It is another passion of mine."