Ingle and Hooper lead tributes to trainer Pollard

Steve Pollard, Chris Hooper and Paul Ingle after one of Hoopers fights
Steve Pollard, Chris Hooper and Paul Ingle after one of Hoopers fights

Scarborough’s former IBF featherweight world champion Paul Ingle has led the tributes to his former trainer Steve Pollard, who passed away this week aged 61 after a long battle with illness.

Pollard, who had been battling motor neurone disease, died on Monday morning.

The Hull-based boxing man trained Scarborough boxers Ingle and then later Chris Hooper.

Ingle, who Pollard guided to world honours, including some huge nights against the likes of Prince Haseem Hamed, Manuel Medina and Junior Jones in New York, led the tributes to his former mentor, coach and friend.

“It’s really sad news, I knew Steve a long time from my amateur days right through my career,” Ingle said.

“He was a great motivator and really knew how to get me going and was really on the same wavelength as me in terms of wanting to be in exciting fights.

“Steve was great to work with, we got on really well both inside and outside of boxing, and I’d like to send my best wishes to his family at this difficult time.

“He’s a huge loss to the sport of boxing.”

Pollard also trained another pro boxer from Scarborough when Hooper turned over to the paid ranks in 2001.

Hooper said: “He was an absolute character, there was never a dull moment when you were around him.

“He taught me to sit down on my feet to create more power in my shots.

“I had some great times with him boxing on Sky with him in my corner and the great times at the Tornado Gym with a great set of lads we had with Steve the main man leading us all.”

Pollard’s son, Sonny, posted on his Facebook page saying: “Very sad to say my Dad passed away this morning, he fought till the end.

“Showed massive heart and courage throughout his illness and never complained! He just said “I’ve had a great life, these are just the cards I’ve been dealt.”

In addition to a glittering career coaching and promoting in the sport, Pollard was also a decorated fighter himself.

In a 68-fight career from 1980-1997, Pollard succesfully won the central area featherweight title, picking up 23 wins with six knockouts.