Former heavyweight boxing champion, and lifelong Hammers fan, Frank Bruno made the trip to the London Stadium for West Ham’s win over Luton as a part of the Premier League’s Inside Matters mental health campaign.

Bruno had an outstanding boxing career with 45 professional fights, winning 40, with 38 of those wins coming by knockout. He famously won the WBC heavyweight title in 1995 and had fights against the likes of Mike Tyson and fellow West Ham fan Lennox Lewis, becoming a household name in Britain in the 1980’s and 1990’s, in what was a stellar 14 year career in professional boxing.

Since his retirement from professional boxing, Bruno has had well publicised challenges with mental health having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2003. These days, the 62 year old uses his platform and his public profile to address stigma around mental health disorders and to help improve the care given to those dealing with mental health issues.

He set up The Frank Bruno Foundation in 2017 to help give young people battling mental health problems a safe space. His visit to the London stadium coincided with the Premier League’s Inside Matters campaign, where both the league and Premier League club’s are encouraging their supporters to check in with each other and have conversations about mental health.

New research by the Premier League has revealed that 84% of supporters believe football helps start conversations and that 83% of young men aged 18-34 say they would have conversations about mental health with the friends they see at matches.

Discussing the challenges of dealing with mental health with the clubs Official Website, Bruno said: “Mental health hits so many people in different ways. Years ago, it was difficult to come out with things and talk about mental health, but things are changing where people feel like they can really talk about issues, and it is much better.”

Offering advice to anyone battling or witnessing someone around them suffering with mental health issues, Bruno said: “My advice to people is to take care of yourself and always watch what you and those around you are doing. If you see certain people in your family acting strange, try and do them a favour and take them to the doctor.” Adding: “It isn’t a weakness at all.”