Josh Warrington and Liam Cooper make Leeds hospice patient's day

Liam Cooper and Josh Warrington visiting Martin Stead (centre)Liam Cooper and Josh Warrington visiting Martin Stead (centre)
Liam Cooper and Josh Warrington visiting Martin Stead (centre) | other
Boxing champion Josh Warrington said it was "an honour" to meet one of his most loyal fans on a visit to a Leeds hospice.

Josh and Leeds United captain Liam Cooper paid a surprise visit to Wheatfields Hospice to see boxing and United fan Martin Stead, who is suffering from cancer.

Martin, of Beeston, who is being cared for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice in Headingley, has watched every one of Josh's fights and had tickets for his 10th fight at the First Direct Leeds Arena on Saturday night.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When it became clear that Martin was too ill to go to the fight, Martin's wife Deborah Stead sent Josh a message on Instagram wishing him luck and explaining about Martin and how he would have to miss it.

Josh messaged Deborah back to say he would visit Martin at the hospice and turned up on Tuesday with Liam Cooper.

Josh, who retained his IBF Featherweight title with a second-round knockout of challenger Sofiane Takoucht, brought his champion's belt and gave Martin a signed boxing glove.

Liam Cooper gave Martin a signed Leeds United shirt.

Josh later tweeted: "An honour to go down to Wheatfields hospice today and see Martin. This legend has supported me for many years. Sorry you couldn’t make the fight Saturday but I hope a visit from our captain@LiamCooper and myself was a pleasant surprise. Keep fighting mate."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Deborah Stead. said: "I kept it all a secret from Martin and the look on his face when they both walked into the room was just priceless.

"They stayed and chatted with us for well over an hour and gave Martin a signed glove and Leeds United shirt.

"We can't believe they both took time out of their busy days to come and spend time with him.

"When he was disappointed about missing the boxing fight on Saturday evening we had no idea that the boxing would end up coming to him instead of the other way round.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I'm so glad he was able to get that visit, it meant so much to us all as a family and to the incredible staff here at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice.

"Martin is really settled here at the hospice and this has just made his time here even better."