Lisa Whiteside - Commonwealth Games gold medal winning boxer
PUBLISHED: 00:00 28 May 2018
Credit: Cronos / Alamy Stock Photo
A former police officer from Chorley fought back from serious injury to take a gold medal at the Commonwealth
When she fractured her skull in a fall in 2015, former police officer Lisa Whiteside feared her boxing career was over, but she battled back and has hardly stopped grinning since winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
The 32-year-old flyweight from Chorley beat Northern Irish fighter Carly McNaul on points in the under 51kg final on the Gold Coast and after the long flight home, she celebrated with friends and family at a party at the David Lloyd gym in Chorley.
Sporting a black eye, she said: ‘I couldn’t do any of this without my family. I have been through some tough times and I would have quit without their support and all the help my coach Mick Day gives me. He’s amazing.
‘It was amazing walking out at Manchester Airport and seeing my whole family. When I was in Australia I would speak to my mum, my sisters, my nieces and nephews online every day. I have to spend a lot of time away from my family and friends so I cherish every minute I get with them. I can go months without seeing them so to be in the same room at the party was brilliant. It was a chance to be girly and to have my hair and make-up done and put a nice pair of heels on.’
But Lisa, a former firearms officer with Lancashire police, won’t be relaxing for long. She was back in the gym hours after landing, preparing for the European Championships this summer and the World Championships in November.
‘The next Commonwealths in Birmingham might be a bit too far for me, but I’m definitely looking at the Tokyo Olympics,’ she said. ‘And we’ve got the World Championships later this year. I’ve got silver and bronze at the Worlds in the past, so I need a gold to go with them, don’t I?
‘The Commonwealths were my first multi-sport event and it was an amazing experience. Being part of Team England being involved in the opening ceremony and just being around the athletes’ village was brilliant. There was a real buzz about the place, it was lovely.’
Lisa’s medal was one of 45 golds, 45 silver and 46 bronze won by Team England at the Commonwealth Games and none of them was more dramatic than the netball team’s last second one point win in the final against pre-tournament favourites and hosts Australia.
Coached by Tracey Neville – the sister of former footballers Gary and Phil – the squad included Natalie Haythornthwaite from Barrowford and they are now looking forward to the World Championships in Liverpool next year.