FORMER three-time world title challenger Herol Graham and his partner Karen Neville need urgent help.
Graham, 58, has struggled with his health in recent years and is currently in a mental health hospital as a consequence of severe bipolar and depression. His long-term girlfriend Karen has Stage 3 bladder cancer and can no longer walk or earn a wage. Consequently, the couple have no income and are unable to afford the medical treatment Karen requires.
In fact, just making ends meet is proving almost impossible.
Too proud to ask for help themselves, despite the consequences of their plight reaching crisis point, their friend Andy Brace has stepped in.
“They are in dire need of help,” said Brace.
“Despite Herol being recognised as one of the greatest boxers this country ever produced, he never received the financial rewards his talent deserved and they need funding which is not available on the NHS. If Karen doesn’t get this funding, she will die.
“You couldn’t meet two nicer people, they don’t deserve this, and have always been ready to help anyone in need.”
Herol is widely regarded as the finest British fighter to never win a world title, and his bewitching skills engrossed the nation in the 1980s and 90s. Graham, who failed to defeat Mike McCallum and Julian Jackson in a pair of close-but-no-cigar challenges to the middleweight throne, retired from the sport in 1998 when a brave loss to IBF super-middleweight boss Charles Brewer finally convinced the ring wizard his talents would not get what they deserved.
Retirement has not been kind to Graham, either. Despite winning multiple British and European titles while cementing his place among the very best in British boxing history, the switch-hitter – one of the orchestrators of the style and panache that is now synonymous with the Ingle Gym in Sheffield from which he emerged – left the sport with only memories.
In his 2011 autobiography, Bomber – Behind The Laughter, Graham revealed he had attempted suicide as financial stress and leaving the life of a fighter behind became too much to bear. Graham has been an ambassador for mental health since then, but the demons never really went away.
As recently as 2016 he was fighting for his life in a London hospital after a series of complications following a burst appendix.
And today, with Karen gravely ill, and no money coming into their household, the couple are in desperate need of your help.
A Just Giving Page, set up by family friend Rainbow, can be accessed HERE.