Daryll Hall knows all about fighting.
In his first love, football, he fights to keep the opposition out in his role as a commanding centre-half – he is not bad either and has a Wembley appearance on his CV.
Now, he is taking his fighting spirit into the square ring and fans have the opportunity to see what he can produce on Saturday, February 23, when he boxes in Darlington on Steve Wraith’s ‘D Day in Darlo’.
The 33-year-old, from Spennymoor, has taken up boxing late in his sporting career but he plans to enjoy every jab, hook and upper cut.
When punch-lines first reported his appearance at the Dolphin Centre, we put debutant in inverted commas.
His four-round cruiserweight tussle is his first fight here but he has already taped up the gloves, registering a second-round KO on his debut last year …. in Australia.
“I’ve always liked boxing,” said the former Northern League centre-half. “Bradley Saunders is like a cousin and his mam is Aunty Tracey to me.
“I was out in Australia last year playing for Monaro Panthers in Canberra when I joined the gym just to keep fit really.
“The training went well and they said ‘why don’t you have a fight?’ so I signed for them.
“I’ve always been in the gym and I’ve had unlicensed fights before but I’d never been coached before.
“I learned so much in Australia, enjoyed it and I had my debut in August and won in the second round.
“I love it out there and have some good friends there so plan to go back.
“I’m home at the moment and to be boxing at the Dolphin Centre feels perfect for me.
“I’ve sold a hundred tickets and I’m looking forward to it.”
Hall’s debut was over in a blink, knocking out Glen Brown, who was having his second bout, in Woden in Australia’s Capital Territory. He is pictured above having his arm raised by referee Will Soulos.
Daryll is well known in North-East football circles, often described as an ‘old-fashioned centre-half’, code for hard lad who loves to head and tackle!
He has played, among others, for South Shields, a club on the up, and was at the heart of West Auckland’s defence at Wembley in the 2014 FA Vase final.
‘D Day in Darlo’ stars Middlesbrough’s John Green and two other Pete Shepperson-trained stars, Ellis Corrie and Steve Cooper.
Words: Roy Kelly