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Joe Calzaghe rescues George Cross hero


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Strictly Joe Calzaghe rescues George Cross hero from call centre post By Audrey Gillan


Strictly Come Dancing star Joe Calzaghe has given a job to the soldier who won the George Cross and then ended up working in a call centre – after reading of the hero’s plight in The Mail on Sunday.


Chris Finney, 25, will now spearhead Calzaghe’s campaign to raise funds for the charity Help for Heroes and will organise the boxer’s testimonial dinner next March in aid of Britain’s wounded soldiers.


The former Lance Corporal of Horse – the youngest-ever soldier to win the GC – started his new job as corporate ambassador with Joe Calzaghe Enterprises last Monday.

New challenge: Strictly Come Dancing star Joe Calzaghe has given a job to the soldier who ended up working in a call centre

It was the most interesting of a string of job offers he received after he revealed in The Mail on Sunday this month how he felt demeaned after he left the Army and ended up selling insurance policies for half the salary he had earned as a soldier.


More...Read how the MoS revealed Chris Finney's plight...


Chris said: ‘This new job is a life-changing opportunity. It gives me a sense of purpose and I will be working towards something not just for individual gain. It will help out a lot of people I used to work alongside, my old colleagues.’


Calzaghe, 37 – who crashed out of Strictly last month – said: ‘I was touched by Chris’s story and how brave he was. He did so much for his country and ended up in a call centre. I decided to offer him a job.’


Chris Finney's story in the Mail on Sunday earlier this month

The former super-middleweight boxer, who hung up his gloves as Britain’s only undefeated world champion last February, said he had some understanding of what it would be like to leave the Army and suddenly find yourself in a different world.


‘When you have a certain focus, it’s difficult when you come out of that,’ he said. ‘I wanted to offer Chris something he would enjoy.


'Building up for this dinner, what is better than employing someone who has actually been to war, has been in the same situation as these soldiers we are raising money for?


‘He has been on the battlefield and shown bravery. He is a great asset to us, a clever guy with a great personality.’


Chris was an 18-year-old trooper with the Blues and Royals when he saved an injured colleague, pulling him from a blazing vehicle under attack from two American A-10 aircraft in Iraq in 2003.


The Queen presented him with the GC – the highest bravery honour that can be awarded when there is no contact with enemy forces.


The citation praised his ‘clear-headed courage and devotion to his comrades’.


Calzaghe hopes to raise up to £500,000 from the gala dinner at London’s Grosvenor House hotel which will feature A-list celebrities and top sporting names. He is donating the cash instead of using it to ease his retirement.


The boxer witnessed some of the severe injuries suffered by troops on a visit to Headley Court, the defence medical rehabilitation centre near Epsom in Surrey.

He said: ‘The spirit of these guys is just amazing. I am in a position to help and I feel great that I can.’

• For tickets and information about the Joe Calzaghe Testimonial Dinner in aid of Help for Heroes, visit http://www.joecalzaghe.com.




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