A HEROIC boxing coach was forced to wait six months to have his prostate removed despite his students raising £15,000 for the surgery.

Alec Wilkey, a professional boxing coach and black cab driver, had to wait an agonising six months for his lifesaving operation because of the coronavirus pandemic, with doctors telling the 63-year-old in March “everything has stopped.”

Mr Wilkey, from Laindon, was planning to use his credit card to pay for the £15,000 operation to remove the cancer, before one of his students, Danny Cassius Connor set up a fundraising page.

Remarkably, the money was remarkably raised in less than a week.

Alec decided to use private healthcare for his surgery due to NHS waiting lists but was still forced to wait until September 15 to have the operation.

“I was so overwhelmed when the money was raised in six days,” he said. The coach added: “I told Danny not to start the fundraiser. I didn’t want any fuss at all. He’s got a heart of gold.

“I went to the doctors because I was getting up two or three times in the night to go to the toilet. Within days I had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“It was frustrating having to wait that long. I was chasing them and emailing them all the time.

“The surgeon said it wasn’t just me, his whole list had been cancelled. It was right at the start of lockdown.

“They were giving the impression coronavirus wouldn’t be around for long. They were saying it will only be a month.”

Throughout the six months, Alec was still coaching at the Lansbury boxing gym in East London.

He continued: “I’ve recovered well since the operation. My whole prostate was removed.

“I’ve just been tired. I haven’t been back to the gym yet. Boxing promoters and fighters all contributed towards it, it was so kind of them.”

Alec is now awaiting blood test results to see if he is cancer free.