A ROYTON man is hoping to pack a punch for a worthy cause in memory of his beloved uncle.

Andrew Bishop will be pulling on the boxing gloves and coming face to face with his opponent in front of hundreds of spectators having never boxed before in his life until a few weeks ago.

Andrew, aged 43, wanted to do something a little bit different to honour his uncle - well known Shaw funeral director Robert Nuttall, who lost his three-month battle with liver cancer in 2016 - and help repay those whose cared for him in his final days.

So he chose to take on the White Collar Fighter boxing experience which pairs fellow amateur participants against someone of similar weight, age and “attitude” to battle it out in the ring at Bowlers Exhibition Centre, in Trafford.

Andrew - who is being helped in his fundraising quest by his sister, Alison Bishop - has dedicated his challenge to raising funds for Springhill Hospice, in Rochdale, where Robert, from Milnrow, died aged 68.

“My uncle was such a nice man and would do anything for anyone,” said Andrew, a tool maker for BAE Systems in Samlesbury.

“We just wanted to do something to mark his life to make sure he wasn’t forgotten. Springhill Hospice was very good with him so we decided to make it our chosen charity.” Having been in training since the being of January, including sparring at a Salford gym, Andrew, is almost ready to step into the ring on Saturday when he will meet his White Collar opponent Tommy McGuigan for three two minute rounds.

“It doesn’t sound like a long time but having sparred in preparation for this I know how tiring it is,” he said.

“I just want to see the rounds out but keeping your arms up while dodging, punching and being punched is tough.

“I’ve met my opponent and he’s a nice guy but once we’ve touched gloves and the fight begins, of course I want to win. I think the adrenaline will just kick in once I’m in the ring and family and friends are cheering on. I’ve lost just shy of a stone during training and put on quite a bit of muscle. I’m the fittest I’ve been for 20 years!

“I’ll definitely keep up the fitness but I’m not sure about the boxing.

“I’m 43 and too old to be punching people and getting punched!”

Robert ran his funeral business in Milnrow Road - which was originally his parents Nellie and Harry Nuttall’s fruit and veg shop - for 38 years.

He sold the firm shortly before he died. Area manager of Robert Nuttall Funeral Services, Angela Worrall, said: “We are delighted to support Andrew. We know Robert was very well-thought of in the local community and the funds being raised for Springhill Hospice are a fitting tribute to what a caring and kind man he was.”

If you’d like to sponsor Andrew, who hopes to raise over £1,000, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-bishop17.