Ebene News – GB – Curtis Woodhouse on his long and winding road to recognition

Former Premier League midfielder-turned-British boxer tells Declan Taylor of his remarkable story of resilience by receiving a British Empire medal in New Honors of the Year

It was in early December when Curtis Woodhouse received a curious email claiming to come directly from the Palace

“To tell you the truth, I thought it was a joke,” he said “I expected a geezer to ask me for my sort code and my account number

“There was a phone number downstairs, so I called it expecting some sort of wind up. Then the woman at the end of the line scrolled for ages -” what was the last name?”

“I repeated ‘Curtis Woodhouse’ to her but she couldn’t find him on the list. I thought ‘let’s go’ and then she got back on the line – ‘there you are, congratulations!’

Not the end In fact, it is completely legitimate for the 40-year-old to receive a British Empire medal for his services to football and boxing in the New Year’s list of honors “It’s a little weird, isn’t it?” It’s a bit crazy, ”he laughs

But while the recognition of the Queen may seem crazy for the so-called “ realm of counseling ”, in reality, these are groundbreaking achievements that are likely to never happen again.

Woodhouse was once a Premier League midfielder who cost Birmingham £ 1million, but he turned his back on football at the age of 26 to pursue a career in boxing despite no experience in the boxing industry. sport “Everyone was laughing at me”, he said “But that’s what kept me going”

As a boxer, he would end up winning the British title in just his 28th fight in what remains one of the generation’s most notable sporting achievements.In 2017, he hung up his gloves with a record 24- 7 (13) and has since entered football management He is currently the first team manager of the Northern Premier League club GainsboroughTrinity and owner of the Curtis Woodhouse Elite Boxing Academy

“It hasn’t happened yet,” admits Woodhouse “There are so many people who have done so many better things than me in football and boxing, but I guess it’s doing both that my achievements stand out

“Without sounding overly arrogant, I think what I have done in both sports will never be done again Probably because no one will ever quit football like I did. Plus, if they do. have done, it’s such a long and difficult road “

So arduous, in fact, that Woodhouse hardly ever succeeded “I was so naive,” says Woodhouse, who documented the barely believable story in his Box to Box autobiography

“I think in the first week of my boxing career I retired three times. Every time I got home I thought I was done

“I was getting beat up by 14 year olds I remember fighting with Daniel Thorpe who gave me one of the biggest blows in a fight After the spar I realized that Thorpey had lost more than 100 fights and hadn’t won in 18 months I remember sitting on the side of the ring thinking ‘oh my god I gave up a football career for this’

“I have to admit if I still had time – I think back to all the hard parts you go through – I really don’t know if I would do it all again It was a really hard road with loads of dark moments

“The hardest part was mostly realizing that I wasn’t very good It was really humiliating because I was always a child who fought from a young age I had probably had about 150 fights outside the ring before starting boxing

“I always thought I could fight, but then there’s an awareness of ‘oh shit I’m not that good at it'”

But Woodhouse was nothing but stubborn as a famous promise he made to his father started a fire under him “I didn’t want to be the guy who gave up football and then gave up football. boxing ”, he explains “I thought I would become a laughing stock so the ego made me carry on

“Then losing my dad was a real turning point It was the moment I thought ‘now I have to dig deep’ The last thing I ever said to my dad was a promise to win the UK title So losing it was my focus on not giving up, I couldn’t let the last thing I ever told my dad to be a lie

“There is no way on God’s green earth that I should have won the British title Absolutely no chance There are fighters five times better than me who have never won the British title but no one never overtook me and that’s what I’m most proud of “

His father, Bernard, will be on his mind when he arrives at a Buckingham Palace for a ‘Covid-secure’ garden party to receive his medal By then, his wife and three children might believe that it’s real

“They are convinced this is a joke – they say there is no way I will get an award,” says Woodhouse “Normally when I get an email from Her Majesty The Queen, I’m like ‘what have I done now?’ I thought I had to go to jail It was quite surreal and really humiliating

“I always say my biggest achievement was winning the British title, but I really think it surpasses it

“My dad would be very proud I miss him I think it’s hard when guys lose their dad He would have loved going down to Buckingham Palace, I can imagine him now, with a wild shirt and Jamaican sandals C ‘pity he’s not here to share it with me

“It all made me look back on my career and it brought an end to its end. When I think, was it worth it?” Well definitely

“My life was heading for a car accident If boxing hadn’t come into my life at 26, I don’t know what would have happened. Until then I had been arrested 19 times From 26 to now I think I got a parking ticket This shows my progress

“I can be a beacon for anyone – you can change your life How you start is not how you have to end I am living proof”

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Curtis Woodhouse, New Year’s Honors, British Empire Medal, Kingston upon Hull, Boxing, Sheffield United FC

Ebene News – GB – Curtis Woodhouse on his long, twisty path to recognition

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/boxing/curtis-woodhouse-interview-new-year-honours-b1780742.html