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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 September, 2003, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
Have Your Say on Boxing
Frank Bruno stares at the camera
Bruno's happy public image was at odds with his inner turmoil

The boxing community has been rallying in support of former heavyweight world champion Frank Bruno and your words of encouragement also poured in.

A selection of the best ones have now been forwarded to Frank.

Frank! You are going to go down in history as one of the best fighters ever! You was always a warrior and even in losing, you were always a winner, because a boxer had to fight his heart out to beat you. Even when you fought Mike Tyson and had him hurt, you could have stopped him, but as all boxers do?

You miss that shot. I boxed pro and retired from boxing, I went thru things but I done the best that I could do. I knew that if I worked hard, I could be a champion! That never happened. But I have my own boxing gym now and I will find a champion thru one of them.

I'm not saying that I cant fight anymore, I'm just saying that the drive is not there anymore for me. I see a lot of boxers out there that you could beat, you have nothing to prove!! You are/was and always will be a champion. You have the heart of a tiger! Fight brother!!

I went down so far in my life I did not want to live anymore! Depressed, stressed and had to seek help but I prayed to god to come in me and he did! You are going to be alright because I'm praying for you everyday bro. Greg Page is a good friend of mine, look what shape he is in now. He's got peace in his heart! You know why? Because he's got Jesus in his life. "GOD BLESS YOU CHAMP"
Bruce Martin, Tomah, Wisconsin

Frank, I am the former wife of Randall Tex Cobb. I know what you might be going through. When Tex would get depressed and ultimately delusional about being a warrior but not able to box, I used to tell him that boxing is not who you's what you do, or did.

I hope you find out who you are outside the ring. There is so much more to you than boxing. I wish you a speedy recovery and hope for a better future.
Sharon Cobb, Nashville, TN. U.S.A.

Fighters and winners always come back strong. Stay strong and best wishes.
Julian, USA

Hi Frank, I am a huge boxing fan all the way over here in New Zealand. I have admired you for years, not only as a boxer but for the type of person you are (you are fantastic).

Over here there is a saying in Maori: 'kia kaha' - meaning 'be strong'. I have had personal experience with the type of problem you are currently experiencing and one of the best pieces of advice given to him was: "own your illness or it will own you."

So sorry to hear of your problems - you have the spirit to overcome this
Barry Ebsworthy

You have the strength Frank, I have seen it. Man, if you can get in that ring with Tyson, do the training, and withstand all the punches - you can take this one on the chin and move forward. You are the man frank - do it for yourself, I am thinking of you.
Gordon F, New Zealand

Dear Frank, so sorry to hear of your problems. You have the spirit to overcome this. You don't deserve to be affected like this, you are still our champion. All the best Frank, hope you make a speedy recovery.
Barry Ebsworthy, Warminster, Wiltshire

Frank, I and many more hope you get through this, God bless!
Rob, Japan

Although I'm not a great fan of boxing, Frank Bruno comes across as a gentle giant. Hope he makes a full recovery. The way his confidentiality was breached at the time of his admission (with photographs - unbelievably crass) is a very serious issue and needs to be taken up with the appropriate authorities.
Dr Adam Schogger, Manchester

From someone who's been there, don't give up! It's a painfully slow process and one that few understand, but you'll start to feel better in a couple of months.

Bruno was a true professional sportsman, a true patriot, a true Brit
Mark, UK

We all love you Frank, and look forward to seeing you when you are ready. Put yourself first for a change and you'll emerge a better person - I have. Get well soon. God bless.
Simon Smith, Manchester

Good luck and God bless to big Frank. May your recovery be swift.
Olddread, London

Bruno was a true professional sportsman, a true patriot, a true Brit. In the days when many of our highest paid and most popular sportsmen can do nothing much but shame themselves during matches, Bruno was an example of how it's possible to be a world champion and still bring smiles to children's faces.

How many of today's sportsmen could boast of bringing pride and roaring cheers to rowdy pubs full of grown men and theatres full of young children alike.

