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Father recovering after fracturing skull in charity boxing match

PUBLISHED: 09:27 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:45 27 July 2018

Matt Dale is recovering after sustaining a fractured skull in a charity boxing match. Mr Dale with his youngest son, Chester. Picture: Gemma Spalding

Matt Dale is recovering after sustaining a fractured skull in a charity boxing match. Mr Dale with his youngest son, Chester. Picture: Gemma Spalding

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A father will be off work for weeks after his skull was fractured while competing in a charity boxing match.

Gemma Spalding has made it her duty to aid her ex-partner's recovery. Picture: Gemma SpaldingGemma Spalding has made it her duty to aid her ex-partner's recovery. Picture: Gemma Spalding

Taking part in an Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB) event for Cancer Research UK, Matt Dale received several devastating blows during the first round of his bout, causing blood to stream from his nose.

The fight, at EPIC Studios in Norwich on July 7, was promptly called off, before an understandably dazed Mr Dale was checked over by paramedics and given the all-clear.

But the next day he contacted his ex-partner, Gemma Spalding - who attended the event - to say he would be late dropping off their sons, Elijah and Chester.

“Matt was walking gingerly after the fight but seemed OK,” said Miss Spalding, who is 26 and from Loddon.

Matt Dale is recovering after sustaining a fractured skull in a charity boxing match. Picture: Gemma SpaldingMatt Dale is recovering after sustaining a fractured skull in a charity boxing match. Picture: Gemma Spalding

“He rang me the next day saying he wasn’t feeling well and had a clear fluid running from his nose, which was obviously worrying so he went to hospital.”

A scan revealed the base of his skull was fractured and he was admitted to West Suffolk Hospital. Doctors contacted specialists at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and he was discharged ten days later.

But the 37-year-old is now under 24-hour supervision, will not be fit for work for the forseeable future and must refrain from physical activity.

“We never expected anything like this to happen so it’s been a huge shock,” added Miss Spalding.

Matt Dale is recovering after sustaining a fractured skull in a charity boxing match. Picture: Gemma SpaldingMatt Dale is recovering after sustaining a fractured skull in a charity boxing match. Picture: Gemma Spalding

“It’s frustrating as well because it was the first time Matt had done anything like this and he trained so hard for what was supposed to be a light-hearted event.

“If you’re thinking of taking part in one of these charity boxing nights, make sure you do the research and get professional advice.”

See also: Ex-fighter lifts lid on world of unlicensed boxing

Amid distressing circumstances, Miss Spalding has made it her duty to lend a helping hand. With Mr Dale in the process of moving house prior to his injury, Miss Spalding - aided by Elijah and Chester - has secretly been readying his new home for his arrival.

She has also started a fundraising page entitled ‘Helping out an ex’ and hopes her actions show that former partners don’t have to be enemies.

“Everyone’s shocked that I’ve been doing this for an ex-partner, but Matt’s the father of my children and I’ll always be there for him in some capacity,” she said.

“In future I want our children to look up to me and think I did the right thing.”

Events run by UWCB have raised thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK and the company says it adheres strictly to safety rules and regulations.

According to its website, all boxers have a medical before and after they box, while those fighting also train together to ensure fairly matched bouts. Boxers also wear head protection.

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