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Dad, 37, drank 24/7 at height of his addiction and ended up homeless – but is now a UK boxing champ

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A boxing champion whose drug and drink addiction saw him lose his house, family and job in just a few years has revealed how he was forced to live on the streets for six months before a brutal wake-up call finally changed his fortunes. 

UMA Fighter Ian Maddocks, 37, from Crewe, began smoking weed aged 11 to ‘fit in’ and quickly progressed onto harder drugs including cocaine and ecstasy.

Describing his younger self as a functioning alcoholic with a love for partying, dad-of-two Ian, who is partially deaf, managed to hold down a job at the Bentley factory in Crewe for ten years and even get a mortgage with his former partner before his life began to unravel after the birth of his second child. 

His descent into addiction took him to a life where he would ‘drink and pass out’ and saw him disowned by his family.  He found himself sleeping on the streets, where he says he was ‘ready’ to take heroin but was told to ‘think of your children’, a moment that kick-started his long, hard road back to sobriety.   

Ian Maddocks, 37, from Crewe, is the current UMA World Thai Gold boxing champion after being crowned earlier this year but just four years ago he was living on the streets of the north west after his life spiralled out of control due to a drink and cocaine addiction

Ian Maddocks, 37, from Crewe, is the current UMA World Thai Gold boxing champion after being crowned earlier this year but just four years ago he was living on the streets of the north west after his life spiralled out of control due to a drink and cocaine addiction

Ian Maddocks, 37, from Crewe, is the current UMA World Thai Gold boxing champion after being crowned earlier this year but just four years ago he was living on the streets of the north west after his life spiralled out of control due to a drink and cocaine addiction

Bloated: Ian pictured as he entered a detox programme that would eventually turn his life around. At his lowest point, he was forced to live on the streets after becoming trapped in a cycle of 'drinking to pass out' and becoming estranged from his family

Bloated: Ian pictured as he entered a detox programme that would eventually turn his life around. At his lowest point, he was forced to live on the streets after becoming trapped in a cycle of 'drinking to pass out' and becoming estranged from his family

Bloated: Ian pictured as he entered a detox programme that would eventually turn his life around. At his lowest point, he was forced to live on the streets after becoming trapped in a cycle of ‘drinking to pass out’ and becoming estranged from his family 

A dad again: Ian pictured with his two children Amelia, right, nine, and Jack, eight, left, in happier recent times. At the height of his addiction, he didn't see his children for six months and wasn't allowed to spend time alone with them when he did see them

A dad again: Ian pictured with his two children Amelia, right, nine, and Jack, eight, left, in happier recent times. At the height of his addiction, he didn't see his children for six months and wasn't allowed to spend time alone with them when he did see them

A dad again: Ian pictured with his two children Amelia, right, nine, and Jack, eight, left, in happier recent times. At the height of his addiction, he didn’t see his children for six months and wasn’t allowed to spend time alone with them when he did see them

Hardest decision: Ian with his mum Jacqueline who he moved in with for two weeks when his drinking was at its worst; when police escorted him from her home at her request, she found 197 empty bottles in his bedroom amassed over just 14 days

Hardest decision: Ian with his mum Jacqueline who he moved in with for two weeks when his drinking was at its worst; when police escorted him from her home at her request, she found 197 empty bottles in his bedroom amassed over just 14 days

Hardest decision: Ian with his mum Jacqueline who he moved in with for two weeks when his drinking was at its worst; when police escorted him from her home at her request, she found 197 empty bottles in his bedroom amassed over just 14 days 

Ian describes how his early childhood saw him bullied for his poor hearing and his ginger hair. His late grandfather, Steve Jones, decided to enroll him into martial arts classes to give him more confidence, a sport that he quickly got good at. 

He says: ‘People started to notice me and it went to my head a bit. I started bullying the bullies.’

Desperate to fit in with the cool crowd, Ian tells MailOnline that by his early teens, he’d already tried harder drugs and was taking ecstasy and speed at 16. 

