Boxing ref Mickey is a big hit with day out for children in Leeds

Mickey Vann with Leeds Rhinos players Brad Singleton and Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Ronnie the Rhino.
Mickey Vann with Leeds Rhinos players Brad Singleton and Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Ronnie the Rhino.
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Hundreds of deserving youngsters enjoyed a knockout day in Leeds courtesy of legendary boxing referee Mickey Vann.

Mickey and his wife Marie, chair of the Leeds Foster Care Association, host an annual summer fair for looked-after children at their home in the village of Barwick in Elmet.

And this year’s get-together was the biggest yet, with around 270 kids attending.

They were able to enjoy activities such as falconry, archery and art workshops on Mickey and Marie’s two-and-a-half acres of land.

There were also special guests in the shape of Leeds Rhinos players Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Brad Singleton, Wakefield Trinity’s Ben Jones-Bishop and Leeds boxing champion Josh Warrington.

Marie said: “It was a fabulous day – it’s the only time all the children can come together and do the same thing as each other.”

She also thanked Bennetts Quality Butchers of Leeds Kirkgate Market, Coun Helen Hayden, Wetherby Prison, West Yorkshire Police, Trinity Leeds and the White Rose Shopping Centre for their support.

Work is already under way planning next year’s fair and Marie is keen to secure sponsorship for the event.

For more details on how to get involved, e-mail marieproctor@btinternet.com.

Mickey refereed his first boxing bout back in 1976 and went on to take charge of more than 150 world title fights.

His career highlight came in 1993 when he was third man in the ring at the world heavyweight title showdown between Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno.

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