Mum Pays Tribute To Derbyshire Boxer Who Died After Match
6 April 2017, 13:19
A Derbyshire mum has paid tribute to her "beautiful and handsome'' teenage son who died after collapsing in the ring following a boxing match.
Edward Bilbey collapsed as his arm was being held by the referee at the end of a championship bout last month.
The 17-year-old died in hospital after competing in an amateur match on March 24 at the Post Mill Centre in South Normanton, Derbyshire.
His mother Michelle said: "My Eddie boy, my champ. He was more than just a boxer, he was a beautiful, clever, handsome, caring, honest, respectful and truly pure soul with a heart of gold and a kind word and time for everyone.
"He was my confidante, my rock, my very best friend and my shopping partner. He was more than just a brother to Henry, George and Charlie, he was like a dad to them.
"Come rain, shine or indeed any weather or any time of day you'd find Ed out running, pounding the streets, headphones in with one dream in mind - to be somebody in boxing, the best that he could possibly be - a world champion one day.
"No-one could ever fault his work ethic and that relentless determination with one goal in his heart.
"His phone screen saver was a picture of that belt, just to remind him why he was getting up in the morning and sacrificing all that he did.''
She added that her son was "more than just a boxer'' and was a supporter of Nottingham Forest where he had held a season ticket with his best friend.
She said: "He lived and breathed boxing. It was his life, his passion.
"It may be that that's where his life ended on Friday night but knowing Eddie as I do, he wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
"He'll most definitely always live on forever in our hearts. The world is a poorer place without him in it. RIP special angel, Eddie boy.''
In a statement issued at the time, the Board of England Boxing said: "It is with great sadness that the Board of England Boxing, the governing body for boxing in England, can confirm that a boxer died following a bout at an England Boxing-sanctioned event in Derby.
"We are extremely saddened by this and would like to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the person involved in this terrible and shocking incident.
"The Board of England Boxing has set up an investigation to establish the facts of what happened and will provide an update when we know more.''