A Colliers Wood rugby player is swapping the cleats for the boxing gloves this week as he looks to raise money for a mental health charity Mind.

Lee Elliot is the first team captain and also coaches at Merton Rugby Club and will be fighting Friday night at The Troxy in east London as part of an evening of boxing matches hosted by the White Collar Fight Club.

The subject of mental health is something very close to Lee - who is also a former Royal Marine Commando - as a former club-mate recently committed suicide at just 19 years old.

"Raising money for Mind has been a great opportunity to help people struggling with mental health," he told the Wimbledon Times.

To visit Lee's fundraising page, click here

"I know from first hand experience that having someone to talk to and offer support and advice could be the difference between life and death for someone in a dark place.

"On another note, you may or may not have seen that Mel B’s body guard recently also took his own life.

"He was a member of 45 commando and a veteran of the Afghanistan campaign. Myself also being an ex-Royal Marine, this is something that I find very difficult to hear and something that seems to be happening on a almost weekly basis."

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For the past eight weeks, Lee has undergone an intensive training program to prepare him for the fight.

But juggling boxing and rugby hasn't always been the easiest thing to do.

"The training sessions themselves have fitted around rugby, however trying to keep up both sports has been physically demanding," Lee added.

"I have managed to continue to coach at Merton and play the odd game but unfortunately the sparring sessions have been scheduled for 2pm on Saturdays which means I miss kick off.

"I’ve taken a reasonable amount of stick for this from the club as I captain the first team.

"The training has greatly improved my cardiovascular endurance which has helped me get around the pitch but I’ve also lost 6kg in 8 weeks, this is not so positive on a rugby pitch for a forward player that normally needs a bit of weight behind him."

He is hoping that the £1,100 he has raised so far will help make a difference for the charity and anyone struggling with mental health issues.

"I’d encourage people to support Mind and mental health charities in general," he said.

"We never know when we each may need that support and the chances are, we all have friends and and family that are silently going through a rough patch and need the support that charities like Mind can offer.

"Without the public's support the charities could not continue the fantastic work that they do."