Author: andypilley

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Cod Army chairman helps youngsters get on the ball with their very own pitch

Football-mad youngsters living at a Salvation Army Lifehouse have now got their very own pitch to play on thanks to Fleetwood Town Football Club chairman Andy Pilley.

The Cod Army was approached by the charity with a view to donating footballs to assist young residents living in temporary supported accommodation, George Williams House. 

However, Andy was so moved by the fantastic work done by The Salvation Army he arranged for the club’s grounds staff to visit George Williams House in Fleetwood which offers support and services to young people and families facing homelessness.

The Highbury team cleared an overgrown garden area and created a football pitch for residents to use. Fleetwood Town’s Community Trust also donated goals, nets and footballs. 

James Scott, Salvation Army Support Worker, said: “We can’t thank Andy and the team at Fleetwood Town enough for their hard work and generosity in getting our garden back into use.

“Since the work they’ve carried out our younger residents have been playing football every evening after school and all day at the weekend.

“It’s a much-needed resource and this was a very generous gesture from Fleetwood Town FC. This offers the children a valuable chance to meet other young residents in a safe environment allowing them to have fun in a healthy way.”

Andy Pilley said: “Fleetwood Town is a real community club and when I heard about the great work The Salvation Army does in Fleetwood I was only too happy to help.

“Our grounds staff not only do brilliant work at Highbury, and our Poolfoot Farm training base, but in the community through our Community Trust.

“It is wonderful to see the transformation of the garden area at George Williams House and we hope the young people living there have many happy hours playing football with their friends and family.”

As well receiving temporary accommodation, residents at George Williams House are helped with gaining access to GPs, mental health support services and assistance with any health issues they may face.

This can include accessing help from agencies who work with people struggling with addiction issues.

Staff also offer support with money management when residents move on to their new home as well as tenancy training to ensure they sustain their new accommodation.

For more details about Fleetwood Town Community Trust’s work in the community go to www.fleetwoodtownfcct.com and for information about The Salvation Army go to www.salvationarmy.org.uk

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Onward Card prices launched for 2019/20 season

Adult card prices FROZEN as younger fans reap rewards of great deal

Fleetwood Town are delighted to announce a PRICE FREEZE for all adult Onward Cards for the 2019/20 season.

And, in a massive boost for young fans and families, the price of an Onward Card for all Under-16s has been slashed to just £23 a season for standing and £50 for seating.  

That is asaving of up to £40 and means young fans can watch the Cod Army next season for from as little as JUST £1 A MATCH!

Onward Cards for the 2019/20 season go on sale at 9am Tuesday May 7th.

The cards, which replaced traditional season tickets at Highbury last summer, not only give supporters entry to all 23 Sky Bet League One home matches but an exclusive range of offers and discounts across the club and its partners.

Onward Card packages are available to buy in full or with 10 monthly instalments using the club’s partnership with Card Saver and their Fan Pay service.

Adult prices start from just £17 per month, with Seniors and Under-25 Onward Cards £12 per month and Under 16s from £2.30 per month. Supporters under the age of five are free with a paying adult.

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley said“We are delighted to be able to not only freeze the price of the Onward Card for all adult supporters but massively reduce the price for Under-16s.

“We pride ourselves on being a true family club and providing real value for money for our loyal and brilliant fans. With packages starting at £2.30 per month for juniors and £17 for adults we feel we are offering fans a real bargain.

“This is a very exciting time for Fleetwood Town and we want as many families and young fans here at Highbury to enjoy this journey as we go ‘Onward Together’.”

Existing Onward Card holders have until 5pm on Tuesday May 28th to secure their seats for the new season. After this date, their seat will be available to purchase on general sale. Card holders should also retain their existing Onward Card as they will be revalidated upon renewing.

The Onward Card will be split into three different pricing structures, available on both monthly and annual plans. The Standing prices are for the Memorial Stand, with the Seating for both the Parkside and Highbury Stand. The Premium pricing is for Block D of the Parkside Stand only. A new improved Family Zone has been created in the Parkside Stand, located in Block A.

Monthly Onward Card Pricing
(10 monthly payments)
 StandingSeatingPremium
Adult£17.00£24.00£30.00
Senior£12.00£18.00£24.00
Under 25£12.00£18.00£24.00
Under 16£2.30£5.00£5.00


A number of existing Onward Card holders signed up for the club’s auto renewal process. Payments for the new season will be taken out of your account on July 1st. The club will be contacting members directly via e-mail and post over the next 48 hours.