I did go to Alcoholics Anonymous. There was a guy who told a story about ending up homeless, losing his family – and I just thought “I’m not even that bad”. It fuelled my denial.’ 
Ian Maddocks 

He says: ‘My family didn’t know, I got away with it for a long time. In my late teens and early twenties, I was partying all the time and I just thought “I’ll just do it every weekend”’. 

‘Looking back now, I’d drunk for most of my life, I was a functioning alcoholic for a long time.’

Becoming a father to Amelia, nine, when he was 27 made him stop taking cocaine but he struggled to control his drinking.  

Within months of his second child, Jack, now eight, being born in 2011, he was drinking heavily, often downing two glasses of wine before going to work at the Bentley factory to ‘take the edge off the working day’. 

He says: ‘It was drinking to function. I was waking up in the morning and having half a bottle of wine. Before we even had Jack, I knew that I couldn’t even look after myself let alone another baby, but I kept it to myself.’ 

The rave scene in the late 90s saw Ian going on benders every weekend but he managed to hold down his job at the Bentley factory in Crewe for a decade

The rave scene in the late 90s saw Ian going on benders every weekend but he managed to hold down his job at the Bentley factory in Crewe for a decade

The rave scene in the late 90s saw Ian going on benders every weekend but he managed to hold down his job at the Bentley factory in Crewe for a decade

By his early twenties, Ian was 'taking things to the next level' on the late 90s rave scene.

By his early twenties, Ian was 'taking things to the next level' on the late 90s rave scene.

He says his downward spiral began when the 'benders' turned into drinking wine before work

He says his downward spiral began when the 'benders' turned into drinking wine before work

By his early twenties, Ian was ‘taking things to the next level’ on the late 90s rave scene. He says his downward spiral began when the ‘benders’ turned into drinking wine before work

New life: Ian with his girlfriend Louisa, 36, who he met on social media after celebrating his sobriety. The couple live separately but Ian describes her as his 'rock'

New life: Ian with his girlfriend Louisa, 36, who he met on social media after celebrating his sobriety. The couple live separately but Ian describes her as his 'rock'

New life: Ian with his girlfriend Louisa, 36, who he met on social media after celebrating his sobriety. The couple live separately but Ian describes her as his ‘rock’

In recovery: Ian in his local boxing gym where he trained to be a UMA fighter

In recovery: Ian in his local boxing gym where he trained to be a UMA fighter

With his children Jack and Amelia

With his children Jack and Amelia

In recovery: Ian in his local boxing gym in Crewe where he trained to be a UMA fighter. Right: With his children Jack and Amelia. He says his children know that alcohol makes him ‘poorly in the head’

Four years after he made the decision not to take heroin on the streets - after a dealer told him to 'think of his kids' - Ian is now regularly competing as a UMA fighter

Four years after he made the decision not to take heroin on the streets - after a dealer told him to 'think of his kids' - Ian is now regularly competing as a UMA fighter

Four years after he made the decision not to take heroin on the streets – after a dealer told him to ‘think of his kids’ – Ian is now regularly competing as a UMA fighter

His bosses noticed his decline and signed him off work for nearly a year on sick leave, something Ian says increased his dependency on cocaine and alcohol as he used his statutory pay to feed his addiction.  

He says: ‘I did go a couple of times to Alcoholics Anonymous. There was a guy who told a story about ending up homeless and losing his family there once – and I just thought “I’m not even that bad”. It fuelled my denial.’

At the same time, heated arguments with his then partner in front of their two children saw her ask him to move into a rented flat. The death of his granddad, who’d raised Ian as a son, left him reaching for the bottle even harder.  

I got money from begging. A bottle of cider from Aldi for two quid – it’s not a lot of money. It’s easy to get two quid…

A disciplinary hearing followed at work and Ian was laid off, which prompted his landlord to end his tenancy forcing him to move back in with his mum.  

