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Wrestlers to put on show to help those grappling with hard times through coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 10:22 21 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:44 21 March 2020

The Knight family face the media at the press launch for the Hollywood film about them and wrestling called Fighting with my Family. Ricky Knight, second left, with Julia (Saraya Knight in the ring), and sons Roy, left, and Zak (Hooligans tag team). Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Knight family face the media at the press launch for the Hollywood film about them and wrestling called Fighting with my Family. Ricky Knight, second left, with Julia (Saraya Knight in the ring), and sons Roy, left, and Zak (Hooligans tag team). Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

A family of wrestlers is hosting an innovative fundraising show to help support fellow fighters who will be grappling with hard times in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The World Association of Wrestling, the home of the Knight family, will take to the ring Sunday evening in a fundraising bid to support its many roster members through this hard time.

However, with social distancing measures in place, the show will not be in front of a live audience as the grapplers are used to. Instead it will be broadcast live on the group’s YouTube channel.

Filmed in advanced but never seen before, the show will feature eight matches including title matches, male and female performers and even a blind wrestler showing off his skills.

And the family has set up a Go Fund Me page to gather donations for members of the roster who rely on wrestling as their sole source of income.

Zak Bevis - or Zak Knight as he is known in the ring - said: “Following the government’s advice we have had to close all of our buildings - our shop and our training centres. We’ve also had to cancel 36 shows.

“I have about 100 wrestlers in all and for around half of them this is their only source of income. Some have part time jobs and do it as a hobby but for others it is their livelihoods.”

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As it stands the fundraising page has received £450 in donations and will continue to take offerings after the show.

Mr Bevis added: “The idea behind the show was to try and get a bit of support for our wrestlers, but also to do what we do best and entertain people.

“You can not really prepare for something like this to happen and just a few months ago we would not really have believed something like this would happen. Obviously our main concern is the health and safety of everybody and we want to be able to help our wrestlers through these hard times as much as we can.

“We have put together a really good show including my brother Roy wrestling James Chilvers - the blind wrestler made famous in Fighting With My Family. That one is a great match.”

The show will be broadcast for free on WAW’s YouTube channel from 7pm on Sunday, March 22.

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