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Former world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield delivers goods to York foodbank
YORK’S foodbank has been handed a knockout donation of food – by none other than former world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield.
The legend of the ring, nicknamed the Real Deal, delivered a vanload of foodstuffs to the bank at the Gateway Centre in Acomb on Saturday before speaking at a dinner at the Novotel in Fishergate.
The visit was organised by Henry’s Gym, the boxing club and gymnasium in Acomb, established by York’s most successful pro boxer, Henry Wharton.
The former undefeated European, Commonwealth and British super-middleweight champion said Holyfield was only too glad to help deliver food to the foodbank.
“We had almost a half a van load of food gathered at the gym and Evander readily agreed to come down and help us to deliver it,” Henry Wharton said.
“He was fantastic. It was great of him and I think a lot of people appreciated it.”
Evander, who famously had part of his ear bitten off by Mike Tyson in a 1997 world title bout, is an ambassador for Global Village Champions Foundation, led by philanthropist Yank Barry, which has fed almost a billion needy people around the world over the last 20 years.
Tony Dunn, of Sports Media Promotions, which helped organise the hotel event, said Evander had been born in poverty and was delighted to make the delivery to the foodbank.
Mr Barry said it always felt great to be able to help those in need. He said: “With the help of Evander and Europe’s finest, I’m certain that we’re taking huge steps toward defeating hunger once and for all.”
Henry said he himself had leant his weight to the activities of the food bank after being astonished to find so many people were lacking the basics to eat.
He said: “I never quite realised that the situation is as bad as it is. It’s a fantastic cause and myself and all of us at the gym will do what we can to support it.”
Foodbank manager Caleb Ellwood said: “We are absolutely delighted and very grateful. It's great that Evander is doing this.”
He said he only heard about the donation the day beforehand, when Henry Wharton walked in and asked if he would like Evander Holyfield to donate some food.
“If it had been a mate, I might have thought it was a wind-up but I recognised Henry and I went online and saw about the foundation.”
He said the food included tinned vegetables, meat and fish, cereals and pasta.
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