An Ilkley man is ditching his professional career as a Muay Thai boxer in the hope of powering his way to a professional football contract.
Left-back Ben Molloy, 23, of Station Road, Ilkley, has entered Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract competition in the hope of signing for either Swindon Town, Leyton Orient or Wycombe Wanderers.
Ben, who plays for Addingham AFC in the Craven and District Football League, said: “Muay Thai boxing was my life. I spent a lot of time in Western Thailand, and I finished my career undefeated in 29 amateur fights and only beaten in four of 34 professional fights.
“I have always played football alongside my boxing. It is a real love for me, and that is why I’ve decided to leave boxing behind.
“Last season was my best ever. I wasn’t afraid to go in for a tackle and I always played the full 90 minutes. It’s time to use everything I learned as a pro boxer to become a pro footballer.”
For the first time since Win A Pro Contract was launched in 2010, there are three professional contracts on offer as Wycombe Wanderers join Samsung’s existing partnerships with Swindon Town and Leyton Orient.
Amateur players of all abilities can enter the competition and three winners will earn one-year professional contracts.
Hopefuls will be tested at regional skills trials and 11-a-side matches as they bid to kick-start their dreams of becoming a professional footballer.
Last year’s winners, Jack Sherratt and Kayden Jackson, signed for Leyton Orient and Swindon Town respectively, and are hoping to make first-team debuts this season.
Registration for Samsung Win A Pro Contract 2013/14 closes on Monday September 16.
Entrants must be 17 years of age by June 30, 2014. To sign up, go to facebook.com/samsungfootball