Stevie’s charity bid

South Shields midfielder Steven Graham is set to compete in an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) bout next month in the name of charity.

Steven is raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and will take part in the fight at Hedworth Hall on Saturday, November 15.

Tickets for the event – which will feature a full night of bouts for charity – cost £25, and can be bought by calling 07957 194990.

A percentage of all ticket sales will go to charity, with each fighter having tickets to sell. Whoever raises the most money, through sponsorship and ticket sales, will receive all of the takings from the night for their chosen charity.

You can also donate to Steven’s Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/steven-graham7

Steven is hoping to raise £1,000 for the charity in memory of Adam Peacock, a former team-mate of his who died after battling Motor Neurone Disease in 2012.

The Shields midfielder had no previous experience of MMA prior to starting an eight-week training course in preparation for the fight, but says he committed himself to it immediately.

The 31-year-old – who is being sponsored by Richmond Taxis and B Beautiful – said: “I’ve done two previous boxing fights for charity and I got asked to do this one. I had never done MMA before.

“I went to a training session, picked a bit up and committed myself to it straightaway.

“A lad I used to play football with, Adam Peacock, died of Motor Neurone Disease.

“I’ve spoken to some really close friends of his and I’m trying to raise awareness and raise money for the charity.

“The British and European champion, James Mulheron, is doing the coaching for it all, and I want to say a big thanks to him.

“He has trained us for free when he could have charged a lot of money for it, and he is defending his belts at the end of November.”

There is also expected to be a raffle on the night at Hedworth Hall.

Steven has been given permission by Shields manager Jon King to miss Thursday training sessions as he concentrates on preparing for next month’s fight night, while several Mariners players have already snapped up tickets.

He added: “Jon has been kind enough to give me Thursdays off to do this for eight weeks.

“I’ve been trying to get my fitness up for the show, and South Shields have been brilliant.

“The lads are going to take 10 tickets out of the players’ pool. They have been an amazing help.”

Steven is happy with the way training has gone so far as his excitement builds ahead of the big show.

He said: “I’m on an eight-week training course, and it’s very hard.

“It can be a brutal sport, but I’ve found it technical rather than brutal.

“There is a lot of physical fatigue involved from wrestling and grappling on the floor.

“Training is going well, and touch wood I haven’t picked up an injury yet.”