COMMONWEALTH Games boxing hero Reece McFadden has denied claims he took a car without the owner’s permission and drove it on the streets of his hometown.
The fighter, of Motherwell, Lanarkshire, is alleged to have taken the vehicle while also having no insurance or a full driving licence.
The 19-year-old, who is recovering from an operation after breaking his thumb during a recent bout, was stopped by police in Motherwell in October last year.
He faces a total of three charges linked to the incident.
McFadden today submitted a not guilty plea by letter at Hamilton JP Court. It is expected he will appear for trial in May.
He recently had surgery at Wishaw General Hospital having been injured in a win over Lee Mitchell in Blackpool.
McFadden is in the third year of a four-year joinery apprenticeship with a housing maintenance firm.
The bronze medal-winning flyweight enjoyed success at the Commonwealth Games where he defeated the world number one in his first round before being narrowly beaten by Australian Andrew Moloney in the semi-finals.
Speaking recently he said: “I still need to watch my weight even after breaking my thumb. I can’t let it creep up or I’ll struggle to get it back off.
“I’m not the type of person to be sitting about, but this injury has stopped me punching with both hands. It’s the first major injury I’ve had, apart from cuts above my eyes.
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS
“It is quite hard to combine the study, the training and my work, sometimes I’ll have to take days off to do training camps or prepare for fights.”
After the Games he stunned his girlfriend Sammy Hilferty by presenting her with an engagement ring at a restaurant in Turkey on her 18th birthday.
The pair had jetted off there with Reece’s family after he landed a gong at the Glasgow showcase.
McFadden posted a picture of the engagement ring on his Facebook page and told his followers: “Just proposed to Sammy Hilferty and she said yes! I am one happy man.”
Delighted Sammy, a social sciences student, added: “Absolutely stunned, Reece just proposed and I said yes! What an 18th to remember and lots more memories together.”
Sammy, who has been dating McFadden for more than four years, cheered him on throughout his run in the flyweight contest at the Games.
She previously told how she has been his secret weapon by weaning him off his love for junk food and Chinese takeaways.