Ireland’s former boxing world champion Steve Collins has been recruited to help the London police force keep the city safe.
The ‘Celtic Warrior’ has lived in London since his heyday as the WBO super middleweight world champion two decades ago.
The city has had an extremely traumatic few months with two terror attacks and the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Collins wanted to make a contribution to his adopted home city and has been sworn into the 4th Regiment Royal Military Police at a ceremony in London.
The 52-year-old issued the following statement:
“I was sworn into the 4th Regiment Royal Military Police at a ceremony in London.
The unit conducts a range of duties, including general police duties, close protection and movement support across the UK.
The reason I have joined the Royal Military Police is that London has been my home for the past 20 years. I raised my young family here amongst a thriving Irish community, had many of my greatest boxing successes here and I believe it is one of the greatest cities in the world.
Ever since the 7/7 bombings, and especially due to the recent terrorist attacks and the Grenfell Tower tragedy, London has been living under a cloud of fear and sadness. There isn’t the same sense of togetherness, and many people don’t feel safe. It is an atmosphere that has been building for some time.
A part of me has always asked; what can I do to help? What can I do to help keep London safe and restore that sense of community? However, I was never quite sure of what I could do or who I should contact.
Back in 2015, the GAA agreed to allow the Irish Guards Regiment in the British Army to field a GAA team in their London Championships. To celebrate this historic occasion, the then Irish Ambassador, Dan Mulhall, invited a number of sporting celebrities and members of the Police and Military to the Embassy.
On that evening Irish men currently serving in the Irish Defence Forces, the Irish Guards Regiment of the British Army, An Garda Síochána, the London Metropolitan Police and the NYPD were present. One of the guests asked me the question would I have any interest in getting involved in the reserves?
I thought, this is exactly what I have been looking for. Following that night I began to make enquiries and applied for a position as a Police Support Officer in the London Metropolitan Police, the Royal Military Police Reserves and The London Fire Brigade.
The entire process has taken over 18 months with vetting checks, entry examinations and physical and medical tests. My application as a Voluntary Fire Fighter in London City was turned down as I was required to live within 10 minutes of a London City Fire Station.
During this period, London has gone through another horrendous series of traumatic experiences with vicious terrorist attacks and other tragedies including the Grenfell Tower Fire, reinforcing my desire and duty to play my part.
London is under tremendous pressure. Its defence forces and the Metropolitan Police Service are suffering severely in terms of financial support and are struggling to do the job with the resources provided. My offer of donating one day a week to assist in basic policing of the city which will free up officers who are specialists in their department to go out and keep London safe. I hope a number of other like-minded citizens will consider playing their part.”
It looks like it could be a very busy time for Collins in the near future.
There are also reports that he is planning to lace up his gloves once more – for a third battle with his former foe and British legend Nigel Benn.
Collins beat the ‘Dark Destroyer’ twice in the 1990s during his championship reign. Benn never boxed again, but is keen to get back into the ring and renew his rivalry with the Celtic Warrior.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling