HE was the typical tough kid.
Fighting at school and a life of trouble was all that Sammy Hill knew.
Until he decided to change.
Now the champion boxer is an inspiration to kids and has been hailed as the ‘secret weapon’ in tackling anti-social behaviour.
Sammy, who runs the Frantic Fitness kickboxing school, is keeping troubled teens out of bother.
But he admits it’s a path he came so close to treading himself — until he saw the light.
“I was a bit daft when I was younger,” Sammy recalls.
“I’d get involved in trouble and it wasn’t doing me any good, so I decided to change for the better.
“I was determined not to go down a bad route and I made the decision to turn my life around.
“The boxing gave me a new focus and I put everything into making myself a success. Now it’s taken off with the coaching classes and I’m loving it.”
Sammy, whose school runs twice a week in Symington, was approached by police to help beat crime.
They saw his potential as a role model to kids who were wreaking havoc on the streets.
And the effect has been startling, with crime levels falling drastically since the club kicked off two years ago.
Sammy, 22, revealed: “Derek Simpson, who was the local cop here at the time, came to me and asked if I’d do something.
“I was delighted to help and it’s been a great experience. I run the club with my wife Natalie and we get people coming from as far away as Newton Mearns.
“We also run classes for women and the age range of the regulars is about 11 to 45.
“There’s a great atmosphere and we all have a laugh. It also means we’re keeping people off the streets and giving them something to do with their time, so that’s the most important thing.”
Sammy has also been asked back to his old primary school in Whitletts to do an inspirational talk to the kids.
He laughed: “It’s funny when I think of the trouble I caused the teachers when I was there as a kid. Now they want me back to give a talk.
“But it just shows how you can turn your life around and make something of yourself and I want to pass that message on to as many people as I can.”
Crime figures have been slashed in half since Sammy’s class kicked off.
And the champion boxer’s name value is making his school a star attraction.
PC Roy Williams, community officer for Symington, said: “Sammy’s a great guy who’s pulling in people from all over the place.
“And he’s keeping them there. He has such a positive effect on the area and crime in the area has approximately halved since he started his classes.
“There’s been a dramatic difference in the amount of anti-social behaviour and it’s obvious he has a good thing going.
“Now the priority for everyone is to make sure we maintain that and keep getting the funding.”
HARRY Taylor, left, is just one of the kids flourishing under Sammy’s guidance.
The Symington youngster has been attending Frantic Fitness for three years.
And he reckons the confidence he’s been given is just as good as any boxing skills.
Harry, 12, admitted: “Sammy’s a really good guy and it’s made me much more confident going to the club.
“I might even be a boxer when I’m older because I’m really enjoying it.
“Sammy has taken me up to the gym, where he trains in Glasgow, and it’s great.”
Harry is part of the squad who train twice a week at Symington Scout Hall.
And he gets to mix it with the older members, who are also part of Sammy’s class.
Harry said: “It’s not intimidating at all.
“Boxing with the older guys is a lot of fun and we all have a great time.”