A WRITER and producer from Gourock has roped in River City's Stephen Purdon and Scottish acting royalty David Hayman to star in his new play about legendary boxer Benny Lynch.

David Carswell is the man behind 'The Benny Lynch Story', which explores the remarkable rise - and fall - of the country's first world champion.

He has recruited a stellar cast featuring Purdon, aka 'Shellsuit Bob' from River City, in the lead role alongside Hayman as coach and mentor Sammy Wilson, with the veteran actor's son David Hayman Jnr in the director's chair.

Actress Holly Jack, who also been in the BBC soap as well as Waterloo Road and Burnistoun, stars as Lynch's wife while Simon Weir, whose screen credits include High Road, Taggart and Trainspotting 2, plays 'Tash the Gorbals' sage'.

The production will tour across Scotland next year, including a date at Greenock's Beacon Arts Centre on Saturday June 1.

Carswell, who put on the successful Morton play, 'Mon Eh Ton!', at the waterfront venue in 2017, said: "I've written it and it's co-produced by me and Simon, who's also in it, through his Cathkin Park Ltd theatre company.

"He saw the Morton show last year and loved it and approached me and asked me if I would write one about Benny Lynch.

"Mon Eh Ton! got really good reviews and lot of people said they weren't a Morton or football fan and really enjoyed it.

"This is the same, you don't have to like boxing. "It's a rags to riches to rags story.

"If you liked Mon Eh Ton! I think you'll really like The Benny Lynch Story."

Lynch shot to global stardom when he won the flyweight world title in 1935 at the age of just 22 but his life tragically came to an end when he was just 33 after troubles with alcohol and the law.

Carswell says his play focuses on the positives instead of the negatives.

He said: "I've always known about him but, like most people, I knew more about the tragedy of Benny Lynch. "The play starts with him as a child and the tragedy he went through at a young age to becoming world-famous, as famous as guys like Jimmy Cagney or any one of these superstars of that era.

"A lot of shows in the past have focused on the negatives but I'm focusing on the positives. "This is a guy who came from the slums of the Gorbals and became a world champion."

The production contains some strong language and is suitable for people aged 14 and over.

* For tickets and more information visit www.beaconartscentre.co.uk or call 723723.