A boxing gym has been opened at Gigg Lane in memory of a teenager who was shot dead in Bury three years ago.

Up-and-coming boxer Cole Kershaw, 18, died after being shot on Chesham Road in Bury on August 12, 2020.

Three years on, friends and family came together again to honour his memory and strengthen his legacy at Gigg Lane, with the opening of the King Cole Academy.

The gym will hold youth boxing, mixed martial arts and fitness classes for all abilities.

Bury mayor, Cllr Sandra Walmsley,  who represents Moorside, acted as a liaison support lead for residents following Cole's murder.

Bury Times: Inside the King Cole Academy gym

She said: “I was pleased to attend the opening of the King Cole Legacy Foundation boxing gym at Bury FC on Sunday, August 13.

“The Foundation was set up by Cole’s dad Chris, along with friends, family and volunteers, following the tragic death of Cole, three years ago.

Bury Times: Tattoo station at the opening of the King Cole Academy gymTattoo station at the opening of the King Cole Academy gym (Image: NQ)

“Cole was a keen boxer and so it was great to see his legacy continuing with the new boxing gym which will hopefully attract young people from across Bury.

“I’d like to pay tribute to Cole’s family and friends for setting up the gym and I wish them the best of luck for the future.”

Bury Times: The King Cole Academy gym

The King Cole Legacy Foundation, set up after Cole’s death, aims to tackle youth crime and violence through sports and education and “strive every day to prevent this from happening to any other family”.

Hundreds arrived at Gigg Lane on Sunday for the opening of the gym and a fun day event with a rodeo bull, inflatables, soft play, hair braiding, face painting, boxing and even a tattoo station.

Bury Times: Opening of the King Cole Academy

The Restart the Heart charity founder, Sarah Jones, also attended and carried out training and CPR demonstrations for visitors to pick up life saving skills.

She said: “It was such a good event.

Bury Times: Restart the Heart

“The gym opening is a fantastic thing for the younger community and it was great to be asked to demo cpr and make more people aware of how to do it.”

Bury Times: Opening of the King Cole Academy

The gym will also actively help, develop and fund a range of sporting opportunities for young people across the borough.

A statement on the charity website reads: “Cole was known by all as a hard-working, driven, loving and funny young lad with a promising future ahead of him.

Bury Times: Inside the King Cole Academy gym

“Cole had plans to travel, progress as a boxer and was just weeks away from becoming a qualified scaffolder when his life was tragically cut short.

“His murder rocked his local community and devastated his friends and family.

Bury Times: Inside the King Cole Academy gym

“The thousands of tributes to Cole along with the heart warming stories on how he positively impacted so many people's lives has led to the King Cole Academy being born.

“Cole’s family, friends alongside the local community have subsequently helped build the King Cole Academy in his name to help tackle youth gun and knife crime through sporting projects and education.”