Legendary heavyweight champion boxers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko took to FaceTime to thank a Greater Lincolnshire MP for his work delivering ambulances to Ukraine during the resistance effort against Russia.
Both Wladimir, 46, and Vitali, 50, soared to national icon status in Ukraine as they became heavyweight boxing world champions at the peak of their powers in the 2000s and early 2010s.
Wladimir spent over 4,300 days as heavyweight champion of the world, and was recently inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, while his brother Vitali is also a multiple time champion in the same weight class and a legend of the sport in his own right.
The pair ruled the roost in the ring during their fighting careers, and now they are bringing that determination and spirit to the recent resistance effort in their homeland – following the Russian invasion earlier this year.
Vitali, the current mayor of Kyiv, has been praised as a symbol of resistance alongside president Volodymyr Zelensky, while Wladimir joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces in February 2022 to protect his country from Russian attacks.
As part of a solidarity showing to Ukraine, the MP for Brigg & Goole, Andrew Percy, helped set up an Ambulances for Ukraine project – which saw emergency vehicles designed and created in Goole before being shipped off to Ukraine.
These battlefield ambulances have helped save lives that could have been lost in the ongoing conflict, and it has not gone unnoticed in Ukraine.
On Thursday evening, when out doing some gardening at his home, Mr Percy was contacted by Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, along with a UK-based Ukrainian businessman called Victor, who has helped fund the ambulance project.
The Brigg & Goole MP shared a FaceTime conversation with the brothers, who expressed their thanks for the efforts put in by Mr Percy and his constituents in the delivery of these ambulances.
He said: “The Mayor again said how moved he was by the support from the UK and how Goole’s ambulances are helping to save lives at the front. He also assured me he would be reaching out to the factory again to personally say thanks.
“I was a bit ill prepared and a bit muddy and sweaty from gardening but I did my best to say how honoured we are as a community to be building these ambulances and how amazing the whole team at the factory have been. I really hope one day we can welcome Vitali to the town.”