Gyms Finally Reopen Their Doors in England

Gyms Finally Reopen Their Doors in England

After an extended period of closure due to the CoronaVirus pandemic, boxing gyms up and down the country were finally able to reopen last week.

Derry Mathews Boxing Academy, Timperley ABC, Wimborne ABC, Pat Benson's Boxing Academy and Paramount ABC are all gyms that work in partnership with Maverick Stars Trust, and the opening of their doors means lives can once again be changed for the better.

Unsung Hero – Sean Rafferty

Unsung Hero - Sean Rafferty

Each Friday we pay homage to a boxing ‘unsung hero’. The lifeblood of the sport - the men and women who have contributed so much and asked for so little, who have saved lives and transformed futures.

This week, we celebrate the work of Sean Rafferty, nominated by his former fighter and now fellow coach, Steve Maylett. It was at Ancoats Lads Boxing Club, under the guidance of Sean that Steve learned to box, his mentor's methods sank in.  Steve has gone on to carve out a top career as both an amateur and professional coach, training hundreds of local children and stars including former world champion Terry Flanagan, Sam Maxwell, Liam Taylor and Zak Miller.

"I think he was the best of his generation in teaching you footwork. I built from there upwards," said Steve. "A lot of the fundamentals came from what Sean taught me. He's given his life to boxing. Not a lot of people know him, he doesn't do social media. He's always stayed self-efficient and he's an unsung hero for this part of Manchester. I know people who come to the boxing gym, they've not boxed for 15 years, but they still come and train. He's changed hundreds of lives."


Nominate your boxing unsung hero via the contact page at:

Or message us via:

@maverickstars1          maverickstarstrust

All You Need Is Love……..Boxing Club

Like most boxing gyms throughout the land, Love ABA Police Boxing Club in Lancashire has once again opened its doors – with a helping hand from Maverick Stars Trust.

The gym, in Rawtenstall, under the guidance of Paddy Connellan, has benefited from the charity’s ‘subs for clubs’ initiative. All members can train for free for the first month post-lockdown. The project is aimed at giving the club a much-needed boost and supporting the boxers’ families, many of whom have struggled during the pandemic.

Maverick Stars has also secured funding for the club with help from MP for Rossendale and Darwen Jake Berry and councillor David Foxcroft.  This funding will ensure Love ABA continues its excellent community work.

The Finest Gym in Manchester

The Finest Gym in Manchester

The Finest Gym in Manchester is joining forces with Maverick Stars Trust to deliver initiatives to get young people moving again. But while it's good news for now, the club needs to find a new long-term home as the area is set for regeneration.

Steve Maylett, The Finest ABC

The doors to the Ancoats gym have been closed throughout lockdown, with only elite professional boxers allowed to train. Along with serving its immediate area, the gym is a safe hub for young people from the surrounding districts of Miles Platting, Collyhurst, Newton Heath and beyond.

Head coach Steve Maylett outlined plans for the new alliance: "I used to work with young people who'd been excluded from schools. That was my background, working with Manchester College for 12 years. That's always been my passion. Charlotte [Maverick Stars founder] asked if I'd like to set up some sessions. We're going to start running one project a week."

One initiative will be the hugely successful 'Sting Like a Bee' which has been rolled out in gyms throughout Greater Manchester, Merseyside, the north east and the south coast.

In the meantime, The Finest Gym in Manchester will continue its outstanding work in the community. Steve and the team are hoping to stay in their home for as long as possible, although they know the small industrial unit where they're based has been sold to property developers.


Unsung Hero – Mark Davidson

Unsung Hero – Mark Davidson

Each Friday we pay homage to a boxing ‘unsung hero’. The lifeblood of the sport - the men and women who have contributed so much and asked for so little, who have saved lives and transformed futures.

This week, we turn our attention to Mark Davidson, Head Coach at Timperley ABC in Greater Manchester. Like most boxing gyms in the UK, Mark’s gym on the Broomwood estate offers a haven for young people to socialise, train and compete. The gym is also a community hub and at the centre of many Maverick Stars initiatives including ‘Sting Like a Bee’ and ‘Fit and Fed’.

Mark is also, indirectly, responsible for the Maverick Stars Trust coming to fruition, as founder Charlotte Gilley explained.

“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be sat here now knee-deep in boxing! I set up this charity specifically for the boxing community and it’s all because he saw something in me. I needed a self-esteem boost and I got it from that [boxing].

“He does amazing things. He’s the textbook amateur coach who puts in hours and hours in of his own time. It’s not about champions in that gym, it’s about young kids from the estate coming in – if they box, they box.”

