Fans of 7000 Traveling Blues endured a disappointing afternoon.
Ten Blackburn Rovers were about to beat Man City 2-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
That was too much for Anthony Fethina.
Suddenly, her roly-poly personality, dressed in weird clothes, went off the pitch.
My picture on the pitch in a white boiler suit is in Ewood Park in 2007, “he recalls now.” We were losing an FA Cup quarter-final and I decided to attack the pitch to protest and here He even gave up the match. My efforts were in vain. “
Anthony was arrested and another restraining order was issued.
That was the bottom line – but it was too much to bear.
His life was already a shallow mix of football thugs, alcohol and drugs.
But the deaths of his mother, Debbie Lucas, in 2008 and then his grandmother in 2018, left him in despair.
The wreckage included a failed marriage, homelessness, and ballooning on 18 dangerously unhealthy rocks while working as bouncers in Manchester pubs and clubs.
But Anthony was saved by growing up on the hard, pre-created streets of Miles Plotting in the 1980s and 90s.
Now, at age 37, he has professionally obtained a boxing license after making a name for himself locally on the circuit without a license.
Anthony knows that before he lands in the ring on August 20, for his first pro bout as a super middleweight, he has already won the battle of his life.
He has been ‘clean’ for three years, digs out alcohol and drugs, and trains daily, but on Sunday at the Manchester 31 boxing gym in Parton.
His path full of desire was not easy.
At the age of two, her mother, an alcoholic, was unable to care for her and was raised by her grandparents, Elizabeth ‘daughter’ Budsworth and Kevin Budsworth.
Says Anthony: “Nana Miles was a maid at the Gray Mir pub in Plotting, and my grandfather was a gentleman – 6 feet 2 inches, 18 stones, and a heavy drinker who worked at the local dyeworks.
“We lived on Farnborough Road, a long street that ran through the estate. At one end was a pub called Apollo.
“Mile-climbing in the 80’s and 90’s was a different place than it is now. It was very rough and tough. Big families, drugs, drinking and a lot of violence.
“The drug trade, and crime was not just a daily occurrence but a way of life for many people. I grew up fighting on the streets, at school, on football, we fought secretly.”
Anthony adds: “As a boy, my aunt started seeing a guy named Kurt. He became a big part of my life and took me to his first game. It was City vs. Spurs in 1990.
“I was seven years old. We were standing on the old Capex stand. The noise was electric, the slogans and solidarity were something I had never experienced. I was bent over.
“As the years went by, I started following the city all over the country, meeting different guys from around Greater Manchester. I saw violence on the football field and in and around it.
“There was something about the noise, the excitement, the fear, the emotion of solidarity. I looked at the boys in amazement.
“I slowly started to get involved in the football scene myself, got very involved and received football ban orders and various punishments but thankfully I escaped from prison.
“There were names around the city scene, Young Gunners, The Blessing Squad, and the original 80’s mainline service crew.
“I have never associated myself with any of these groups.
“The attraction was the so-called buzz, solidarity, attention.”
Anthony added, “I’ve always been a big boy from my teens to my thirties. I ballooned up to eighteen and a half stones and was really out of shape.”
“Alcohol and drugs started after I went out as a teenager. Then again, the football scene, it was everywhere. But it caught me twice in my life. Once in 2008 I lost my mother, which was a real boost to her. Drinking heavy alcohol and taking medication reduces the pain.
“My grandfather was the closest thing I ever did to a mother. When she passed away in February 2018, I felt like a part of me was gone. For the first time in my life, I found myself completely. I felt lonely, and like I had nowhere to go. “
The damage was done. He and his wife, who had a daughter, mutually decided to end their short marriage, shortly after Anthony’s grandmother died.
“I found myself nowhere but my grandfather’s council house, which a relative was illegally occupying. One bed.
After drowning as little as possible, Anthony embarked on an impressive climb.
His story has elements of an epic, rocky style rise. But Anthony emerges with stronger roots than Sylvester Stallone’s role in the film – tragic, lacking in self-esteem and a spiral of cocaine and alcohol.
“It was my grandfather and Benj’s loss in 2018 that started my transformation. I was hopeless and helpless. A mess. I was either going to get out of it or I was going to die.”
“I went to Alcoholics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous and got the help I needed. At that time I worked for a very kind Sikh family who also decided to help me and that gave me hope.”
