Mourners gather for celebration of boxer Mike Towell's life at funeral


The funeral of boxer Mike Towell is set to take place, with his family calling for it to be a ''celebration of his life''.

The 25-year-old died in hospital the day after he was stretchered from the ring at the end of a fifth-round defeat to Dale Evans in Glasgow on Thursday September 29.

The young father, from Dundee, was diagnosed with severe bleeding and swelling to his brain but survived for 12 hours after being removed from life support at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

His family want to remember "the smiles he brought into their lives" during the service at St Andrew's Cathedral in his home town, and have asked mourners not to wear black or red.

Tributes poured in for Towell from famous boxers in the days after his death, and many of them are expected to pay their respects at the funeral.

Former world champion Ricky Hatton set up an online fundraiser to support Towell's family which has passed £45,000, while promoter Eddie Hearn pledged almost £7,500 as a result of ticket sales from Ricky Burns's fight in Glasgow a week after the death.

A statement from the Towell family said: ''It is the family's hope that everyone who attends the service does so to celebrate Mike's life.

''We will always mourn losing him but we hope everyone takes time to remember the enjoyment and the smiles he brought into their lives.

''As a sign of this we would ask that no-one wears either black or red to the funeral - Mike didn't like the colour red.

''Also we would request that there be no floral tributes; instead there will be a donation at the cathedral that will benefit charities close to the hearts of Mike and the family.''

It was revealed following Towell's death that he had been complaining of headaches in the run-up to the fight, but his management said they were not aware of any issues.

He had been undefeated going into the bout - which was an eliminator for the British welterweight title - with 11 wins and one draw on his professional record.