WHENEVER Tyson Fury steps into the ring, you can bet the people of Morecambe will be cheering on their local hero.
The Gypsy King made the fading seaside town his permanent home in 2011, and has since become its most famous resident.
And over the years, the self-confessed lineal heavyweight champion of the world hasn't wasted any time in getting familiar with his surroundings, becoming a pillar of the community.
From gruelling morning runs with Joe Public 'Rocky-style' to enjoying a family meal at the Morecambe Hotel and Restaurant with wife Paris, and their five children, Fury has ingratiated himself into seaside society.
What he eats is dependent on whether he's got a fight or not. If he has a fight coming up, he'll order a breakfast box but will ask to have the fat cut off the bacon
Quietly going about his life, he's participated in charity work for children's hospitals, offered help and advice to aspiring boxers and supported local businesses.
That's why the boxer, a reformed character after his battle with depression, drug and alcohol abuse, is a real man of the people in these parts.
HOME FIT FOR A KING
Fury, Paris and kids Prince John James, Venezuela, Prince Tyson Fury II, Valencia, and Prince Adonis Amaziah live in the area.
Their five-bed, four-bathroom home is worth around £550,000, according to Zoopla.
That figure dwarfs the average property price in the area of £340,000, and is the most impressive home on the street.
But if you have designs on Fury's home, forget it because he's not moving any time soon.
“I used to train there (Lancaster and Morecambe) early in my career and I fell in love with the place and I’m still there today and I’ll probably never leave," he once said.
For his weekly shop, Fury and his clan normally stock up their fridge at the very modest Spar supermarket.
THE MORNING RUN
Mornings for Fury often start with a jog along the four-and-half-mile-long Morecambe Promenade.
And without fail, even when it is at its chilliest and wettest, he's joined by a swarm of fans who join the brawler, who organises the meet, for a workout.
The starting point is the VVV Health and Leisure Club, which was a haunt for Fury before it closed down in summer 2019.
“Everybody is welcome. Men, women, children," Fury told the Lancashire Post in 2015, before his bout with Wladimir Klitschko.
And he's eager to pass on his life experiences during the run too.
"There is no bad conversation, there’s nothing, just pure boxing talk, general knowledge, life, nice and sensible stuff," he said.
Fury has also been known to stop and chat with well-wishers, often signing autographs if asked.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Alongside the bay lies the Bayview Cabin, a tiny sea front establishment that sells fast food, drinks and ice cream to locals and tourists.
Fury is a regular, often grabbing a hearty breakfast from Megan Wilson, 20, who serves there and knows when he's in training mode.
"What he gets to eat is dependent on whether he's got a fight or not," she told SunSport.
"Sometimes he'll order a big breakfast, but sometimes he watches his weight and tries to get something healthier.
"If he has a fight coming up, he'll order a breakfast box but will ask to have the fat cut off the bacon."
Wilson added: "He's lovely customer, he's very open and funny and will talk about whatever you like.
"If you ask him a question about his boxing, he always gives a very honest answer."
Should Tyson fancy a drink and a nice meal with Paris, the family often head to The Morecambe Hotel and Restaurant, where they can gobble down a variety of grilled dishes, pies, and sandwiches from the menu.
The two are on familiar terms with bar staff, who wouldn't talk to SunSport until conferring with Paris first.
In 2016, Fury was filmed partying at the Kings Head with a group of mates – just days before he tested positive for cocaine.
A barmaid who didn't want to be named said she hadn't seen Fury in there, but in March 2019 saw him taking pictures with fans at the Strawberry Gardens pub in Heysham on St Patrick's Day.
Fury has also been known to indulge in a bevvy at the Crafty Scholar, a boozer that shows live sporting events and attracts the travelling community.
THE GYPSY QUEEN
Paris, 29, met Fury when she was 15 at the wedding of a mutual friend, and they married in her hometown of Doncaster, South Yorkshire in 2008.
In keeping with the travellers' tradition they didn't sleep together until their wedding night.
Paris explained: "Even after we got engaged, Tyson would sleep in a caravan at my parents’ home, while I slept inside the house."
As Fury has gone on to conquer the world, Paris has become a celebrity in her own right.
Boxing trainer Bob Howard, 51, ran Lancaster Boys' Club for two decades, and then Lancaster Boxing Club for a further five years until it closed down a few years ago.
A friend of Fury's, he worked with the Gypsy King's cousins Phil and Hughie – teaching them the art of fighting in the ring.
"I've known Tyson since he was around ten years old through to amateur and until today," Howard told SunSport.
"He used to come along with Phil and Hughie, and he lived for boxing.
"We'd often had boxing competitions around the country and Tyson was the heavyweight in our team.
"And truth be told, he beat up every kid."
Another of Fury's pals, WBC International Featherweight champ Issac Lowe, featured on the undercard of Fury vs Schwarz, after he previously fought before Wilder vs Fury at the Staples Center in Los Angeles last year.
Howard trained Lowe, who also lives in Morecambe, up until his tenth pro fight, and talked about the close bond Fury and Love have, including when the Gypsy King talked the Westgate Warrior out of walking away from the ring.
"He's always been in close contact with Issac," Howard divulged.
"There were times when Issac felt that he hadn't had the opportunities and the fights he deserved and had had enough of this game.
"But Tyson kept pushing him along, telling him to keep going and that he'll get there in the end.
"That's why they're close friends, because they are so encouraging with each other."
In keeping with his nice-guy persona, Howard recalled how Fury became a mentor for the youngsters that trained in his -gym, and never missed a presentation night.
"He'd always come in, even if he wasn't sparring, to hand out trophies to some of the boys.
"Not only would he gee up the lads, he would be there all night, talking to people, offering them insights into the sport and aiming to please everyone.
"And any charity events, Tyson was there – whether he'd be signing boxing gloves for an auction or handing out toys in a children's hospital. Nothing is ever a chore for him."
THE PEOPLE'S CHAMPION
Back in 2015, Fury revealed a genuine ambition of one day becoming an MP for Morecambe.
He revealed: "I want to make a change for the better for the place I live.
"I believe that I will succeed because of the influence I have over the people from the town."
Current Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris, who represents the Conservative Party, wouldn't be drawn on Tyson's chances of a political career.
However, he did speak of Morecambe's delight at Fury's success.
"Tyson Fury is a heroic sportsman, who as a former world champion, we are all proud in Morecambe and Lunesdale of his sporting achievements," Morris told SunSport.
That's a sentiment the people of Morecambe are always sure to get behind when Tyson steps into the ring.
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