Fitzy all set to fulfil childhood ambition

Scott Fitzgerald will realise a childhood dream when he boxes at the iconic Guild Hall in his home city of Preston later this month.

The 25-year-old star will be the headline act on the show which takes place on Saturday, March 11.

Billed as ‘The Homecoming’ – it will be the first time Fitzgerald has fought on home soil since gloriously winning gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

And boasting a formidable and growing fan-base, the Jennings Gym-trained star can look forward to a packed-out Guild Hall for his sixth professional fight.

“When I was 13 or 14-years old before I started boxing myself, I remember going to watch some of the shows that they used to hold at the Guild Hall,” said Fitzgerald, who has yet to discover the identity of his opponent.

“Even if they were just amateur events, I always remember them being really good shows with great atmospheres.

“They then stopped holding boxing shows at the Guild Hall for a while, so it’s special for me to be given the chance to top the bill there as a professional.

“We’ve sold quite a lot of tickets – it’s going to be packed out.

“It’s going to be great to box in front of a home crowd and so many friends and family.”

Fitzgerald was ringside at the Guild Hall in January for the middleweight showdown between Preston’s Mick Hall and Blackpool’s Jack Arnfield and he was impressed with the set-up.

“I was at the Arnfield-versus-Hall fight the other week and I thought it was a great atmosphere,” he said.

“I really enjoyed it and hopefully it will be like that when I fight there.

“It’a a great venue for boxing – nice and intimate – so I am really buzzing about it, I can’t wait to get going now.”

Since turning pro at the back end of 2015, Fitzgerald has won all five of his fights in the paid ranks.

However, his lasting outing against Adam Jones at the Liverpool Arena was far from straightforward after he was sent to the canvas in the third round before eventually securing victory.

“I wouldn’t say I was pleased with my performance, but I was happy to get through the fight,” said Fitzgerald. “It was the kick up the backside that I needed.

“It made me realise that everybody has got two arms and two legs and can have a go.

“Looking back at the fight, I still won every round apart from the one that I got put down in.”

Also appearing on the bill at the Guild Hall is a host of local talent, including Ben Swarbrick, Shakeeb Ali, Adam Simpson, Jack Cullen and Ryan Davies.

For tickets – which are priced between £40 and £100 – please contact 07708372832.

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City centre takeaway destroyed by fire to reopen

A takeaway destroyed by a fire in Preston city centre is reopening yards from where the incident happened.

Sandos on the corner of Manchester Road and Church Street has new premises – just further up Church Street towards Church Row.

In May last year flames billowed from the building and part of the roof collapsed.

Fire at Sandos takeaway Preston

The old building remains fenced off with no sign of demolition or renovation.

Serving Portuguese chicken and kebabs the takeaway was popular with those on the way home from a night out.

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Woman cut free from car

A woman had to be cut free from a vehicle following a collision between two cars in Salmesbury this afternoon (March 1).

Two appliances and crews from Preston attended the scene at around 12.38pm where hydraulic equipment was used to remove the roof of the car.

The woman was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

The incident occurred on Preston New Road in the vicinity of the Salmesbury Hotel.

Lancashire Road Police is reporting no serious injuries as a result of the incident.

There are no traffic delays as a result of the collision.

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Six months until Preston tram rolls on the tracks

Trams are due to be rolling on a disused section of Preston railway line ‘in the next six months’.

Preston Trampower are continuing to clear the former Longridge-Preston railway line in the Deepdale area.

The firm won planning permission in November last year for the ‘pilot line’ at Deepdale Mill Street.

A depot is to be built with tram station and platform on a small section of the old train line between Skeffington Road and Deepdale Street.

Professor Lewis Lesley, who has spent years battling to bring trams back to Preston, said they were making good progress.

He said: “I’m hopeful with the work all being well then we’ll have the first passengers on in six months time going on the pilot line.

“It’ll be a short demo line to show what it’s like and have trams running regularly one it.

“There’s a great deal of support for bringing trams back to Preston and we’ve got some big plans.”

Old railway line being uncovered

Originally proposed ahead of the 2012 Guild the tramway is now building momentum again.

Prof Lesley said: “We have a new planning application in for the next stage to bring a fully operating tram line to the city.

“Initial discussions have been positive about it.”

The line would run from Skeffington Road through to the M6 footbridge beyond Gamull Lane – with plans to eventually extend to the Red Scar business estate.

Prof Lesley said: “We’re in talks regarding the former Blue Bell Way park and ride. If you had a private park and ride there with a direct tram service into the city centre – which also called at Deepdale Retail Park – it becomes an attractive shopping option. You could also get to the football there as Deepdale is only a short walk from the Skeffington Road stop.”

A potential route for the tram line in Preston

How the tram would extend into the city centre is still to be confirmed, but Professor Lesley said a bus could be used as a temporary option.

Trampower say they have attracted £20million in equity funding promises to deliver the tram routes.

Six trams would be run on the line in total, with a seventh on the pilot line. A single ride on the tram would cost around £1.75.

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