Clayhall ex-boxer who sparred with Henry Cooper floors crooks

Two teenage would-be burglars ran off in terror after a 77-year-old ex-boxer punched one of them in the face breaking his nose.

Slipper clad Michael Mather was loading his car when the young men aged 17 to 18 wearing hoodies approached and tried to force their way into his house.

Little did they know that Mr Mather spent his youth training with boxing legend Henry Cooper and the Kray brothers and can still throw a powerful punch.

Mr Mather said: “One of the boys walloped me on the head with a two foot log and it started bleeding. I was so angry I swore at them and told them I was going to kill them.

“They tried to push past me to get into the house. I went to hit one of the boys in the solar plexus with my left, and then with my right hand hit him on the nose and it just burst which I feel a bit guilty about.”


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Mr Mather was on his way to referee a football tournament when the thugs came up to him.

“I was putting my ref gear into the car and I didn’t really notice the boys, I heard a voice saying ‘can I use your toilet mister’ but I told them it was out of order” he said.

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The teenagers insisted they should be let inside the Stradbroke Grove, Clayhall, house and when the father-of-two turned his back he was attacked.

Mr Mather said: “After I hit him the boys ran off. I assume it was the sight of me with blood over my face which was so thick I couldn’t see through my glasses.

“When the nurse at the hospital was stitching my head back together all I could think about was getting to the football match as I didn’t want to let the boys down. I want to warn people so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

The story was picked up by the national newspapers this morning.

Anyone with information about the incident which happened on Tuesday last week around lunchtime can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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