Action Zones 

Evander Holyfield delivers supplies to The Bridge



evander holyfield 2013Former world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield is ‘Real Deal’ for Gorleston charity organisers

Boxing legend Evander Holyfield visited the Kingfisher boxing club in Gorleston on Sunday 22/09/2013.  Photo shows Evander Holyfield with the members of the Bridge Project Liz Townson, Patrick Doran and Louise Bullen


Charity organisers in Gorleston certainly agree that legendary world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield is the “Real Deal”


His nickname may have been earned in the ring successfully fighting the likes of Mike Tyson, but it is his generous spirit that knocked out Louise Bullen, project development manager for The Bridge, a small charity that provides hot meals to the needy in the hall of Gorleston’s St Mary Magdalene Church

For accompanying Holyfield on his visit to the town’s Kingfisher Amateur Boxing Club was a van load of essential food items paid for by his personal charity

As he presented the first cases personally to Mrs Bullen he revealed that he had a passion for helping others driven by the fact that growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, he was “first generation out of the ghetto”

He said: “My focus is on helping disadvantaged kids. I am the youngest of nine children and my family came from a poor neighbourhood.  The local boys’ club taught me to box and play football and without that I would not be the person I am today. It is important to give back”

The presence of Holyfield, now 50 and officially retired since 2012, enthralled young boxers at the club like Dylan Parker, 14, and sister Hermione, 11, who watched him sign a vest that will be framed alongside one signed by Muhammad Ali.  The four-time world heavyweight champion recalled that“someone told me I could be  like Ali when I was eight”

He said he was now proud to take over as torch bearer from Ali who had done so much good work around the world

Holyfield, who is currently on a British tour, had been the star guest at a sporting dinner at Dunston Hall on Saturday and was due to host a similar event at the Cliff Hotel, Gorleston, the evening before.  The Bridge charity had been recommended to him by an official at the Kingfisher club whose wife volunteered there

Mrs Bullen said: “We provide hot meals every Tuesday lunchtime and cater for up to 60 people.  It is aimed at elderly people who really appreciate the company but it is for anyone in the community; we have people come along with mental health issues and drug and alcohol problems”

She said the charity had also become a distribution point for the recently set up Great Yarmouth food bank

Mrs Bullen said the tough economic times had seen demand for their services increase since they started three years ago