Boxing champion Bruno to appear at Harrogate club

New star of Jack and the Beanstalk at Bradford Alhambra, Frank Bruno, at yesterday's press conference ( Weds).  Frank will replace Billy Pearce who has been in a motorcycle accident.

New star of Jack and the Beanstalk at Bradford Alhambra, Frank Bruno, at yesterday's press conference ( Weds). Frank will replace Billy Pearce who has been in a motorcycle accident.

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Boxing legend Frank Bruno is coming to Harrogate - to the Bilton Working Men’s Club.

The superstar and former world champion heavyweight boxer is to appear at ‘An Evening With’ at the Harrogate club in February next year.

Excitement was building in Bilton as the news broke this week, with the club being approached by eager fans before organisers were quite ready.

“It’s great news,” said club treasurer Alan Huddart. “Everybody is looking forward to it, and there’s been a lot of interest already.

“But we’ve not even printed the tickets yet- they won’t be ready until next week.”

It’s been a big year for the now thriving Bilton Working Men’s Club (BWMC), which was on the verge of closure just two years ago.

Dedicated staff have worked hard to turn its fortunes around - so much so they are now attracting huge acts including entertainer Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown and darts legend Michael Van Gerwen.

It was even given an award last year for the most improved club in the country.

The success story began with an appearance from Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in April, building to the upcoming appearance from the legendary Frank Bruno.

“We’re able now to make the most of the space we’ve got,” said Mr Huddart. “The function room was just being used for bingo before but, after getting some good acts in, people have started to see what we have to offer.

“It all hangs on beer sales. Big names brings people, who buy more beer, which keeps the price low, which brings more people.

“Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor made a big difference - he was the tipping point. We had almost 300 people here. Then Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown.

“We’ve got some others in the pipeline, but nothing confirmed yet for 2014. We’d like to get a couple more - I’d like to see some music acts.”

Franklin Roy “Frank” Bruno MBE, 52, is a British former professional boxer whose career highlight was winning the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship in 1995. Altogether, he won 40 of his 45 contests.

He has been a favourite of the British media for many years, most recently making headlines after a documentary with his daughter revealed he suffered from bipolar.

Now, Harrogate residents are to have the chance to quiz him on his sporting career, inspirations and challenges, at the event to be held in Bilton on February 27 next year.

Further details will be published on the club’s website in coming weeks. Visit www.biltonwmc.co.uk for more.