Writer brings boxing play based on fighter Glenn McCrory to South Shields

Glenn McCrory with trainer Alan Walker in his fighting days
Glenn McCrory with trainer Alan Walker in his fighting days

South Tyneside playwright Ed Waugh is aiming for a knockout success when he brings his comedy tear-jerker about the life of boxer Glenn McCrory to South Shields.

The new play, Carrying David, will tour the region kicking off on May 31 at the Tyneside Irish Centre, visiting a number of venues including Hartlepool’s Town Hall Theatre before heading to the Westovian Theatre in South Shields on June 8.

Ed Waugh

Ed Waugh

The story features McCrory’s rise to becoming the first world champion boxer from the North East in 1989 as well as the inspiration he found in his brother David.

David had been diagnosed with a muscle-wasting disease that ultimately claimed his life, aged 29 in 1996.

The comedy-drama will feature a re-telling of the great fight when underdog Glenn was matched against the well-fancied Patrick Lumumba for the World Cruiserweight title.

The occasion took place on Saturday, June 3, 1989, at the 1500-seat Louisa Centre in Stanley, County Durham, in front of a capacity crowd - and the world’s media.

Mr Waugh who write the play said at the time: “I am a big boxing fan and have been a big fan of Glenn since the 1980s. It is such an inspirational story. Glenn was on the dole at the time he won the world title.

“It is not only about his boxing triumph but also about the love of two brothers. It is like Rocky – but true.

“The play is called Carrying David, as Glenn literally would carry his brother on his back. Glenn was inspired by his brother when he got in the ring as he was fighting for his life every day.”

Actor Tim Healy, who was at the centre for the fight, 30 years ago and since became friends with McCrory, will be at the opening of the show in Newcastle.

He said: “It was like New Year’s Eve for a month in Stanley. It may have been 30 years ago but I remember the occasion like yesterday.

“For me, Glenn is the Jackie Milburn of the boxing world; the best the region has ever produced.”

The play will tour Tyneside Irish Centre - May 31-June 1; Alun Arm strong Theatre, Stanley - June 4; Playhouse, Whitley Bay - June 6; Town Hall Theatre, Hartlepool - June 7; Westovian Theatre, South Shields - June 8 and The Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond on June 9.

Tickets for the play, priced £16, are available now from the venues or from www.wisecrackproductions.co.uk