After just two weeks at his mother Jacqueline’s home, she called the police and asked him to leave, unable to cope with her son’s ’24/7′ addiction.    

‘I was literally drinking myself to death. I was at her house for two weeks and when she cleared my bedroom out, she found 197 empty bottles of cider and wine. I was stealing her rings to fund my habit.’  

Ian with his grandfather Steve; his death at 90 came as a huge blow and sent Ian further into his descent into addiction

Ian with his grandfather Steve; his death at 90 came as a huge blow and sent Ian further into his descent into addiction

Ian with his grandfather Steve; his death at 90 came as a huge blow and sent Ian further into his descent into addiction 

A recent photo of Ian with Louisa, who he met at one year sober after chatting on Facebook, and younger family members

A recent photo of Ian with Louisa, who he met at one year sober after chatting on Facebook, and younger family members

A recent photo of Ian with Louisa, who he met at one year sober after chatting on Facebook, and younger family members

Ian’s downward curve continued and he says his mother saved his life by calling the police, saying: ‘She had no other way out, she was enabling my addiction by letting me live there. I was just drinking and passing out.’ 

The YMCA told him that night that ‘it wasn’t cold enough’ and he was over 30 and so they couldn’t offer a bed; he ended up sleeping in a church before spending six months on the streets. 

He says: ‘I got money from begging. I’d then buy a bottle of cider from Aldi for two quid – it’s not a lot of money. It’s easy to get two quid.’

Ian’s lowest moment was when he was ‘ready’ to take heroin because life on the streets was so bleak he couldn’t see any way out of his situation. 

‘It was a turning point. The guy I was with said “think of your kids” and he took it himself instead. Shortly after I went to a homeless shelter and told them ‘I need to get off the drink.’

On a particularly freezing night, Ian also went to A&E and threatened to take his own life and mental health services became involved in his plight.  

Ian with his family in a recent photo; he began seeing his children again after completing the ten-day detox programme

Ian with his family in a recent photo; he began seeing his children again after completing the ten-day detox programme

Ian with his family in a recent photo; he began seeing his children again after completing the ten-day detox programme

The key to his recovery was getting a physical address, he says, after mental health worker Mandy Moorcroft found him supported accommodation at Adullam Homes in Crewe. 

On his third attempt to prove he could take recovery seriously, his alcohol readings were low enough that he was enlisted in a detox programme and he says he ‘didn’t look back’. 

With an address, he got benefits and he could afford his train fare to Birkenhead where he did a ten-day detox. 

However, seeing his estranged brother in October 2015 sparked a relapse that lasted for seven days and saw Ian drinking cider in a bush, something that jeopardised his supported accommodation place.  

How common is alcohol addiction?

It has been estimated that 1.4 per cent of all adults (aged 18+) drink at dependent levels and potentially need treatment

October 16th 2015 would be the last time he would have a drink. 

He had four months of intensive therapy with charity Acorn Recovery Projects and started hitting the gym to beat a bout of depression that followed ‘from having nothing to fill the void of drinking’. Ian also trained as a counsellor. 

Re-discovering Thai boxing has, he says, helped his mental health and last year he competed in the British championships just because he had the opportunity. This year he won the World Thai Gold Boxing Champion, held in Barnsley, after training hard twice a day. 

He says: ‘I went to fight and I ended up winning. It was the best feeling in the world. My children watched a video of me fight and we all had a cry when I won. It was a money-can’t-buy moment for me.’

He adds that he would never have believed it would be possible to bring himself back from the brink, saying: ‘No matter how far in the ground you go, you can always pull yourself out. I honestly thought “how am I going to get a job, get off the drugs and the alcohol”. It seemed impossible but I’ve worked hard and good things have happened to me since.’  

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I’m a Celebrity: ‘Petrified’ Dale Thomas breaks down over snake phobia

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Retired AFL star Dale Thomas will face his phobia of snakes on Thursday’s episode of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Australia.

