REVEALED: Secret family rift over Ricky Hatton's 'missing millions'

EXCLUSIVE: The heartbreaking story of the secret family rift over Ricky Hatton’s ‘missing millions’: Former boxer’s mum lays bare her emotions as she reveals pain at breakdown in relationship with son

  • Hatton’s relationship with his parents Carol and Ray broke down following a documentary about his life
  • The film included allegations over missing money made about Ray by Hatton’s former trainer Billy Graham
  • Carol has shared a personal letter about her son ‘Richard’ urging him to resolve the heartbreaking dispute
  • Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk fight details out THIS WEEK: Listen to Mail Sport’s boxing podcast The Hook 

To thousands he is a boxer with gold in his gloves, a world champion hero and a TV documentary star. To his mum, Carol, Ricky Hatton is her lost boy.

Lost, even though they live only five minutes apart.

Lost, following perceived ‘innuendos’ made in a recently aired documentary on the fighter known as The Hitman. 

Lost, amid claims his father, Ray, was portrayed as a ‘mercenary’ by Ricky’s trainer, Billy Graham, who in court had accused Ray of short-changing him over fight purses; missing money at the heart of their split.


Today, Carol Hatton shares her anguish with Mail Sport readers, and her deeply personal letter about ‘Richard’. It is six months since she last heard from him.

Ricky Hatton’s mum Carol has shared her anguish over the breakdown of her and husband Ray’s relationship with their son

Carol revealed that it has been six months since she last heard from the British boxing great, despite living five minutes apart

Carol explained the relationship was severed due to the second part of the documentary focusing on allegations made Hatton’s former trainer Billy Graham, who in court had accused her husband Ray of short-changing him over fight purses

In the notes, with published extracts in full on MailOnline, she writes: ‘He was never The Hitman to us, just our son, Richard. Realising his future doesn’t include his parents is the sad realisation. We both miss him is an understatement.’

She longs for the moment he will knock on the door for a cup of tea and explain this breakdown.

Today, as she sits upright on a leather living room sofa, the walls as grey as the Manchester skies outside, Carol is ready to talk after a slew of cigarette breaks outside her home in Greater Manchester.

‘I like to think I’m a proud person, I’ve got a fighting spirit,’ she says as her voices cracks with emotion.

‘I like to think that’s where my two lads got it from, but I feel as if I’m going under. I had to get in touch with a counsellor and I actually told her, ‘I feel like I want to do something silly or be really, really poorly so he would come back and see me’.’

The proud grandmother is 70. Her husband, Ricky’s dad, is 72. She is at a loss to explain how this is happening. Again.

You see, this is not the first time there has been a bitter dispute. But this time, it all stems from when the parents were given an initial viewing of an upcoming Sky documentary last May, which they had agreed to take part in, chronicling the fighter’s life inside and outside the ring, from childhood to today.

They supplied old videos of Hatton’s past growing up on the Hattersley council estate in Hyde, Greater Manchester. They feel betrayed by the final edit. The wounds are deep.

Carol revealed she is taking medication for anxiety due to the hurt caused by the breakdown in the relationship with Ricky

Hatton had money, fame and an adoring fan-base at his peak but has documented his troubles with both alcohol and drugs

Carol has three yellow sheets of paper in front of her. She begins to read out her notes, prepared for this interview, about the detail of the falling out.

Her arms are not in sync with body, trembling as she thrusts open the door to an almighty family dispute for all to see.

‘We haven’t heard from Richard since the beginning of May,’ she reads from the letter. ‘I’ve text him, rang him, even posted a letter to him.

‘No response… I know every family on this planet has problems, but unfortunately ours are out there. Richard repeatedly says IT’S GOOD TO TALK.

‘Then why didn’t he choose to talk to us? Practice what you preach, son, IT’S GOOD TO TALK.’

After nearly eight minutes of reading, Carol looks up. She is close to breaking down.

‘I must’ve rewrote this letter, changed it time and time again, not wanting anyone to think that I was slating my son,’ she says. ‘Every time I read it, I still get upset because I’m hurting.

‘Me and Ray are on our last lap. Nobody knows what’s around the corner. How would he feel if anything happened to either of us? ‘There’s an old saying, ‘If he can’t come seem me when I’m alive, don’t come when I’m dead with your tears’.

