Former world heavyweight champion Herbie Hide has a part in a film written by an ex-pro.
Lee Murtagh won Central Area and Irish honours in his 51-fight career before concentrating on training at the Bethlehem Boxing Gym in Leeds.
He’s also found the time to write ‘Straightner’ that has parts for ex-fighters Crawford Ashley, Tasif Khan, and Hide.
Hide twice held the WBO heavyweight title in the 1990s and Murtagh said: “We had finished filming and then I got a call from Herbie saying he wanted to be in the film.
“We found a part for him playing himself.”
Hide, and every other actor in ‘Straightner,’ didn’t have to learn any lines for what Murtagh describes as “an anti-gangster film with a twist.”
He explained: “I wrote the story, but there was no script. We just adlibbed. We just told them: ‘This is what just happened, how are you going to react ?’ It was all-natural.”
Murtagh has previously appeared in the Fighting Down In Bethlehem documentary before deciding to write ‘Straightner.’
He said the idea for the film came from a grudge fight that didn’t happen.
“I got a phone call a few years ago saying there was a feud that was getting out of hand,” said Murtagh. “Somebody had been bottled and the person who rang me up was worrying it was going to escalate.
“He wanted an end to it. He said: ‘Can we borrow your gym for a Saturday afternoon so they can sort it out and put an end to it ?’ They asked me to referee and said they would give me some money for paramedics. There wasn’t going to be a crowd, they just wanted to take a photo of the winner and say: ‘He won., that’s it, it’s over now.’
“I got the gym ready and neither of them turned up!
“They both bottled it.”