Jordan Gill: Boxer who tried to take his own life opens new Wisbech gym to help others

  • ITV News Anglia's Andy Ward chats to Jordan Gill about his new business venture

  • This article contains reference to suicide

A professional boxer who tried to take his own life has opened a new gym to help others with their own mental health battles.

Jordan Gill, from Chatteris in Cambridgeshire, recently opened up about his struggles which were sparked by the break-up of his marriage and the loss of his European featherweight belt to Spaniard Kiko Martínez.

"I wasn't contemplating [suicide] - I was doing it," Gill told DAZN after his recent comeback victory over Michael Conlan in Belfast.

"On 30 June I was in a field... and I was going to kill myself," he said. "Somebody came and saved me that day."

Having successfully overcome his own demons, Gill is now determined to help others fight theirs - as he told ITV News Anglia on a recent visit to his new venture.

Gill recently made a successful return to the ring by beating Michael Conlan (right) in Belfast. Credit: PA

With the support of business partners Damien Pearl and Gareth Watts, the 29-year-old has just opened a new 24-hour gym in Wisbech - a market town nestled on the Cambridgeshire-Norfolk border which faces high levels of deprivation.

The trio inherited an empty shell of a building, but have now transformed the disused former suitcase and luggage factory into a fighting factory offering boxing and fitness classes to local people of all ages and abilities.

"So many athletes, boxers especially, [when they] finish their boxing careers, they might not have made enough money to survive the rest of their lives because it's a long time after boxing," Gill said.

"They have to go to work, or they don't go to work and they start drinking or taking drugs or gambling, and you can run into a lot of problems if your career doesn't live up to the expectations that you want it to do.

"So, I'm glad that we've got things in place, I'm glad that we've got a focus and something that I enjoy, and something that helps other people as well."

"I didn't feel like I had anyone to turn to at all," said gym member Steve Clarke. Credit: ITV News Anglia

In its first six weeks, the membership has been growing by the day following a successful launch event in early December.

Plans are already in place to open a second venue in Peterborough, as well as other locations across East Anglia and even Dubai.

The aim is to give people the opportunity to improve both their physical and mental health - something member Steve Clarke is already benefiting from having struggled with alcohol addiction in the past.

"I didn't feel like I had anyone to turn to at all. It's quite a lonely place when you're a landlord, when you're a business owner, when you're a dad, when you're a husband, when you've got all that going on," he told ITV News Anglia.

"Channelling it into the training and having other men there, other women there with you to help you and to talk to, I think is brilliant. Be around good people, around positive people. There's no need to go down that route - there's a way out."

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