Our talented martial artist By John Goodbody

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There is a chasm between the hurly-burly of Olympic judo and the refined world of professional modern art. But it is a gap that has been successfully crossed by Neil Eckersley, who represented Britain as a bantamweight in the 1984 and 1988 Games, winning a bronze medal in Los Angeles.

Born and raised on the tough streets of Salford, Neil flourished in art at school. He says: “I grew up in a tough area, which explains why I wanted to look after myself, but the art came from a need to express myself and give an outlet for my creative urges. I have always had a problem with the written word because of dyslexia but found painting to be the perfect way to express emotions and things that I wanted to put across. There are not the constraints of the written word.”

 

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From Martial Arts To Fine Art

A FORMER Olympic judo bronze medallist is turning his hands to gentler skills and making moves in the world of fine arts. Born and raised on the tough Neil Eckersleystreets of Salford, Neil Eckersley was Britain’s leading extra-lightweight judo player for a decade, winning his bronze at the Los Angeles games of 1984. He has coached the national junior team for many years and has been recently been awarded an Associate Professorship with the European and USA Kilohana Association.

 

But recently he has gone back to another love of his and is taking a firm grip on the art world with a stunning portfolio of new works being showcased on the Saatchi online collection of paintings by up and coming artists.
Neil, now living in Lancaster, explains how his love of art began, saying: “I grew up in a tough area, which explains why I wanted to learn how to look after myself – but the art came from a need to express myself and give an outlet for my creative urges.

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