Some days my Mum and Dad couldn’t get me to Northampton which was about a 2 hour round trip, due to having to work and look after my little sisters, so I had to get a bus and a train to training sometimes which made a 2 hour round trip about a 3 hour round trip – but I didn’t care, I would get in from school and would be buzzing to go to the gym to train hard but also to just have a laugh with all the lads and ladies.
There was always someone telling mad stories and there were constantly laughing fits in the gym, whether it was Pig telling us another disgraceful story or Forrest giving it the big one on BBM (Blackberry Messenger) and getting absolutely battered by Liam, there was just always something we were all pissing ourselves over.
There were so many big characters in the gym, there was never a dull moment and I’m pretty sure everyone earnt themselves some sort of nickname – I had a few nicknames I probably can’t repeat on here because my Mum will be reading!
The sparring sessions with Liam were always the best, to fight for the “BSTchandamnern” title (name of the gym we trained at and Rajadamnern mixed in to one) title as we used to call it – even though it was more of a laugh we would always bring our A game!
If I was ever slightly edging a round Liam would up the tempo and pull something crazy out the bag like a spinning back fist or he used to love trying to catch me with his infamous left body hook and destroying my liver! I can always remember I managed to drop him with the exact liver shot he used to get me with one night and I claimed the BSTchandamnern title, but you better believe the next training session he mauled me and my BSTchandamnern title days were short lived!
2012 Liam organised a group trip to Thailand and a bunch of us went over for a training holiday and it’s when we all discovered Petchyindee.
It was honestly the best 2 weeks of my life, from the training to getting my first fight in Lumpinee stadium to absolutely ripping Ricky Sewell for getting beat up by some Thai at MBK, to constantly pranking Raymond with weird bugs and shit, to pouring electrolyte powder in to the snoring pigs mouth and to an absolute mad night out with Nong O and Sam A and a few other Petchyindee fighters on Khao San road – it was amazing and it bought us all together even more.
After this trip our training and fights levelled up, we had around 10 plus professional fighters, most of us were ranked top 3 in our weight classes in the UK and most of us were either in our twenties or late teens!
Liam’s plan was to have one fighter in each weight category as number 1 so we could be at the top of UK Muay Thai and start making waves, it started getting that way as well and I genuinely believe if he was still here most of the boys would be running their weight divisions.
I was with Liam from 14 years old to 18 years old it really was a time in my life which means a lot to me and I am so proud I was a part of such an amazing team and got represent such an amazing coach in Liam and I am pretty sure all the fighters at Superpetch feel the same way.
Having someone who showed genuine care for all of his fighters and had all of our best interests at heart and wanted to push us and make us as successful as possible is very rare however it’s even more rare to find someone who done all of that and didn’t charge any of us a penny.
He used to travel to work in the day 9-5pm then travel back to train us every night, him and his wife Pardeep even made a spare room in their house for the fighters who travelled to stay in.
He taught me so many valuable lessons not just in Muay Thai but in life. He held a load of young fighters together which was really apparent when he passed away and I hope one day when I choose to go in to full time coaching I can have the same effect on young fighters with similar gyms.
If it wasn’t for Liam’s gym I am pretty certain I wouldn’t have gone as far in my career as I have and more importantly I wouldn’t be friends with lads I now class as some of my best mates. My goal in life is to take my career as far as possible and I would always dedicate my success to Liam, but also if one day I choose to go down the coaching route I want to follow Liam’s footsteps as much as I can.