Anthony Joshua’s former headmaster reveals how he went from ‘part of the furniture in the detention room’ to school hero
ANTHONY JOSHUA is no stranger to rubbing shoulders with A-List celebrities at exclusive Hollywood parties.
But the modest world champion still remembers those who looked out for him when it wasn’t all title belts and million pound pay cheques on Garston’s Meriden Estate in Watford.
Joining him on his list of heavyweight names to attend some of his lucrative fights is Graham Lock, a former caretaker at Watford’s Kings Langley school.
This Saturday undefeated AJ heads for a date at Wembley against Russian brute Alexander Povetkin with his IBF, WBA and WBO title belts on the line.
And ahead of his fight, SunSport caught up with Joshua’s former headteacher who backed up claims of his humble side despite being a piece of the furniture in the detention room.
Gary Lewis exclusively revealed: “He’s been back to the school on three separate occasions, he is a huge star here.
“I was slightly nervous when I met him because he did have one or two run-ins with me.
“I was his headteacher and I had to apply the discipline but he still called me Mr Lewis. I’m quite a short guy and he came up and gave me a big hug. I had to bend my neck to look up at him.
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“He’s looked after our caretaker who followed him very closely for a while. Anthony got him tickets for some of the fights and really looks after him.
“He’s very close to his former PE teacher and has a lot of contact with him. We expect to see him back very soon.”
Joshua was 18 when he decided to take up boxing at Finchly ABC boxing club, being put through his paces by old coach Sean Murphy.
He showed his humble side last year when he forked out £58,000 to buy Murphy a BMW 6 series as a thank you gift.
Alongside Murphy’s help, his grit and determination took him to the very top and Lewis says he showed the same desire and character on the football pitch and in the 400 metres.
Lewis added: “He was a fabulous sportsman, he didn’t exploit his full talent in the classroom and he never really found school very easy.
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“He was terribly tall from a very young age but he was all skin and bone. He was our centre-forward in the football team and I thought he could have gone very far. But he was perhaps even better at running – he was a fantastic 400m runner.
“He was in a little bit of trouble here, there and everywhere but he was always focused on his sports.
“Anthony would always be there after school and ready to train. He took it very seriously and was always keen to do well.
“He was very competitive, always wanted to improve on his performance as a footballer and a runner and that was always very much a part of his character, that’s for sure.”