The 32-year-old sportsman, who is terrified of the reptiles, will be forced to put his entire head into a box filled with them during a Tucker Trial. 

He breaks down in tears before the challenge, according to the Herald Sun, and confesses to feeling ‘petrified’.

'I'm petrified': Retired AFL star Dale Thomas (pictured) will face his phobia of snakes on Thursday's episode of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! Australia

'I'm petrified': Retired AFL star Dale Thomas (pictured) will face his phobia of snakes on Thursday's episode of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! Australia

‘I’m petrified’: Retired AFL star Dale Thomas (pictured) will face his phobia of snakes on Thursday’s episode of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Australia

‘I’ve always disliked snakes. How they move and everything about them,’ Dale says during the episode.

‘If you fear something, you steer away from it as far as possible. I’m proper petrified.’ 

I’m a Celebrity host Dr Chris Brown then says: ‘You’ve stared down some of the most scary, adrenaline-filled moments in sport, yet it feels like this is the top of pile for you.’

'I've always disliked snakes': The 32-year-old sportsman, who is terrified of the reptiles, will be forced to put his entire head into a box filled with them during a Tucker Trial

'I've always disliked snakes': The 32-year-old sportsman, who is terrified of the reptiles, will be forced to put his entire head into a box filled with them during a Tucker Trial

‘I’ve always disliked snakes’: The 32-year-old sportsman, who is terrified of the reptiles, will be forced to put his entire head into a box filled with them during a Tucker Trial

Overwhelmed: He breaks down in tears before the challenge and confesses to feeling petrified

Overwhelmed: He breaks down in tears before the challenge and confesses to feeling petrified

Overwhelmed: He breaks down in tears before the challenge and confesses to feeling petrified

During Monday’s episode, campmate Perez Hilton was ‘buried alive’ in the Viper Room during his first challenge. 

As the pythons crawled over the 41-year-old gossip guru’s face and body, he screamed in horror. 

‘Oh, my god! Oh, my god!’ he yelled out. 

Snake pit: During Monday's episode of I'm a Celebrity, campmate Perez Hilton (pictured) was 'buried alive' in the Viper Room during his first challenge

Snake pit: During Monday's episode of I'm a Celebrity, campmate Perez Hilton (pictured) was 'buried alive' in the Viper Room during his first challenge

Snake pit: During Monday’s episode of I’m a Celebrity, campmate Perez Hilton (pictured) was ‘buried alive’ in the Viper Room during his first challenge

Last week, Tom Williams wept as he faced a similar challenge, but was eventually able to conquer his own phobia.

The 49-year-old TV presenter was required to collect stars from tanks filled with snakes, cockroaches and toads.

‘I’m breaking,’ he confessed as he eyes filled with tears.   

'I'm breaking!' Last week, Tom Williams (pictured) wept as he faced a similar challenge, but was eventually able to conquer his own phobia

'I'm breaking!' Last week, Tom Williams (pictured) wept as he faced a similar challenge, but was eventually able to conquer his own phobia

‘I’m breaking!’ Last week, Tom Williams (pictured) wept as he faced a similar challenge, but was eventually able to conquer his own phobia

Determined to overcome his fear of snakes, the father-of-two bravely grabbed the remaining stars from the snake tank.  

He later emerged from the challenge with his fists triumphantly raised in the air. 

‘It feels bloody great!’ Tom told the hosts. ‘I feel like I’ve climbed a bit of a hill.’ 

Good on ya! Determined to overcome his fear of snakes, Tom bravely grabbed the remaining stars from the snake tank and emerged triumphant

Good on ya! Determined to overcome his fear of snakes, Tom bravely grabbed the remaining stars from the snake tank and emerged triumphant

Good on ya! Determined to overcome his fear of snakes, Tom bravely grabbed the remaining stars from the snake tank and emerged triumphant

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Ryan Gallagher’s close encounter with one of the world’s most dangerous animals in South Africa

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For the past three weeks fans have watched on as Charlotte Crosby has flirted her way into Ryan Gallagher’s heart on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia.