If you wish to upgrade, move your ticket to another part of the ground, or switch to monthly payments, please contact the club directly via onward@fleetwoodtownfc.com

For fans who would like to pay up front, Onward Cards are available from £170 for adults, £120 for Seniors and Under 25s and £23 for Under-16s. An administration charge is applicable for cash sales.

Onward Cards are available to buy from Tuesday 7th May at 9am, over the phone by calling (01253) 775080, in person at the Club Shop at Highbury Stadium, or online at www.onwardcard.co.uk

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Fleetwood Town launches International Football Academy in global search for talent

Fleetwood Town is today proud to announce the launch of its very own International Football Academy (FTIFA).

Based at the English Football League (EFL) club’s £10m Poolfoot Farm training base, the academy is open to aspiring players from around the world.

Through a series of structured four, 12 and 24-week residential courses, FTIFA provides players with an unrivalled platform to help realise their dreams of making it as a professional footballer.

Players not only receive expert UEFA-qualified coaching, bespoke training programmes – all tailored to their individual skills and development needs – but the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of scouts representing clubs in the UK and abroad.

The first players enrolled at FTIFA – who hail from as far afield as America, Africa, India and the Middle East – are already experiencing the full range of benefits this unique academy has to offer.

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley said: “Football is a global game and we know there is a huge amount of untapped talent out there.

“Our sensational training facilities here at Poolfoot Farm are among the best in the UK and so we want to open our doors to aspiring players, wherever they live, and give them the opportunity to learn from our top coaches.

“They will not only get the chance to train alongside our pro players and experience Premier League-standard facilities, but they will be able to showcase their talents to not only us but clubs here in the UK and around the world.

“Fleetwood Town is perhaps most famous internationally as the place where Jamie Vardy cut his teeth before becoming the Premier League star he is today. Who knows where FTIFA will lead us, maybe we’ll discover the next Jamie Vardy!

“This is a very exciting development for Fleetwood Town and the Fylde coast – it’s a true global search for football talent and we cannot wait to see what we discover.”

FTIFA is now being marketed around the world and academy managers have just returned from a promotional trip to Europe where they have been in talks with clubs and agents.

Mick Horsfall, FTIFA Head of Operations, said: “What makes this academy unique, compared to others in the UK, is that it is based within a professional football club.

“Every player that comes here will be treated like a pro footballer and get a true pro football experience. They will train alongside our first team, development and academy squads and be coached and mentored by FTFC’s elite academy coaches.

“They all get access to our stunning state-of-the art facilities which include top class FIFA-grade training pitches, gym and physiotherapy suite, classrooms and they eat in the same restaurant as the first team.

“Individual development is key. Players will be constantly assessed and evaluated, and their progress will be discussed with them throughout. Through bespoke training programmes and in-depth analysis we can clearly track their development and improvement.

“The aim is to make them better players, and be better equipped to make it. Their time at the academy really could be the start of these players’ pro careers.”

Among the first to join FTIFA is 24-year-old Godswill Erbahor from Nigeria, he added: “It’s extraordinary here. The facilities are amazing, the pitches, the physios, the gym it has all been amazing.

“The coaches work with us individually to look at our specific traits, our weaknesses and strengths. They really care about us footballers. The football is high quality. To see the elite players train here every day inspires you to be like them. I can learn so much from them.”

Jaylan White, 22, from New York followed up by saying: “Every day is a new experience and you are always learning. The coaches are always trying to better you as a player and that is what you need. This is one of the best facilities I’ve ever seen and I’m living my football dream here!”

To find out more information about the training packages available at Fleetwood Town International Football Academy (FTIFA) visit www.ftifa.co.uk or call 01253 208440.

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Card Saver Teams Up With Blackpool FC To Give Fans Hassle-Free Payment Options

Card Saver is today delighted to announce it is Blackpool Football Club’s new payment technology provider – a partnership which will allow fans to buy tickets and merchandise via a range of hassle-free methods.

The Blackpool-based payment solutions company – set up and led by Lancashire entrepreneur Andy Pilley – will now provide all cashless payment services at the League One club.

This will enable fans who want to buy tickets, merchandise or food and drink at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road stadium the opportunity to do so through quick, easy and secure payments via either debit and credit cards, or Apple and Google Pay.

Thousands of Seasiders’ fans are expected to return to Bloomfield Road for this Saturday’s home League game with Southend. This has already led to large queues outside the club’s ticket office.