‘I’m on meds, Sertraline that’s for anxiety. And I’ve been asking friends for Diazepam. They’ve said, ‘Why?’. I said, ‘Oh, it’s just for somebody I know’ or ‘I just need to it to feel a little bit more chilled.’.’

Hatton had previously fallen out with his parents over a money dispute in 2012 leading to a car-park punch up with his dad

She vividly recalls the moment both parties severed ties yet again.

‘We were on holiday in Tenerife (in May), we had been there for about 10 days,’ she says. ‘Ray had missed a call and called Richard back. He initially said, ‘Dad, I want to invite you to watch Man City in a Champions League game’.

‘And then Ray just said to him very, very quietly, ‘Richard, we’re in Tenerife’. And then said, ‘I wouldn’t go anyway with you, son. I’ve watched the documentary privately, as I know you have Richard. To put me through all these innuendoes again by people from the documentary and you allowing them’.

‘It was complete silence at the other end of the phone. He then said, ‘Richard, I will always love you, have done from the day you were born, but unfortunately I can’t go through this again’. About 10 minutes after, I went on Instagram. Richard had deleted his dad and me.’

On the Sky documentary, she explains: ‘I thought the first half was OK, but then you have to know the real story behind it. The documentary’s second half was directed at the allegations made against (Ray) by (Graham) regarding money missing.

‘I think the remark that really upset me, as his mum, was when somebody asks him, ‘”And how much are we talking about?” in terms of money that allegedly went missing and Richard turns around and says, “Millions”.

‘Anybody who knows me also knows if I’d have thought for one minute any of the alleged missing money had been true, trust me there would’ve been no way I’d have been writing this letter supporting Ray.’

Ricky, whose dad Ray managed his boxing career, has long documented his troubles with both alcohol and drugs. He even tried to kill himself ‘several times’, in his own words.

Yet, at one time, the former two-weight division world champion seemed to have it all. Money, fame, an adoring fan-base, and blockbuster fights lined-up against the likes of Floyd Mayweather.

His parents had made a surprise appearance at his exhibition fight against Marco Antonio Barrera last November.

‘He actually said on stage that he was not in a good place and how he was pleased Ray and myself were actually there,’ says Carol. ‘I got up and gave him a big hug. But I now question: was it all genuine?

‘If it was, how could he now go back and do this to us all over again? I just can’t get my head around it.’

Initially, Ricky had fallen out with his parents over a money dispute in 2012. That escalated to a car-park punch-up between son and dad, which he revealed in his autobiography War and Peace: My Story.

Seven years went by. Both parties never spoke once. Until finally, in February 2019, they made amends. Ricky met up with them at Manchester restaurant San Carlo after a heart-breaking realisation.

‘Ultimately when I fell out with my parents, I hit rock bottom. I didn’t care whether I lived or died,’ Ricky told the Manchester Evening News.

‘A few of my school friends are the same age as me, their parents were having heart attacks and I was going to their funerals.

‘And I thought to myself, ‘I’m 40 now, I’m at an age where our parents might not be here much longer’.’

Carol admits she still hopes Ricky will knock on the door and have a heart-to-heart with his father to resolve the dispute

Ups and downs over the years followed, the cracks always there, but crucially they were all a family until May this year. That included his brother Matthew, 42, an ex-world title challenger who had a 13-year boxing career, who trains Ricky’s son Campbell, 22, a professional fighter also.

More tears follow.

‘I look in the mirror and think, “What did you do Carol, where did you go wrong?”,’ she stammers.

‘I’ve had to realise it was nothing that I did as a mum. I try to tell myself everyday “Carol, you’re a good person, a good family person, you’ve been a good mum, don’t ever, ever forget that”.’

She is struggling to speak.

Though, however unlikely it may be, Carol still listens out for a knock at the door.

She adds: ‘Richard only lives five minutes away from here, and it seems weird that since May we haven’t bumped into each other.

‘In an ideal world I’d like him to do what he originally did when he first came back into our lives. He just knocked on the door and said, “Put kettle on, mum”.

‘But if he doesn’t have a heart-to-heart with his father, then we’re still back to square one.’


Today, Carol Hatton shares her anguish with Mail Sport readers, and her deeply personal letter about ‘Richard’ – Ricky Hatton. It is six months since she last heard from him. Her letter in full is published here:

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