But it appears a local girl had already stolen it from the lovable larrikin before he entered the jungle. 

Her name is Jessica, a 1500kg hippo, and despite having a reputation as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa, she is only to happy to interact with humans. 

Ryan shared his amazing experience of getting up close and personal with the 18-year-old Hippopotamus by posting a photo and video to his Instagram page. 

'Any resemblance? Ryan Gallagher had a close encounter with one of the world's most dangerous animals in South Africa, Jessica, a 1500kg hippo, ahead of stint on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

'Any resemblance? Ryan Gallagher had a close encounter with one of the world's most dangerous animals in South Africa, Jessica, a 1500kg hippo, ahead of stint on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

‘Any resemblance? Ryan Gallagher had a close encounter with one of the world’s most dangerous animals in South Africa, Jessica, a 1500kg hippo, ahead of stint on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! 

Are we seeing any resemblance?’ he joked in the caption of an adorable image of the two showing off goofy grins to the camera.

In the video, Ryan is is seen sitting by the water to hand feed Jessica and give her nose a playful rub.

After giving her a pat, he turns to the camera with a look of utter shock on his face. 

Stunned: Ryan shared his amazing experience of getting up close and personal with the 18-year-old Hippopotamus by posting a photo and video to his Instagram page

Stunned: Ryan shared his amazing experience of getting up close and personal with the 18-year-old Hippopotamus by posting a photo and video to his Instagram page

Stunned: Ryan shared his amazing experience of getting up close and personal with the 18-year-old Hippopotamus by posting a photo and video to his Instagram page

Fans were quick to react to Ryan’s amazing experience on social media. 

‘Wow you’re so lucky!! I have loved hippos since kindergarten,’ wrote on envious woman. 

‘Just patted the most vicious animal on earth,’ commented an astounded man. 

Hand reared: According to a website explaining Jessica's life story, she was found as an infant by Tonie and Shirley Joubert during floods in South Africa in 2000

Hand reared: According to a website explaining Jessica's life story, she was found as an infant by Tonie and Shirley Joubert during floods in South Africa in 2000

Hand reared: According to a website explaining Jessica’s life story, she was found as an infant by Tonie and Shirley Joubert during floods in South Africa in 2000

According to a website explaining Jessica’s life story, she was found as an infant by Tonie and Shirley Joubert during floods in South Africa in 2000.

The couple hand reared her, which is why she is so friendly towards humans today. 

It isn’t the first time Jessica has gotten up close and personal with the stars on I’m A Celebrity. 

The world’s most famous hippo made a guest appearance in first season of the Australian show. 

In the episode, which aired in 2015, Jessica helped television and radio personality Chrissie Swan and Maureen McCormick, who famously portrayed Marcia in The Brady Bunch, win a box of chocolate for their campmates. 

Already stolen: For the past three weeks fans have watched on as Charlotte Crosby has flirted her way into Ryan Gallagher's heart on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! Australia

Already stolen: For the past three weeks fans have watched on as Charlotte Crosby has flirted her way into Ryan Gallagher's heart on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! Australia

Already stolen: For the past three weeks fans have watched on as Charlotte Crosby has flirted her way into Ryan Gallagher’s heart on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia

 

 

  

    

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MAFS ‘experts’ reveal bride Connie Crayden, 27, is the face to watch on the show this year

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They’re set to welcome a new batch of contestants on Married At First Sight when it returns to Channel Nine on February 3. 

And this week, the show’s resident ‘experts’ revealed which star is the one to watch. 

Speaking to Now to Love, John Aiken and Dr. Trisha Stratford said all eyes should be on bride Connie Crayden, 27,  because she really is there to find ‘The One.’