Andy Pilley, who is chairman of the Seasiders’ League One rivals Fleetwood Town, said: “Myself and Card Saver are delighted to be the new payment technology providers for Blackpool Football Club.

“Blackpool FC and Fleetwood Town are rivals on the pitch for 180 minutes every season, but we are also Fylde coast neighbours and so I’m delighted my company is partnering with the Seasiders in this way.

“You can clearly see from the crowds that have already been queuing up to get tickets there is huge excitement building ahead of Saturday’s game.

“The new board at Blackpool contacted me to say they needed a new card services and contactless payments provider and asked whether we could help.

“We have now installed 25 payment terminals covering all areas of the club, from the ticket office, club shop and in the hospitality and food and beverage areas.

“I am delighted Card Saver is able to provide payment solutions for this proud and historic football club as they and their fans enter a new era.”

Card Saver was set up in 2015 and has thousands of business customers across the UK. Together with many high street stores, SME businesses and charities it works with several football clubs, including Fleetwood Town and Premier League Burnley FC.

Ben Hatton, Blackpool FC’s Executive and Managing Director, said: “We are extremely grateful to Andy Pilley, and to everyone at Card Saver for coming in at short notice and pulling out all the stops in order to get us up and running for the game this Saturday.

“These new payment terminals will make a huge difference, particularly at the kiosks in the stadium. With contactless payments available to all supporters it should significantly speed up the time taken to serve people.

“It has been heart-warming to experience the swell of support for the club in the last week or so, and the fact Andy, the chairman of a neighbouring rival League One club, has been so helpful is a fantastic example of the football family pulling together.”

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Inspirational Young Players Help Cod Army Launch Level Playing Field’s ‘Weeks Of Action’

A talented group of young amputee footballers were guests of honour as Fleetwood Town celebrated the start of Level Playing Field’s Weeks of Action.

The annual campaign – now in its 15th year – shines a spotlight on those who make a difference to the enjoyment and experience of disabled sports fans. 

And to mark the start of 2019 #WeeksofAction, Town chairman Andy Pilley invited a group of Lancashire-based amputee footballers to enjoy a special day at Highbury.

Liam Brittles, 16, Jamie Oakey, 15, Thomas Atkinson, 15, Ben Tierney, 14, and CJ Donaghey, four, are hoping to attend a European training camp in Germany this summer, supported by funding from Fleetwood Town and other sponsors.

The young players took to the Highbury pitch ahead of Saturday’s League One game with Gillingham to show off their skills and meet Cod Army head coach Joey Barton.

Jamie, who was born without a right foot, plays for Everton and is a member of England Amputee FA’s Under-23 squad. He said: “It was amazing to be invited to the game and we had a brilliant day.

“It was great to meet Joey Barton and the team and be on the pitch before kick-off. The club has been brilliant sponsoring our trip to Germany which is really going to help all the lads.”

The #WeeksofAction initiative – held this year between March 2-17 – is organised by Level Playing Field, the representative body of disabled football supporters. 

It is an annual celebration of disabled football supporters and the work being done by clubs, disabled supporters’ associations, fans and other organisations towards delivering access and inclusion. 

Andy Pilley said: “It was an honour to invite an inspirational group of young players to be our special guests on Saturday.

“I was delighted we were able to donate towards helping these lads get to their training camp in Germany and we have offered the England amputee squad free use of our training facilities any time they need them.

 “As a club we are very proud of the work to ensure that our matchday experience is inclusive for all.

“Both the club and our Community Trust work with many groups, both at Highbury and our Poolfoot Farm training ground, to make sure disabled fans and players get to enjoy this wonderful sport, whether they are spectators or players.

 “It was great to see the young amputee players on the pitch before the game and we wish them the very best out in Germany. We’re sure the Cod Army got to see some real stars of the future.”

The junior amputee players are closing in on their target of raising £5,000 to attend the European training camp. If you can help contact Elaine Oakey on 07759 959445. They are also holding a fund-raising night at the Guards Club, Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, on Saturday March 23 from 6pm. Auction and raffle prizes welcomed.

To find out more about the work of Level Playing Field and its #WeeksofAction go to www.levelplayingfield.org.uk

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Jamie’s Story Inspires Cod Army To Back England’s Young Amputee Footballers

The inspirational story of a young footballer born with only one foot has led to Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley backing England’s next generation of amputee players.