The next mission for Charlotte is to oversee a vital extension to Timperley ABC’s gym. The club has a long waiting list and Mark has been in the unenviable position of having to turn young people away from training as he cannot accommodate them.

Click here to hear the full interview with Maverick Stars Trust founder, Charlotte Gilley….


Nominate your boxing unsung hero via the contact page at:

Or message us via:

 @maverickstars1                     maverickstarstrust

Good News Travels….

Good News Travels....

It's been a good week in the press for Maverick Stars Trust with publications nationwide giving column inches to our initiatives.

The Star in Sheffield reports....

Owls captain, Barry Bannan, has helped a local charity drive blitz passed their target of £500 as they seek to provide meals for young kids across the city, becoming the latest footballer to play his part following the incredible work being done by Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford.

Daniel Barton, of Mentalmate said, “We originally had planned to feed 50 children per day in partnership with Maverick Stars Trust… I shared this plan across social media and had a few queries about how people could also get involved in terms of both food and money donations. So I set up a fundraiser for anyone who wanted to help us reach more children.

In the Bolton News....

A community hub has surpassed its expectations of delivering 150 meals a week to the vulnerable- giving out more than SIX times that amount in just a week. Elite Community Food Hub in Halliwell is now seeking to raise £14,000 to keep going until the end of April, as demand for their service soars.

The hub has been working in partnership with Maverick Stars Trust to deliver food to young people and families around Bolton who would normally rely on school for a nutritious meal per day.

Meanwhile, in Bognor Regis, the Observer has this to say....

Southern Counties club, Bognor Regis ABC, was unable to return to its premises of eight years last July because its landlord needed to rent out the space at full cost, 'to recoup losses due to Covid-19 closures'.

Despite 'standing temporarily homeless', the 98-year-old club can now 'look forward to marking its centenary' thanks to support from the local community.


Next Generation at Walkden ABC

Next Generation at Walkden ABC

Maverick Stars' coaches Aqib Fiaz and Danny Wright have been working with Salford Youth Service to deliver free boxing classes at the new Walkden ABC.

Professional fighter Fiaz and former pro Wright coached eight kids per session, introducing them to the sport in the run up to Christmas.

"For most parts of the year they've all been sat at home doing nothing," Aqib said. "It's just getting the kids active and doing something they enjoy."

Click the link below to hear more from Aqib...

Derry’s Fit and Fed

Derry's Fit and Fed

A Maverick Stars Fit and Fed programme has been an overwhelming success in Liverpool. Based at Derry Mathew's gym, the initiative proved so popular that extra sessions had to be scheduled.

The scheme was launched to ensure young people received a nourishing meal each day combined with social-distanced training throughout the summer. Many who initially turned up at the gym just to get fed, have since been bitten by the boxing bug and are now attending regular sessions.

It's a busy time for Derry who's combining his duties as an amateur coach, with helping Jazza Dickens prepare for the biggest fight of his life against Ryan Walsh.

To watch the full interview, click below.

Crolla’s Latest Gym Blow

Crolla's Latest Gym Blow

Anthony Crolla's hopes of rebuilding his old amateur boxing club have been dealt a huge blow. The Manchester boxing legend's gym - Fox ABC in Failsworth - was destroyed in a fire in March.

Working in partnership with Maverick Stars, Crolla had earmarked a property to rehouse the the club, but his plans have now been scuppered. It's back to square one as the former world lightweight champion and his Fox colleagues search for new premises close to the old site.

(pic: Fox ABC founder Jimmy Lewis with Anthony Crolla)

Click below for the full story.....


Million Dollar Crolla Is a Maverick Star

Million Dollar Crolla Is A Maverick Star

Manchester boxing legend Anthony Crolla has joined forces with Maverick Stars as he looks for a new home for his amateur gym.

Fox ABC in Failsworth was destroyed in March when a suspicious fire raged through the mill it was housed in. Now the former WBA world lightweight champion is determined to rebuild the gym in partnership with Maverick Stars Trust.

"It's [the gym] saved so many young lads and girls from getting into trouble," Anthony said. "It gives them a bit of discipline. When the gym was burnt down, the kids were as gutted as I was, if not more. I promised them we'll make sure that we come back better than ever so I'll have to make sure I stick to that word."

Anthony's task of finding new premises has been hampered by the COVID-19 lockdown, but with some restrictions now eased, he's determined to get the club back on track - with support from Maverick Stars Trust.

The charity has worked with amateur clubs throughout the country - helping with funding bids, facilitating partnerships and delivering community enhancement projects such as 'Sting Like a Bee', 'Fight Like a Girl' and the Food Community Hub.

(picture: Jimmy Lewis (FOX ABC founder), Anthony Crolla)

Million Dollar Crolla is a Maverick Star