Sporting heroes gathered at a Norwich gym yesterday to watch a former Norwich City player take on an ex-professional boxer in a fundraising challenge.

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Former striker Paul McVeigh was in the red corner taking on Norwich-born Jackson Williams, in the blue - with former city winger Darren Huckerby refereeing the match in a traditional white shirt and bow-tie.

With the support of City legend Grant Holt, and Olympic bronze medal boxer Anthony Ogogo, both McVeigh and Williams fought for three minutes, raising over £500 for Children in Need.

McVeigh, who is now a sports presenter on TV and radio, revealed earlier this week that he had done little training for the fight at Tower Fitness, in the Norfolk Tower in Surrey Street in Norwich and said he thought he would get “thrashed and battered”.

After Huckerby declared the trained boxer, Williams, the winner, McVeigh said he felt “awful”.

But he added that he was happy with the faces who came to support the fundraising efforts.

Ogogo, who has known Williams since he was a teenager, said he enjoyed the match and said he felt for McVeigh who has little experience of the ring.

He said he was happy to support the fundraiser, and added: “Boxing is such a great sport, and you get a real buzz from it. But for a seconds in that ring I’m sure the charity was the last thing on McVeigh’s mind.”

The idea for the fight came about after Holt was challenged by Paul McVeigh to reach 22,000 followers on the social networking site Twitter.

The challenge came with the condition that if he succeeded, the club’s former attacker would face retired boxer Jackson Williams in the ring for one round.

The City striker, who closed his Twitter account in the summer but recently reopened it, now has almost 28,000 followers.

Before the match he tweeted “just off to the big boxing match” and was in Williams’ corner for support of both the fighters.

And Rob Butler, also a radio presenter, was in McVeigh’s corner and even faced some of Williams’ strength when they had a small fight in the ring after the big match.

Referee Huckerby said he thought the match went well, and was “a bit of fun for a good cause”.

And added: “But really one was a professional boxer, and one a former footballer.”

You can still donate to the Children in Need, the charity who support children and young people, by visiting www.justgiving.com/Maccafightingjacko

Have you got a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Rosa McMahon 01603 772495 or rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk

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