Barnsley’s beloved boxer, Lee Noble, passes away after brave battle with cancer

Written by Oliver Hall

A boxer from Barnsley described as “an inspiration to all that knew him” by his partner, has passed away peacefully on Sunday morning after a long battle with cancer.

Lee ‘Lightning’ Noble, 33, was forced to hang up his gloves in 2014 after being diagnosed with leukaemia after 47 fights, in which he won both the British and International Masters Championship titles under the tutorship of the historic Ingle gym in Sheffield.

His career also included bouts against future multiple-weight world champion Billy Joe Saunders, former British and Commonwealth champion Martin Murray and WBA & IBF International champion, John Ryder.

After completing his intravenous radiotherapy in June 2017, Lee announced in early 2018 that the cancer had returned and spread to his brain and bone marrow.

Despite undergoing a successful bone marrow transplant, he confirmed that the cancer on his brain was terminal and there was no further treatment available.

Ever the fighter, Lee promised “I’m still walking tall, chest out chin up. I won’t stop fighting till it’s impossible to fight.”

In light of his prognosis, the president of the WBC, Mauricio Sulaiman, announced that he would make Lee the Honorary Champion of the WBC due to his “bravery and courage to confront adversity.”

Lee’s death has rocked the boxing world, with tributes flooding in from friends, former opponents and promoters across the globe but none are more poignant and heartfelt than that of his partner, Nicolle Beal.

She said of Lee, “He was, and still is, the most amazing man I have ever met and truly an inspiration to all that knew him.”

“I’m so grateful for all the years I had with him.”

The outpour of emotion from the boxing and wider communities has touched Nicolle, “the amount of love, support and well wishes we have received is so overwhelming and it means so much to myself and his family.”

“A massive part of us has gone, but we can take great comfort in knowing that now he can rest.”

His best friend and former housemate, former European light-heavyweight champion Danny McIntosh offered this touching tribute to Lee:

“He was a funny, energetic, crazy joker. We lived together, trained together and partied together.”

“Lee always remained positive, he took everything with a grin on his face. He was never knocked down in the ring or outside of it.”

“He was a such an incredible man and he’ll be sorely missed by all.”

Lee received support from the entire boxing community including former opponent Saunders and former world champion Kell Brook.                                                             Credit: Twitter @cassius_connor

Matchroom promoter, Eddie Hearn, tweeted “Very saddened to hear of the passing of Lee Noble. Lee fought his illness so bravely for many Years and my thoughts and everyone at Matchroom are with him and his family. At peace now.”

Friend and fellow boxer, Danny Cassius Connor, posted his tribute:

“Rest in peace lightning Lee Noble, absolutely gutted… I remember visiting you in the hospital in London and all we did was piss take and laugh, love you bro, till we meet again.”

Lee was a devoted father and family man, and he leaves behind two beautiful children, and a legacy of positivity, determinedness and charisma.

A crowd funder has been set up on JustGiving to help provide for his family following the loss of Lee and can be accessed at










Written by Oliver Hall

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