For some years now, Runcorn has been hosting ‘Real Life Stories’ with some of the North West’s most prominent names in sport, both past and present sharing their experiences at the elite level. From football to boxing and MMA, the sporting fanatics of Runcorn have been able to hear from their heroes whilst the curtain is pulled away. Alex Caddick caught up with the man who makes it all happen.
‘Real Life Stories’ is presented by Murrell’s Tours and Events, run by local businessman Tony Murrell.
“My motivation to bring big events and big names to my hometown Runcorn was always something I wanted to do,” said Murrell.
“As my hope of being a footballer slowly slipped away, I played at a decent level for my district & had trials at Port Vale but I just wasn’t good enough at that level and the next best thing for me was putting big events together with ex-footballers, boxers and celebrities.”
Like many young men across the UK, Murell’s love of sport stemmed from his early passion for the beautiful game, football.
“I have followed Everton home & away since the age of 10 something I have always done and still do to this day”, he added.
However, football wasn’t, and isn’t his only passion: “I’ve followed the boxing scene for over 20 odd years and became really good friends with WBC World Cruiserweight Champion Tony Bellew doing tickets and arranging travel over the years for Tony’s fights up and down the country.
“We have had some special nights following The Bomber From Everton Park Sports Centre to Goodison Park when he won the world title, memories I’ll take to my grave.”
Both these passions laid the foundations for Tony to go on and form Murrells Tours & Events.
He explained: “When I started Murrells Tours and Events I always wanted to bring that experience to the general public, coming to my events, enjoying themselves but most importantly they get to meet their heroes and idols.
“There is no better feeling than receiving phone calls and messages the next day saying how much of a great night they have had or their mums or dads have had. It’s something they will never forget, and that’s what makes me feel good receiving that feedback.”
Even though Murrell is the man who puts all these events together, like all of us, he too has his sporting heroes.
“When I started out I always wanted to get Nigel Benn as he was a boxer I watched growing up and I loved his style of fighting” he said.
“I said to numerous people I’m going bring Nigel Benn to Runcorn and people laughed at me.
“This is what made me have the fire inside of me to prove people wrong. I’ve had Nigel Benn on my shows twice now, once in Runcorn and once in Liverpool, both shows were absolutely unbelievable.”