The Crossing

"The Crossing" tells of two Dutch girls in 1970 who come looking for work on the DFDS ferry- it is In North Shields they meet Mickey Boom Boom McCabe a local boxer who helps them find digs in Whitley Bay- one of the girls becomes romantically involved with Nigel Worthington a local business man and crook when she is working with her friend in the Rex Hotel as a receptionist. Worthington set up another boxer Jeff Decker when Jeff goes to collect a strange package he opens it to discover two kilo's of coke. He recuts the coke and sells it. Worthington finds out and Jeff ends up in hospital with a broken jaw and several ribs. Mickey McCabe rallies his boxing friends together where they mete out their kind of punishment- Mickey is forced to move to London and gets involved with the underworld after Worthington seeks revenge- Can Mickey fulfil his dream and become the welterweight champion of the world- in this story which will take you around the North East - London and Zaandam in Holland.


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Mickey went about his work did his running as usual every morning. The girls took it in turns to cook for him so he would come in spot on the weight they asked what he liked to eat when he was in training. They made him fresh salads with salmon and chicken breasts. It was easier making a meal that the three of them could eat than eat alone so they pooled their money and did their shopping together. Mickey enjoyed going to the market stalls with the girls. They certainly knew how to get a bargain waiting until the market was about to close; the stall operators tried to get rid of all the fruit and vegetables at knock down prices. Mickey knew the butcher Hughie Wallace who kept him some choice lean cuts of meat. Mickey bought a rabbit or two off him as well which he made a big pan of stew with.

Rabbit being devoid of fat was as good if not better than chicken breasts. The girls liked it too so it was a winner with him. The girls still had not been paid so Mickey was subbing them until they got their first wage which was in two weeks time.


It came the day of the fight and the two girls were more nervous than he was. They watched as the ring was being brought in from down stairs; the porters had to set up the hall for the dignitaries and the large crowd who always came to support the local lads. The hotel was busy all day and the girls couldn’t wait when their shift was done so they could come home to change.

Mickey wasn’t in when they got in he was having a test weigh in at the gym he was a pound under the weight so he allowed himself a glucose drink.

Joe Myers and Eric Clark were brilliant at keeping a boxer relaxed.

He took the whole squad that were fighting that night out in the van.

There was the obligatory wait for Ronnie Ferguson who was always late.

They got in the van and Eric started the engine it was only six o’clock and the official weigh in wasn’t until seven thirty that evening. Jeff Decker and his brother Isaac joked in the back whilst Fergie, Albert Robinson, Gordon Paris, and Billy Wilson talked about who they were fighting.

Mickey just closed his eyes and tried to grab an hour.’

The Team from the North Shields Boys Club were highly respected in the boxing fraternity. Their reputation preceded them where ever they went. Every boxing promoter wanted North Shields boxers on their bill because they oozed quality and everyone who paid to watch was guaranteed a good night of sporting entertainment.

Eric drove to the main entrance of the Hotel and the fighters all took their kit bags and entered the foyer. Once they had checked in they went down stairs to a room that had been designated for them to change.

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