David Bridges is no stranger to the big sporting occasion.

After all, the Alconbury man has played in more than 150 Football League matches during his career.

But the 33 year-old faces a very different challenge this Friday when swapping the pitch for the ring.

Bridges' first amateur fight features on a show being put on by St Ives Boxing Academy, where he has trained since the turn of the year, at the Corn Exchange in the town.

Former Cambridge United and Stevenage midfield ace Bridges, currently player-coach at Southern League Premier Division club King's Lynn, said: “I've never shied away from a tackle on the football pitch, but I'm not a confrontational person by any means. I'm more of a lover than a fighter, but this is something that has been on my mind for some time.

“We did some boxing as part of our training at Stevenage and I've been keen to have a go ever since. I decided this is the year to do it.

“Now the fight is getting close I'm excited, but a bit apprehensive too. Hopefully I will be able to treat it like a football match and focus on producing a good performance even though I will be out of my comfort zone.

“I haven't got any firm plans in boxing. I just want to get in the ring on Friday and see how it goes.”

But Bridges, who works as a skills coach for the Football Association, has been able to call on one former team-mate for some valuable pre-fight advice. He played alongside Leon McKenzie – a footballer turned potential professional boxing champion – when at Kettering Town.

Bridges added: “I've stayed in touch with Leon since our time at Kettering and had a few chats with him ahead of the fight. Plenty of my old team-mates are aware of what I'm doing and one or two of them might come along.”

Bridges fights at 72kg and has been matched against 38 year-old Anthony McKen from Redbridge ABC, who is also having his first fight.

St Ives fighters Jack Smith, Tony Robb, Steve Ball, Aaron Francis, Marco Pitta, Levi Browning, Brian Lawless and Micky Ward are all set for action on Friday.

The show starts at 8pm. Entry is £15 (adults) and £5 (under 12s).