'She finds it hard to find love': The MAFS 'experts have revealed that bride Connie Crayden, 27, (pictured) is the one to watch on the show this year

'She finds it hard to find love': The MAFS 'experts have revealed that bride Connie Crayden, 27, (pictured) is the one to watch on the show this year

‘She finds it hard to find love’: The MAFS ‘experts have revealed that bride Connie Crayden, 27, (pictured) is the one to watch on the show this year 

Despite insisting all of the cast are there to find their ‘perfect match’, the experts thought Connie really stood out. 

‘She’s shy and awkward and finds it very hard to find love and yet she was brave enough to put her hand up and come on the show,’ John told Now to Love.  

‘I think she’s a really great example of someone who’s incredibly genuine and vulnerable but gets out there.’ 

'She's shy and awkward': Despite insisting all of the cast are there to find their 'perfect match', the experts thought Connie really stood out

'She's shy and awkward': Despite insisting all of the cast are there to find their 'perfect match', the experts thought Connie really stood out

‘She’s shy and awkward’: Despite insisting all of the cast are there to find their ‘perfect match’, the experts thought Connie really stood out

In the know: Pictured are the show's experts (from left to right) Mel Schilling, John Aiken and Dr. Trisha Stratford

In the know: Pictured are the show's experts (from left to right) Mel Schilling, John Aiken and Dr. Trisha Stratford

In the know: Pictured are the show’s experts (from left to right) Mel Schilling, John Aiken and Dr. Trisha Stratford 

He added: ‘Some are bit more shy, others forthright but she [Connie] certainly stands out, her story’s a compelling one.’

In a promo for the show, which was released last month, Connie’s mother slammed MAFS, calling the program ‘manipulative’ and begging her daughter to pull out before it’s too late.

‘I can’t stand that show,’ she barked after Connie revealed that she’s was taking part in the controversial experiment. 

Will she meet the man of her dreams? 'Some are bit more shy, others forthright but she [Connie] certainly stands out, her story's a compelling one,' John said

Will she meet the man of her dreams? 'Some are bit more shy, others forthright but she [Connie] certainly stands out, her story's a compelling one,' John said

Will she meet the man of her dreams? ‘Some are bit more shy, others forthright but she [Connie] certainly stands out, her story’s a compelling one,’ John said

Not happy! In a promo for the show, which was released last month, Connie's mother slammed MAFS, calling the program 'manipulative' and begging her daughter to pull out before it's too late.

Not happy! In a promo for the show, which was released last month, Connie's mother slammed MAFS, calling the program 'manipulative' and begging her daughter to pull out before it's too late.

Not happy! In a promo for the show, which was released last month, Connie’s mother slammed MAFS, calling the program ‘manipulative’ and begging her daughter to pull out before it’s too late. 

Connie’s mother later unleashed on MAFS again in an interview with producers.  

‘Clearly as a mother, when your child tells you, “hey mum, I’m going on a show that you don’t like”, that’s made it worse,’ she raged.

‘I can’t STAND your show… it’s an experiment that went wrong.’ 

She continued: ‘I think the show can be quite manipulating. Like this interview, for example, you’re only going to put on, you’re going to take bits out, you’re not going to say exactly everything that I’ve said.’

'I can't stand your show!' Connie's mother later unleashed on MAFS again, in an interview with producers

'I can't stand your show!' Connie's mother later unleashed on MAFS again, in an interview with producers

‘I can’t stand your show!’ Connie’s mother later unleashed on MAFS again, in an interview with producers

She further demolished MAFS while speaking to her daughter, calling it ‘stupid, ridiculous and catty.’

Earlier in the trailer, Connie admitted that she was ‘lonely’ and desperate to find a partner. 

‘After a while you just think, “what’s wrong with me if every single person I meet doesn’t want a bar of me,”‘ the brunette admitted.

‘I don’t think I’m ugly but I don’t think there’s anything striking about me,’ she continued. ‘I want to be married because I don’t want to be alone anymore.’

Married At First Sight will return to Channel Nine on February 3.

 

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