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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Former boxer who fought Ali special guest at Cumbrian pub's reopening

A Cumbrian pub is set to be given a new lease of life – and it will be christened in style by former heavyweight boxer Richard Dunn.

The Greyhound in Bothel will reopen on December 7, and pub-goers will be given the chance to shake hands with the man that fought Muhammad Ali.

New landlord Barry Shaw took over the pub three weeks ago.

He said: “Local village pubs will never die, they are the heart of the community. It should be a success because there are a good 700 people who live in the village.”

Mr Shaw’s journey to owning the pub is an interesting one.

Originally from West Yorkshire, he was born in a pub and ran several throughout his life before coming up to Cumbria to retire in June.

However Mr Shaw, 64, couldn’t resist the opportunity to take over The Greyhound when he was asked by Marstons to turn it round.

And Mr Shaw has enlisted the help of his boxing cousin Richard Dunn to ensure the launch is a success.

Mr Dunn challenged Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight title in 1976, and he was the last person to be knocked out by ‘The People’s Champion’.

Next Friday and Saturday he will be at the Greyhound to meet and greet the locals, sign autographs and have a chat.

Mr Dunn, who now lives in Scarborough, paid tribute to his cousin’s hard work: “Barry is a grafter and he will work his chops off for that pub.

“The pub will be the hub of the community, for darts, meetings and more and knowing Barry the food will be really good.”

Donations are being asked for and will be shared between the Maryport Amateur Boxing Club, and the Animal Concern West Cumbria branch.

These are both causes close to Mr Shaw’s heart, particularly Animal Concern as it was the loss of his dog Fudge that prompted him to get back into the pub industry.

Mr Shaw added: “I had my little dog for 11 and a half years, but after Fudge’s death I had nothing to do, so when Marstons rung me up about the pub I thought I’d give it a go.

“We have got a really good chef in from Scotland and the theme of the menu initially will be fresh game and seafood, mostly locally sourced.”

Mr Shaw added that plans ---- are in place to start up darts teams, pool teams, and also to have themed nights including jazz, and an all-you-can-eat carvery in January.

Tickets aren’t needed for the event but donations to the named charities will be welcomed.

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