Alex Arthur MBE is hoping his raw football talent as a youngster will stand him in good stead when he takes to the field in the Sean Collins Memorial Cup tomorrow.
The 34-year-old light welterweight boxing star will line up with fellow professionals, Craig McEwan, Jason Hastie and Stephen Simmons in a match devoted to Sean Collins, who unexpectedly lost his life in October 2009, aged just 21.
Amateur clubs AC Midlothian and Bonnyrigg Rose will both possess two new recruits with the four boxers having been allocated a position in each of the competing sides. Arthur will have Hastie to play alongside and is relishing the chance to replicate the prowess he displayed as a young boy.
He said: “Jason Hastie is a good footballer so I am glad about that. I don’t think Craig McEwan and Stephen Simmons can pass a ball between them! I was top goal scorer for Royal Mile when I was a kid and scored 26 goals in one season which was a record so I don’t know if that’s been beaten yet. One thing I was quite good at was getting up the wing and slotting a few goals in so hopefully I can do that in the game.”
Arthur reveals his admiration for the game has not dwindled since his childhood and will, at every opportunity, accept invitations to play in as many matches as his schedule permits. He admits his competitive streak does not lie solely within the ring and will be giving everything in his power to ensure his side comes out on top.
“I love playing football and like it more than being punched,” Arthur joked. “I’ve got a big football background, my friends play and I’ll still have a kick about now and then. If I get the chance then I’ll play in charity matches so I play as often as I can. Obviously I won’t play too close to fights in case of injury.”
He added: “I think it’s for a great cause and will be good to raise money and if anything can be prevented in the future, it will be a lot better.
“I think the supporters coming along can expect a lot of fun. I am naturally competitive – I don’t like to lose anything so I will be giving it all for my team to win.”
Kick-off is 2pm tomorrow and admission to New Dundas Park, Bonnyrigg, is priced at £2 for adults and £1 for concessions with all proceeds going to the Edinburgh Diabetes Clinic.