Too many people dismiss his boxing. He got in the ring with Mike Tyson - TWICE! The first time was back in the years when Tyson was still awesome. He was a much more worthy heavyweight champ than many we have seen since the heavyweight scene disintegrated in the '90s. Get well soon Frank.
Mark, UK

Good luck Frank. You will always be a British champion.
Adrian, Ipswich

I've never been so pleased for someone after Frank won his world heavyweight title. Frank's dedication and ambition enabled him to fight to obtain his dream. Here's hoping you win through your recent troubles Frank. We wish you well. Best wishes.
Duncan, Canada

Frank, you are a true champion and a man of enormous courage
Dave, Australia

Get well soon big man, tomorrow will be a brighter day.
Tex Oduah, UK

A legend in his own right, Bruno was one of the greatest sportsmen this country has ever seen, as well as one of the best-loved entertainers. Throw in the fact he has always been a great role model as well as a keen charity worker, you have one of Britain's best ambassadors.
Aidan, Birmingham

Hang in there mate. Just keep going.
Babs, Crouch End, London

Frank, you are a true champion and a man of enormous courage and sincerity, having the guts to do what most people in this life don't have the guts to do. Get well soon, the whole nation supports you through this difficult period in your life.
Dave, Australia

I hope you are feeling 100% very, very soon, Frank. Take care.
Gerry, York, UK

Being a carer for my husband who suffers from severe depression, and is in hospital right now, I can say there is going to be a light at the end of the tunnel. It will take time, but with proper support and medication, recovery can be achieved. I can only say, believe in yourself and take it easy, one day at a time, don't rush. Hope you feel better soon.
Ilse, UK

I am not a boxing fan as such, but to me Frank Bruno is a truly great and wonderful person, who is having a rough time. Frank has always been approachable, a very honest, decent, generous man, with a great sense of humour too.

Being in the public eye is so unfair at a time like this
Tara, Newcastle upon Tyne

Your strong personality will get you through this. I know this is a long, hard road - I myself have suffered from a psychological condition known as PTSD for many years. But what really annoys me is the response to Frank's illness by the 'gutter press' - it's just vile, yet it does not surprise me one bit.

Be positive Frank, ignore the gutter press, take inspiration from the messages of your fans, get well soon, mate, we are all praying and thinking of you.
Christopher Whittle, Lancashire

Being in the public eye is so unfair at a time like this. Frank must be at an all time personal low and should be allowed to recover in private. Reporting by the tabloids has been a disgrace. He is poorly, and needs to mend. Would there have been cruel reporting if he had broken his arm? I doubt it. I hope he gets well soon.
Tara, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Hang on in there, I know where you're at, and it can be mastered!
Jamie, Basingstoke

I wish Frank a speedy recovery, as distant as it may seem. Time is a healer and he will come out of it stronger than before. He needs love and support from his family and friends. It's hard work but he will get through it!
Lucy, Stockport

I've never really followed boxing, but I always watched Frank fighting - not because of the fight itself but because I liked the bloke. Playing the game for his love of it, not JUST for the money.

When he stopped boxing I watched him in panto and on the TV, not because he was a boxer but because he IS a star with a heart of gold, one of the few genuine people out there who does things for others as well as himself (see Jaki Turner, below). Whichever path your life takes you mate, we'll all be there with you.
Jason, Winchester

Frank is a national treasure and the country's hearts are with him
Ian Sanderson, Oxon

Best wishes Frank. You once carried the hopes of a nation and it is time for the nation to carry hopes for you.
Tony Pratt, Ipswich

My father suffered from depression and severe schizophrenia, so my thoughts are with Frank and his family, and I wish them all the best. How inhuman that some people still consider mental health something to mock or insult.
Duncan Sellars, London, UK

Frank is a national treasure and the country's hearts are with him, wishing him a speedy recovery.
Ian Sanderson, Oxon

With time, the right people to help him and his own strength to continue fighting for himself, Frank will return as the person we've all grown fond of.

