Thursday 22 August 2019

Interview with Frank Bruno

Get to know the man outside the boxing ring when former heavyweight champion Frank Bruno heads to Gloucestershire this November to discuss his legendary career and his struggles with mental health.

Legendary sporting hero Frank Bruno is heading to Stroud Subscription Rooms this autumn to discuss his boxing career and battles with mental health in an intimate interview.

Ahead of his candid talk on Saturday 18 November 2017, Frank chats to SoGlos about his new autobiographical book, the inspiration behind it and the launch of his mental health foundation, along with revealing what makes him tick.


Can you tell SoGlos readers a bit about your new book, Let Me Be Frank, and the events that led you to writing it?

A lot has happened to me since the last book in 2006. It is a definitive account of the care I received after I was sectioned twice in the space of six weeks in 2012.

I speak openly about the treatment I received in the hospitals, the failures that I believed I suffered at the hands of doctors. I came through the illness, rebuilt my life and restored the relationship with my family after they made the decision to call in doctors against my wishes.

I tell of the heartbreak of recently losing my mum, who was my tower of strength in the darkest days. I had to say goodbye to two of the people who had the biggest impact on my career; my idol Muhammed Ali and beloved friend Harry Carpenter. The book also revisits some of the highlights of my career.

What made you want to share your struggles with mental health?

When I first was recovering from being ill, people used to cross the road to save having to talk to me. There was a real stigma to anything mental health, and sufferers and their carers suffered in silence.

I thought there was too much going wrong with the care of patients and felt I could be the voice for the silent thousands. It was a long battle but at last people are listening. The media is not afraid to talk about it and even the royals have opened up about their own issues, especially Princes William and Harry

Can you tell us a little bit about the foundation you’re setting up to help other people in similar situations?

It is my belief that boxing needs to do more to support fighters who develop mental health problems in the ring. I am now in the process of setting up the foundation to help use non-contact sport to rescue people from their illnesses.

We also want to work with kids that have behaviour problems. Boxing training can help a lot of these people. It’s early days and there’s a lot of red tape, but we are slowly moving forward.

What can audiences expect during An Evening with Frank Bruno in Stroud?

Well, we have an insight into the story of Frank Bruno. My story is forever changing but we touch on a bit of boxing, a bit of mental health issues and find out which hit me the hardest!

I have a wonderful support act, Jed Stone, who does the interview and also does a comedy spot. However, sometimes people laugh at me because of my laugh! I would like to think it’s a good entertaining show and gets you away from the television. We also are doing a limited number of VIP meet and greet tickets as well.

You’ve become known as the ‘People’s Champion’ – what does this mean to you?

It makes me embarrassed when I get called this. Not only was I a world champion in boxing but people also see me as a champion for mental health. But I like people to like me just because I’m good old Frank.


And now for a quick fire round with Frank…

What do you wear when you have five seconds to get ready?

My pants, I’m brave and proud!

Where you could spend the most time and money?

Harrods

What was the last thing you splashed out on?

My Bentley

What’s the one thing in your wardrobe you will never get rid of?

My MBE suit

What’s your best investment?

Investing my time into boxing.

If you were to be stranded on an island with a female, who would it be?

Madonna

What’s the best party you have ever been to?

The after party of the fight between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield in America.

If we could take you anywhere in the world where would it be?

The Caribbean

What is your earliest memory?

Going to the Chelsea match with my dad.

What sort of child were you?

Inquisitive and hungry for success

What was your biggest achievement apart from your winning the World Championship title?

Having my four children.

And your biggest disappointment apart from losing in boxing?

Not spending as much time with my children as I would like to.


For more information, see An Evening with Frank Bruno at Stroud Subscription Rooms, and for tickets call (01453) 760900 or visit subscriptionrooms.org.uk directly. Signed book copies are also available from frankbruno.co.uk.

© SoGlos
Thursday 26 October 2017

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