Jamie Oakey was born prematurely and weighing only 2lb 4oz after his mum Elaine was involved in a serious accident.

Fast forward 15 years and the Blackpool teenager has been named in the England Amputee FA’s Under-23 squad.

Jamie – who was born without a right foot and a short right leg – is also part of a group of junior players hoping to take part in an international training camp in Hoffenheim, Germany, in July.

To get there the young amputees and their families need raise £5,000 and so Jamie’s mum approached Fleetwood Town.

Chairman Andy Pilley was so moved by Jamie’s story he has not only offered financial support for the Germany training camp but is giving the England squad free use of the Cod Army’s state-of-the-art £9m Poolfoot Farm training base whenever they need it.

Andy said: “Jamie’s story is truly inspirational. When I heard about him and his team-mates, and then meeting his mum Elaine, I knew I just had to help.

“He is a local lad who has already achieved so much and so anything we can do to help him and his team-mates we’ll do it.

“I’m delighted to offer financial support for the Germany trip in July, but more importantly for me is to offer the England squad free use of our wonderful facilities here at Poolfoot anytime they need them.

“It was a privilege for me to meet Jamie and his mum and I wish the lads every success out in Germany. We cannot wait to welcome them here to Poolfoot in the future.”

As well as being part of the national squad Jamie is the youngest player ever selected to represent Everton FC in a Champions League match.

Proud mum Elaine said: “All these boys are totally amazing, inspirational superhumans who have overcome so much to be able to play the sport they love.

“The lads are amputees for various reasons, whether it be a birth defect, cancer or serious accident. They are truly remarkable, and nothing holds these kids back. However, due to funding limitations, players’ families need to raise money to meet travel and kit costs.

“I can’t thank Andy Pilley enough for his support. The donation for the Germany trip, which is a great opportunity for these young lads, together with the offer of the use of Fleetwood’s training ground, really means a lot – thank you Fleetwood Town!”

All national squads are supported by the England Amputee Football Association (EAFA), a registered charity, and the annual European training camp is co-ordinated by the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF).

EAFA Chairman Steve Johnson said: “This is a fantastic social interaction opportunity for young amputees involved in our organisation to travel to Germany and meet other young amputees from various countries around Europe.

“I would like to thank Andy Pilley for his really generous donation towards this training camp to enable the young amputees to attend.”

The young amputee squad will also get to see Fleetwood Town in action as they have been invited to the Cod Army’s home game against Gillingham on March 2 – the club’s Junior Football Day which celebrates young grassroots players.

If you would like more information or to support the England Amputee Football Association visit www.theeafa.co.uk

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‘Dream Team’ Rose and Rimmer reunite in bid for titles

Champion boxer Brian Rose has teamed up with long-time coach and mentor Bobby Rimmer in his bid for titles.

The Blackpool middleweight is midway through a “punishing” training camp in California ahead of his eagerly-awaited return to the ring in April.

And Brian – who is sponsored by Fleetwood Town FC and club chairman Andy Pilley’s Lancashire-based businesses BES Utilities and Card Saver – is delighted to have Bobby back in his corner after a break of 18 months.

Brian said: “All my best moments in my career have come with Bobby by my side. He not only helps get me physically right, but mentally right and I’m delighted we are back together. I need him in my life, it’s the dream team!”

Brian and Bobby flew out to the States in January for an intensive eight-week training camp. They are based at Tiki Ghosn’s Huntington Beach Ultimate Training Centre where Brian is training alongside former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and Mixed Martial Arts Hall of Famer Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.

Working with renowned strength coach Paul Herrera and nutritionist Eric Huerta, the hard work is already paying off.

Brian says he is now focused on returning to light middleweight, the division where he enjoyed most success in his illustrious career, which included a British championship and a fight for the WBO World Super Welterweight Title in 2014,

The boxer, who celebrates his 34th birthday today with another tough training session in the States, added: “It’s full on here, it’s punishing stuff. There is no time to celebrate my birthday.

“The reason I came here was to be taken out of my comfort zone. Being away from home and my family means I am totally focused. These last few weeks have shown me what I need to do and what levels I need to reach to be challenging for titles again.

“The facilities here are out of this world, there is everything I need. The training is very hard, but the focus and intensity are exactly what I need.

“I feel brilliant, the best I have in years, and I will be a force to be reckoned with when I get back in the ring.”

Bobby said he was delighted to again be coaching Brian full-time and believes the popular Lancashire fighter has a real shot at winning titles again.