Mental instability affects almost everyone at some time in their lives. Some are able to cope on their own, others, like Frank, need more support.

Don't call him bonkers; nor should you feel sorry for him. What he needs now is positive support, just the same as millions of others who have had a tough time recently. Good on you Frank.
Mitch, Surrey

Don't let it all get you down Frank - people love you. Remember that. It won't always be this sad.
Jan, London

It is not shameful to ask for help and that you don't have to suffer alone
Sandra Niven, Bath

Mr Bruno, as a survivor of major depression, I can honestly say the best days are yet to come. Use your hospital time to help yourself, and everything else will fall in place. We're rooting for you.
Mrs Linda Pilcher, Tunbridge Wells, UK

People just don't realise how isolating depression is. I am just so pleased someone professional is helping Frank now, and I agree with the criticisms of adverse media headlines, they do not help to show mental illness sufferers that it is not shameful to ask for help and that you don't have to suffer alone.

It is an illness, the fact that it affects the mind which doesn't show is just as relevant as a broken ankle which shows. I will think of him regularly and hope that others will join with me in sending him our best wishes for a speedy recovery. He may find that once he comes through this he will be stronger and his life may take a different turn. Good luck and peace to him.
Sandra Niven, Bath

Let's not kick a guy when he's down! Frank Bruno, like any other person suffering from depression, needs support from his family and friends and in Frank's case from the public who adored him when he was at the top of his sport. The fight will be tough, Frank, but you can win it. Good luck!
Diane Warrilow, Staffordshire

Frank is a real character. I had mild depression. With help from my counsellor, I now look back on my illness as a turning point in my life, a golden opportunity which allowed me to get my priorities right and live a better life.

But at the time it was awful, and I didn't understand what was happening to me. I am sure Frank can pull through and laugh about this later. Certainly, he is one of those celebrities who is universally loved by the British public.

There are not many world heavyweight champions born and brought up in the UK. The bonus is that he is a sensitive and funny man. So we are all hoping and praying he gets better.
Paul, UK

I wish him well from the bottom of my heart
W Omogbehin, SE London

Frank - you are a true British hero. Get well soon, we love you!
Chris Whyatt, Manchester

Frank Bruno, you are a hero and a hope to millions. It will be a long road to recovery but if anyone is up to the challenge, it is you. I, and we, have great faith in you. It will take time, but you will emerge so very strong from this. Just like I did.
Raj Sidhu, London

I wish you a very speedy recovery and many years of good health and happiness.
Jeffrey Gilbert, Essex

Although I don't know Frank personally, my impression from watching him on TV is that of a gentle giant. Frank has possibly suffered a nervous breakdown. I did too, only about a year and a half ago. He will recover, like I did - but shame on those insensitive newspapers.

Frank brought this country onto the world stage in boxing after several decades in the wilderness. Lennox Lewis and many more are beneficiaries of Frank's legacy.

I wish him well from the bottom of my heart. Because he's got such a good heart and has supported so many good causes, he'll come out of this a much better person.
W Omogbehin, SE London

Dear Frank, sorry to hear you are not so well - wishing you a speedy recovery.
Ed, Margate

This man has made his mark in history. He has proved that a person can be a top athlete, professional, with a real down-to-earth personality, liked by all. He has never tried to be something or someone he is not. I am sure he will 'punch' his way out of this with his winning arms up in the air!
F Fresh, Luton

You'll always be a star in the eyes of Irish fans
David Kerr, Belfast

A man who makes me proud to be British...good luck Frank, get well soon.
Neil Hunt, Oxford

Regardless of how good or bad a boxer Frank Bruno was, he brought immense pleasure to spectators and fulfilled his role as an ambassador for British sport with dignity.

At the height of his powers there were many that knocked him when all he was doing was the only thing he knew, how to fight in a ring, and despite all the bad mouthing he got, he made it to the top.

I have followed Frank's career since I was a young boy and can safely say he was always one of my childhood heroes, and I wish him a speedy recovery and to beat his critics with the same bravery and courage he showed in the ring. Get well soon.
Dilip, London

Frank - you're the finest ambassador British boxing has ever had. Your only rival for that spot was Henry Cooper - but you were funnier in a panto dress! Boxing has become very dull since you left the ring. We all miss the 'arry banter. You'll always be a star in the eyes of Irish fans - no matter what. Get well soon mate.
David Kerr, Belfast

Frank, I hope you're getting the chance to read all these messages of support. It's been tough lately, but you must never forget that you will always have a role in British life and a place in British hearts.

You were a winner in the ring, you've entertained and done untold charitable work. We're rooting for you Frank, you are our hero.
David, Glasgow

It may seem like the end of the world when they take you to the ward but it isn't. I came out and I am now strong, happy and well. It really is darkest just before the dawn and your dawn will come as surely as mine has.
Magdalane, UK

You the man, Frank
Matt Johnstone, Bristol
Frank is a decent man who climbed to the very top of his profession. He needs space and privacy to help him get back on the right road. God bless the big fella.
Chris James, Cardiff

Hey Frank, there are so many people on this site that have fond memories thanks to you big heart. You have entertained millions. I hope you can take some heart from these messages. Come on Frank, you know you can do the business, get well soon mate.
Carl Oxby, Nottingham

Frank, I went through every fight with you, round by round, you were the people's true champion - a real person, which is why you are so loved.

We wanted your success as much as you did. The whole country is in your corner in a way that Lennox and Audley can only dream about. This is a fight you will win Frank - by a knockout in round three.
Robin Seccombe, Christchurch, Dorset

Frank lives down the road to us and has been involved in many charitable events. Wishing you well soon 'cos we all think you're a great man.
Jaki Turner, Harlow

You the man, Frank. I believe you can pull through this! Be strong and never forget the great things you have achieved.
Matt Johnstone, Bristol

You always had a way of making us feel good Frank and you will do it again - you are still a people's champion and we are right behind you now as always.
Roy, Warwickshire

I wish Frank quick recovery. Even though he's a famous boxer and has spent a lot of time in the spotlight, he is still human and has problems like everyone else.

May I say that was appalled with the way it was reported in certain newspapers. They showed no respect for the fact he is going through a hard time and instead tried to have a cheap laugh at him. Don't give up, Frank!
Av, London

Frank, you are a winner and you will beat this
Pete, Chatham

All the best, Frank. Have a speedy recovery and always remember that you have achieved what very few people in the world can achieve - world champion.
Nick, London

You truly are a national treasure. This is a fight that you can win hands down, given the focus that your sport demanded. As an ambassador they don't come much better than you. The nation hopes you pull through. Come on Frank, you know what Harry means!!
Ross King, London

Frank needs time and space to recover; this could be his toughest fight. Good luck Frank.
Carl Lyon, Odiham Hants

Frank, you are a winner and you will beat this. You have more friends than you will ever know. The nation loves you.
Pete, Chatham

Come on Frank, ignore the current tabloid speculation, nobody cares about the details, we all just want to wish you a full and speedy recovery.

There has never been a mightier or more noble ambassador for the sport of boxing and for England herself. With us behind you as we have always been, there is nothing you can't do. Best wishes mate!
Jason, Winchester

Go on Frank you can do it, we are all behind you supporting you all the way. Get better soon.
Sarah, Northolt

Sad and sorry to hear of Frank's illness and uncomfortable that the fact he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act was made public. He was and is a great ambassador for his sport and I am sure will be so again in the future. I wish him well and a very speedy recovery.
Peter Kendal, Chelmsford

I have great sympathy for him and his family
Lyndsey C, Dublin

Media has a part to play in helping to promote better understanding of mental illnesses. Some newspaper headlines are disgusting. People suffering long-term mental illnesses need support from their fellow human beings.