Getting a stable job with this family transportation company was the key to her recovery and prosperity.
“Gary Singh was a very kind man for whom I worked from 2016-2020. The whole family always came to watch the fight without me, it was amazing.
“All these people in turbans are supporting this bald-headed former bully. It is unrealistic.
“They helped me find a house that I could rent. A place where I could start again, to see my children. I have never felt such help from anyone. I was a stranger to it. The day I went there, I stopped drinking and taking good medicine.
“You could say that Gary and his family saved my life, and I can guarantee that I wouldn’t be boxing if I weren’t a Sangh.”
Anthony boxed for many years without a license, including the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester and the big white collar boxing shows.
“Getting my professional license was not easy at all. My first application to the British Boxing Board of Control was immediately rejected because I had no amateur experience and was only boxed without a license.
“I decided that I would not give up and at the age of 35 I went and competed in a handful of amateur games.
“After thinking that my dream has come true, I went back to the board and they decided to give me an assessment to show my boxing ability.
“It was done by a board member at my gym and then a medical pass and I was finally given a pro license two years later at the age of 37.”
The stability and discipline that boxing has brought to Anthony’s life has also benefited his extended family.
“I have three children and now a stepdaughter. My eldest, my son is now 14 years old, my middle daughter is eight years old, with whom I didn’t have a great start, but now I’m in touch with her. I am and I am making real progress. She also has a five year old daughter.
“I see my eldest and youngest on a weekly basis, sometimes more, and now I’m managing to see my middle-aged girl a lot more. My stepdaughter, who is ten years old, is one of my daughters. Treats very well.
“I have always loved my children and been with them, although I openly admit that my drinking and dark days were not my biggest moments in parenting.
“My eldest, my son, knows a lot about my past and now I try to advise him where I have not made a mistake. The person I am today and the relationship I have with my children. It’s amazing to be able to do that. I thank God every day and I know I’ve had this second chance in my life. “
The rise, fall and resurrection of Tyson Fury have been an inspiration to him.
“He has his own devils and continues to fight them, it shows that no matter how much fame, money and how successful you are, you still bear the pain of mental illness in any way. Can
“The fact that he came back is impressive. I want to think that I can impress people as much as he did with me, never give up hope, live to fight another day. Stay, you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. “
In 2018, Anthony won a minor unlicensed title and then trained with Karen Ferrell, who is also its manager.
“It filled me with confidence and told me I was good enough to be a professional and with that I tried to turn around first. Although I failed, I was very grateful and faith never gave me up. Did not leave. “
“Today I have been clean and quiet for three years. I do not touch drinking or medicine at all. My lifestyle has completely changed. Now I am living a clean and healthy lifestyle and Peter Bell, a nutritious person. I owe a lot of success to the specialist. It has taken me to another level. “
Love also found a way out of despair.
Anthony met his fianc Helen Scott through boxing. “We were already friends and one night she came to wrap my arms around me before the fight. All I can say is that something magical happened that night and we killed her right away.”
As he stands on the brink of a professional career, Anthony still has a day job, as an HGV tipper driver for seals outside of Rxton in Warrington.
“I see my future as a positive one. Everything I want to do always has my 100 percent effort and dedication. I would probably like to join the fire service, a dream that I have had. ۔
“In terms of boxing, although my age will have a huge impact on how far I can go, I’m sure I can challenge if I don’t win the Central Area title.
“To take a shot at the area title, I have to focus on every fight first and hopefully get a good enough record to be challenged. The central areas are Manchester, Lancashire, Morsi Side and Yorkshire.
“My trainers are now Gary Booth and Ian D. Both are locals from the Partington area. Gary is now my manager and also a City fan who helps. He is underground and makes himself a bit of a comedian. The gym is a great place to stay around, always laughing and carrying Mickey.
“I think the lowest points in my life are lost, and I have to resort to drinking and quitting. The feeling of not getting up in the morning and not facing the world are really dark places. Nana’s house taught me a lot, it was a real dark painful time.
“My biggest point in life is being a father, it’s the best feeling in the world. I like spending time with my kids. Obviously it’s okay to be a professional boxer. I just want to make my kids proud. I want and want to make them look right. The way to live, happy and positive and always helping others. “
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