Thamesmead boxing champion, Ryan Barrett, 31, retires after suffering two strokes

Thamesmead boxing champion 'lucky to be alive' after suffering two strokes aged 31

Eltham and District Boxing Club coaches: Steve Barrett, Terry Parker, Ryan Barrett, John Dorey and Tony Treacy with Joe Pasquale

Eltham and District junior boxers pose with their coaches

Eltham and District senior boxers with their much-loved coaches

First published in News
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News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

An Erith boxing club are celebrating the recovery of two coaches who collapsed due to heart defects - just one day apart.

Thamesmead world champion boxer and Eltham and District Boxing Club coach, Ryan Barrett, has been told by doctors that he is lucky to be alive after suffering two mini strokes due to a life-long heart defect.

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Mr Barrett, aged 31, of Chester Road collapsed on April 21 just weeks after his final fight at Camden Leisure Centre due to a blood clot on the boxer's brain which had travelled from his heart - causing the strokes.

Extensive tests showed a defective valve restricting blood flow to Mr Barrett's heart - leaving doctors claiming that the boxer is "lucky to be alive" after fighting for 24 year.

Mr Barrett's father, Steve Barrett, aged 54 of Avery Hill in Greewich is head coach at Eltham and District Boxing Club on Bexley Road in Erith.

He said: "He has just been told by the doctors that he has a defective heart - similar to the condition which caused Fabrice Muamba to collapse on the football pitch in 2012.

"They are amazed that he has got through so many fights - to survive them is one thing but all his titles are now a big bonus."

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The welterweight fighter is now recovering at home with his wife, Samantha, who is expecting the couple's second child in September and five-year-old son Harley.

Boxing club members took part in a three-mile sponsored run on June 5 to raise funds for Ryan and club coach, John Dorey, aged 54, of Montrose Avenue, Bexley who suffered a heart attack in the ring on April 20.

Steve Barrett added: "It was fantastic.

"It was a very emotional evening for me - I said in my speech that this was for two coaches who had given so much for the club to give something back for them and show them the respect they deserved."

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