Unfortunate for Frank, but perhaps when he is feeling better he may be in a position to educate the human race.
Shirley Walker, Dundee

All the very best wishes Frank, and a speedy recovery to a very nice person.
Maria Gould, London

I have great sympathy for him and his family, people underestimate the effects of boxing on the human body. I hope he bounces back soon.
Lyndsey C, Dublin

Be strong Frank, be strong!
Damien Dunphy, Surbiton

Big Frank, you're in the right place mate, the first step to recovery. I was there at Wembley when you achieved your dream; that was a good night, good memories. Good luck mate - Bruuunnnooooo!
Leon, London

Frank, take your own time and come back stronger than ever. Ignore the papers, you were and always will be the people's champion, and a true reflection of the nation's feelings for you can be seen here. All the very best wishes in the future.
Gary Porter, Wokingham, UK

I hope that this is only a temporary setback for him
Mike Lea, Cheshire

Frank Bruno: people's champ and a great man. Frank, the whole country is behind you - you will get over this. All the best.
Rob Watkins, Ashford Kent

Frank, hang in are a great man loved by all.
Linda James, Mitcham, Surrey

I hope everything turns out OK for Frank Bruno. He was a good champion, who never quit. He was always striving to progress, improve and get better. He was without doubt one of the fittest sportsmen in history.

The late, great trainer, George Francis, who trained Frank during his career, once said: "Frank can over-train sometimes, so I have to watch him."

I have the utmost respect for Frank Bruno - someone who has always remained active and kept fit and healthy. God bless Frank Bruno!
Danny Doyle, Pimlico, London

Frank, I grew up watching you fight. I know you can fight this and come through the other side. I wish you all the luck and love in the world.
Shannon, Hants

I would like to offer my best wishes to Frank for a speedy recovery and I hope that he can return to his former happiness. He was the most popular boxer in Britain for very good reasons; talent and personality. I hope that this is only a temporary setback for him, as I am sure many others do.
Mike Lea, Cheshire, UK

Get well soon Big Guy - all our thoughts are with you - Britain loves you!
Nina, Surrey

It will be your hardest fight ever, but I know you will win it
Ed Sturtivant, Scotland

I would like to offer Frank and his family and friends my support. I know from experience what this illness can be like and you can get through it, with time and support. The press should understand this is a serious illness and get behind him, like they always did when he was boxing.
Denise, Portsmouth

Come on Frank, we are all rooting for you. It will be your hardest fight ever, but I know you will win it. Grit your teeth and don't give in. Good luck.
Ed Sturtivant, Scotland

Judging by the messages of support on these pages, all I can say is thank goodness we have a nation of decent people who can offer respect and support to a great sportsman who deserves it. I agree with earlier messages. The media should keep off his back! Get well soon, Frank. The nation loves you!
Patricia, London, England

Frank, we all remember the determination you showed against Oliver McCall on that fantastic night. Come on mate, you need to hang in there - we are all cheering and rooting for you champ! Best of luck and wishes.
Steve E, Berkshire

I was very saddened to hear about the mental breakdown of Frank Bruno. I have just listened to the debate on the Jeremy Vine show. Frank was and still is a national sporting treasure, who gave his best years to boxing and gave every boxing enthusiast 100% viewing pleasure on his televised bouts. Get well soon Frank, we all love you.
Graham Fox., Chester

Hang on in there Big Man! You're strong enough to get through anything!
Dougie Kelly, Liverpool

I still remember with great fondness the night Big Frank's heart and determination united Britain in support as he won the World Heavyweight title
Gareth, Edgware

Frank Bruno was a true professional when it came to boxing, he was around when the heavyweight division was one of the most competitive around and I was really glad to see him become world champ.