He said: “I would not be here with Brian if I did not believe he had the hunger and desire to get back to the top. To make it as a top boxer you have to make so many sacrifices, especially at home, with your family and how you live your life.

“Brian is making these sacrifices because he wants to get back to be fighting at the very top. Since we’ve been here in California, we are starting to see the old, hungry Brian Rose again and it’s a joy to see.”

Brian returned to the ring last November with a points win over Alistair Warren. He is set to fight an, as yet, unnamed opponent in April.

Both Bobby and Brian praised the support from Fleetwood Town and Andy Pilley.

Brian said: “Without Andy and Fleetwood Town’s help none of this would be possible.

“He’s given me the opportunity to come here, safe in the knowledge everything is covered back home so I can concentrate on getting back to the level I know I am capable of reaching. The world’s my oyster with the backing and support of Andy and the Cod Army.”

Bobby added: “Brian’s sponsorship is brilliant and it means he gets access to amazing facilities, both at Fleetwood’s Poolfoot Farm training base and here in the States. Coming on training camps like this is going to make all the difference.”

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Fleetwood Town Chairman Pledges £10,000 To Help Tackle Bullying In Schools

Fleetwood Town FC have become the first national sponsor of a ground-breaking training programme aimed at tackling bullying in schools.

The League One club have joined forces with Human Behaviour Trainer and Success Coach, Norry Ascroft, by pledging £10,000 to enable the roll-out of an online teacher training program to 100 schools.

Norry started helping teachers, parents and children a decade ago after reading about a teenage girl who had committed suicide due to cyber bullying. This led him to start a campaign – MADD About Bullying, MADD standing for ‘Making A Direct Difference’.

He has now created an online teacher training programme which looks at the foundation of human behaviour together with strategies to tackle negative actions which can lead to bullying.

The MADD About Bullying programme has already been shared with 100 schools across Lancashire. Now, thanks to the £10,000 sponsorship from Fleetwood Town, another 100 schools in the North West will get access to the programme.

Norry said: “I can’t thank Fleetwood Town and their chairman Andy Pilley enough for their generosity which will make a direct difference in so many schools.

“We have had individuals sponsor up to 10 schools, but for Fleetwood Town to directly sponsor 100 is absolutely amazing. It’s even more special because Andy genuinely wants to help children reach their true potential.”

Andy, who together with his role at Fleetwood Town is managing director of Lancashire-based energy supplier BES Utilities and merchant service company Card Saver, said he was so moved by Norry’s passion for young people he had to get involved.

Andy said: “When you meet Norry you cannot help but be inspired by him and what he says. He is so passionate about wanting to help tackle bullying, which is not only an issue in schools but in many walks of life.

“Therefore, I’m delighted Fleetwood Town is able to team up with Norry and help roll out his excellent training programme to more schools across the North West. I believe Norry can make a real difference and so we are delighted to be his first national sponsor.” 

The MADD About Bullying training programme, which is presented through a series of engaging video modules, is funded entirely through sponsors and is delivered to schools free of charge.

Blackpool-based Norry, who says the course ‘psychologically gets to the root problem’, added: “Training teachers, parents and children, about the behaviour weaknesses that drive bullying is the only way we are going to make a real difference.

“Bullying is still the main reason behind our children’s low self-esteem, low confidence, and poor mental health. When a problem keeps getting worse you have to change your response to what is already being used. This course is different to what has already been used, and it has to be.“At the lowest level of bullying our children are being held back from reaching their true potential and, at worst, bullying is causing more mental health problems and an increase in teenage suicides. This is why I’m so passionate about the bullying problem.”

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Fleetwood Town Chairman Returns To His Roots To Help Youngsters Chase Their Football Dreams

Andy Pilley has returned to the park he played at as a boy to help local youngsters chase their own football dreams.

In a new partnership, Fleetwood Town will now help maintain the football pitches at East Pines Park, Anchorsholme.

Although the park is lovingly looked after by a dedicated ‘Friends’ group it has suffered in recent months through a spate of anti-social behaviour while poor drainage often left the pitches unplayable.

On hearing about the issues, Fleetwood Town chairman Andy decided to get involved.  He said: “I played football at East Pines Park as a young lad and myself and my mates had some great times there.

“However, the pitches have never been the best – in fact, the goalposts don’t even line up!

“So, when I was approached by the Friends group, I knew this is something I would love to get involved with.

