Frank Bruno plans a spectacular 60th birthday bash with fans, world champion fighters and celebrities to raise money for his mental health foundation, which helps 1,300 people every month
- World champion fighter has been open about his struggles with mental health
- He launched Frank Bruno’s Mental Health Foundation in Northampton in 2020
- Centre now supports 1,300 people with mental health problems each month
- Frank has organised a fundraiser which coincides with his 60th birthday
Former world heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno is set to celebrate his 60th birthday in style, with a spectacular fundraiser to support his mental health charity.
The bash will include an array of special guests, including other world champion fighters and celebrities, who are coming to wish Frank a Happy Birthday, and raise much-needed funds.
As well as celebrating with famous friends on his birthday, the doors of the Frank Bruno Ball will be thrown open to fans at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes next month. They can buy tickets to reserve seats or buy a VIP table.
Frank Bruno, 59, won a world title at the fourth attempt as he beat Oliver McCall in 1995
Frank, who fought the likes of Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis throughout a highly successful career, has been open about his own mental health struggles in the past.
The popular boxer, who won a world title at the fourth attempt as he beat Oliver McCall in 1995, recently revealed he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act last year during lockdown.
One of Britain’s bravest fighters, he first struggled to manage his mental health after he hung up his gloves in 1996. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1998 and was sectioned for the first time in 2003.
As a result of his own experience, the heavyweight champ set out to help others with the same determination he showed in the ring and he launched Frank Bruno’s Mental Health Foundation, which opened its first Round-by-Round Centre in Northampton in December 2020.
Pictured: Bruno fights Mike Tyson in, 1989 for the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles
And he took on Oliver McCall of the USA in fight at Wembley Stadium on September 2, 1995
The centre is now used by 1,300 people, who face mental ill-health issues, each month. They have access to courses and a non-contact boxing programme to build self-esteem, confidence, resilience and discipline.
It has proved a great success and local authorities from around the country are asking Frank to set up new facilities in their areas.
Frank’s fundraiser for his mental health foundation promises to be a memorable night
‘I have always said having mental health issues – I have worn the t-shirt,’ Frank told Sportsmail. ‘The long-term answer is not just take mind blowing drugs that are given out as smarties for the rest of your life.
‘The training a boxer goes through was my idea for a non-contact physical course in the gym followed by lessons either with a small group or one-to-one.
‘A number of local children who were either suspended from schools or disruptive in class are now back in their schools after going on the classes.
‘It is a success story but we need to keep raising funds for this to continue. The police bring to us youngsters who are on a pathway to prison who need help. I only wish there had been somewhere like this when I was growing up. Boxing its training and dedication saved me from going to prison.’
This week, Frank took part in a touching discussion Tyson Fury, as his fellow Brit prepared to fight long-term rival Deontay Wilder for a third time on Saturday.
Fury, a two-time world heavyweight champion, who also has bi-polar depression insisted his battle with mental health has been more challenging than any opponent in the ring.
Tyson Fury and Bruno hope the stigma of mental health can evaporate with conversation
‘For me, I think the mental health problems are bigger than all of it, Fury said in the discussion organised by WOW HYDRATE. ‘Because it doesn’t care who you are, it doesn’t care if you are a king or a kid or anything.
‘I have been unwell all my life. I didn’t know what it was but I remember having anxious feelings and being left behind. I didn’t know why I was feeling this way as a little kid and all the way growing up as a young teenager, a young adult.
‘But I actually didn’t get any diagnosis or anything until I got to like 29 years old. I just thought it was like a normal thing, like everybody had these ups and downs.’
Fans can attend Frank’s birthday bash and fundraiser at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes on November 12. Seats can be reserved from £100, or a table for 10 from £2,000. All of the money raised supports the Frank Bruno’s Mental Health Foundation.