Frank is a true fighter and I am sure with a little help he will soon be back on his own two feet. He is a great man and it would be a shame to see somebody so fit not to recover from his current problems. Come on Frank we all love you.
Marcus Phillips, Neath

I still remember with great fondness the night Big Frank's heart and determination united Britain in support as he won the world heavyweight title and achieved what had always seemed an impossible dream. I know that heart and determination will get you through once again big man, get well soon.
Gareth, Edgware

Frank, you're a fighter and a winner. There are people who'll help you and you'll come out of it stronger than before.
Daniel Chadwick, Scotland

Frank's a homegrown hero, and we're proud of him. Get well soon and let us hear you laugh again soon.
Becky, Surrey

My thoughts and prayers are with Frank Bruno and his family who must be going through a hell of a time at present. Get well soon Frank!
Rich, UK

Frank's one of Britain's best. Get well soon big man
John, Leeds

I hope I can speak for everyone who reads the messages here when I say my heart goes out to Frank Bruno and that we all wish him the very best during what must be a very difficult time for him.
Bill, UK

Frank's one of Britain's best. Get well soon big man.
John, Leeds

Maybe not the best advice for a boxer but keep your chin up Frank. I hope you're back to your normal jolly self soon.
Paul Collin, York

Good luck to Bruno. Some of the comments in the press have been harsh, but the public will support him all the way.
Mike, Eltham

I would just like to pass on my good wishes to big Frank, and to let him know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I myself have suffered from inner demons and depression and have come out of it a better, more appreciative person.
B Stevens, UK

Frank Bruno wore his heart on his sleeve for this country and deserves all of the support in the world to get over his illness. The press should get off his back and offer support rather than snide digs at his decline. He gave them pages of coverage in his prime.
Ian B, Glos, UK

Frank, unlike many others who come and go, you will always have a place in the hearts of this nation. I hope to hear that you are back where you belong soon.
Trevor Day, Cambridge

Best wishes Frank, keep your head up
Jo Hart, Liverpool

It's sad news to hear about Frank's health and we hope and pray he makes a speedy recovery. A gentleman in and out of the boxing ring and a great ambassador for the sport who also did a lot for charity let's not forget. Frank will recover from this and show his determination and will to fight this illness.
Emran Raja, London

I am sure not only the people of these islands, but all over the world, will feel the sorrow and pity for 'Big Frank'. Even people opposed to boxing had a place in their hearts for this larger than life character and I am sure they all wish him well.
Graeme, Carlisle

Best wishes Frank, keep your head up. You're going through a rough patch now but you'll come through it; remember all the good times, you're still a number one guy to us, take care mate.
Jo Hart, Liverpool

People and the media should not judge until they know the facts. Bruno is a brilliant man and he needs our help. People seem to forget what he has gone through for this country.
Kevin Annables, Rotherham

I would like to wish Frank well in this difficult time in his life. He is admired by people with regard to his sporting career, but he also strikes me as a true gentleman! May he find strength from all of those who truly admire him!
Bobby Guy, County Durham

C'mon big Frank. The whole nation loves you (remember when you beat McCall?) We're all still here hoping that you will come through this. Don't give up, be tough and everything will be great as it once was. Believe in yourself and prove the mindless doubters wrong yet again.
Stephen, Liverpool

I hope Frank recovers soon from this unhappy period in his life
Mark Hudson, Reading

I hope I can speak for everyone who reads the messages here when I say my heart goes out to Frank Bruno and that we all wish him the very best during what must be a very difficult time for him.
Bill, UK

Sad news about Frank Bruno, who seems to be going through a difficult period in his life.

He always seemed a decent sort of bloke, down to earth, somebody I could relate to, that has lots of critics and snipers when he really needs close friends that will stick by him through thick and thin.

As I could not find a website I am hoping that you may be able to pass on my best wishes to him along with other members of the public.

I hope Frank recovers soon from this unhappy period in his life and just to say keep your head high Frank, be very proud but also humble of who you are and all the great things you have achieved. Best wishes.
Mark Hudson, Reading

I hope Frank Bruno feels better soon.
Diane, Wallasey

Just want to wish Frank Bruno a speedy recovery. The guy is having a tough time at the minute and needs the support he got against Tyson, McCall etc. C'mon Big Fella - this is one fight you can definitely win.
Geoff, Widnes

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