“The Friends group does an amazing job and it has won a £10,000 Postcode Lottery grant allowing new drainage to be installed, together with a new playing surface and nets. But to keep the pitches in good condition they need to be maintained properly.

“We are delighted to announce that grounds staff from Fleetwood Town will look after the pitches. I am really pleased to be able to give something back to the community where I grew up.”

The Friends of East Pines Park are made up of local councillors and volunteers who do tireless work in maintaining the park.

Since 2015, the group has secured funding and raised money allowing them to install £45,000 of new play equipment, erect £28,000 of new railings, plant more than 4,000 plants and open a café at Anchorsholme Library.

Earlier this year the park was named ‘Best Park in Blackpool’ in the Blackpool In Bloom awards

Cllr Paul Galley, who is chairman of the Friends group, said he was delighted Andy and Fleetwood Town were getting involved.

Cllr Galley said:  “The park is much-loved and well used. The Friends group has done so much to transform it into a place to be used by the whole community.

“However, this year there has been a number of anti-social behaviour issues and we are determined that this doesn’t happen again.

“Both myself and my fellow Anchorsholme councillor Tony Williams have made it a priority to have a number of options in place for teenagers to be involved within 2019 and onwards. These new pitches, looked after by a Football League club, will be the best around!

“We can’t thank Andy Pilley enough. Both he and Fleetwood Town have been absolutely amazing and this new partnership with the ‘Cod Army’ will have a massive positive impact on the park.”

(4) Fleetwood Town grounds staff at East Pines Park (2) The unaligned goalposts before work began at East Pines Park (3) Poor drainage led to flooding at the park

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The Lion Is Ready To Roar Again With The Support Of The Cod Army

Brian ‘The Lion’ Rose is back – and he has Fleetwood Town in his corner.

Brian ‘The Lion’ Rose is back – and he has Fleetwood Town in his corner.

The former British champion is set to return to the ring next month after 15 months away from boxing.

And the Blackpool middleweight is being supported on his road back to the top by Fleetwood Town FC and their owner Andy Pilley.

The League One Club – together with Andy’s Lancashire-based businesses BES Utilities and Card Saver – are now Brian’s headline sponsors.

They will be roaring ‘The Lion’ on to victory when he makes his return on November 11 at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse.

Brian, who won the coveted Lonsdale belt in 2012 and fought for the WBO World Super Welterweight Title in 2014, says he has never felt better and has his eyes on winning titles again.

He said: “The Lion is back and I’m in the shape of my life.

“I can’t thank Fleetwood Town and Andy Pilley enough for supporting me on this next chapter of my career. It will be the final chapter, but it will be the best chapter.

“Fleetwood’s backing means I can focus 100 per cent on my boxing. On top of the financial support, I can use all of the club’s facilities at their state-of-the-art Poolfoot Farm training base. The facilities and staff are brilliant and the best I’ve ever had access to.

“The club and Andy have been superb, and I want to repay their support by winning titles again.”

Brian, 33, whose professional career has included 29 victories and countless memorable nights in the ring, has not fought since challenging for the World Boxing Association International Middleweight Title in February 2017.

But since returning to training, under the watchful eye of Robert Rimmer – the son of his long-time mentor Bobby Rimmer – Brian’s sharpness and hunger have returned.

Brian added: “I’ve had 15 months away from boxing and in that time I’ve matured as an athlete, both mentally and physically. I’ve never felt better – I’m in the shape of my life.

“I’m not coming back for the money, this is about professional pride and unfinished business. I don’t want to end my career with any regrets and there’s no doubt I believe I can win titles again.

“I know I’ve fought for world titles and won a Lonsdale Belt, but I know that I’m capable of coming back and achieving even more than I already have.

“I truly think I could get another shot at a world title. I’m seeing people now winning world titles that I feel are not as good as me and that’s another thing that drives me on. I’m back and I’m back with a mission!”

Andy Pilley, chairman of Fleetwood Town FC, BES Utilities and Card Saver, said his club and companies are backing Brian to return to the top. He said: “Brian is a fantastic boxer and a wonderful guy.

“He’s a local lad whose desire and drive to get back to the top is infectious. We are delighted to be helping him in this way.

“Poolfoot Farm is a facility we are very proud of. We have given Brian free use of all the facilities, including access to our coaches and physios, which will hopefully help him on his way back to the top.

“Brian will be proudly wearing our club crest on his shorts when he steps back into the ring in November and we’re sure every member of the Cod Army will be roaring him on.”

 

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