DUP and SDLP heavyweights will slug it out in the ring to raise cash for youth club kids
Published 17/07/2014 | 02:30
Two councillors from opposite sides of Northern Ireland's political divide are set to raise their fists to each other and go toe-to-toe... but, don't worry, they are good friends and it is all for charity.
The 'two tribes' will go to war when the DUP chairman of Down District Council Billy 'Rocky' Walker – boxing out of Killyleagh – and Crossgar's Terry 'Razor' Andrews of the SDLP enter a boxing ring for a fight night, some might say a 'fright night', as it will happen close to Halloween.
In the red (white and blue) corner will be councillor Walker, while in the green corner councillor Andrews will be limbering up for the much-anticipated clash.
The men are out to raise money for the cross-community Killyleagh Youth Drop-In when they aim to put each other on the canvas at the Bridge Community Centre on the shores of Strangford Lough.
It may not be so much a rumble in the jungle, more a "battle of the bellies" for the two middle-aged heavyweights, but to protect their modesty there will be no pre-match weigh-in.
Mr Andrews, fresh from pounding the pavements to get in shape for the autumn showdown, told the Belfast Telegraph yesterday both men had entered into the spirit of the occasion and it was all good fun.
"Before we go into the ring there are sure to be a few moments when, in true boxing style, we will be eyeballing each other across the council chamber in Downpatrick, but it is all good craic," explained Razor.
He added: "We are good friends and have a good relationship so we will not be taking it too seriously. There has been a good response so far.
"You may have heard of politicians taking part in Strictly Come Dancing but the only dancing we will be doing is trying to avoid getting hit by each other in the ring," said Andrews.
Rocky Walker was in the Torquay area of England on holiday yesterday, but when contacted by the Belfast Telegraph he denied he was at a secret training camp putting in the hard hours on sand dunes.
He said: "Councillor Andrews and I have been working to get young people in Killyleagh off the streets and out of trouble and give them something to do in the youth club.
"We have been close friends but you could say we are political enemies as I am in the DUP and he the SDLP, but we work well together on the ground."
Turning to the ring rumble, he added: "I'm quick on my feet for a big man. I know I will be ready when the bell goes."
He added: "As a highly regarded heavyweight I hope fight fans won't be too disappointed if the contest is over pretty quickly."