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This page gives members and regions  the opportunity to celebrate the life of a member who has passed away.

Any member wishing for a tribute to appear on the England Boxing website should use the below form and submit the details to their Regional Secretary.

Tributes are listed by year, but do not cover all those involved boxing who have passed away, only those for which details have been submitted.

Download a tribute form

Tributes 2020

Tina Davis

Tina began her time in boxing almost 40 years ago, helping out at the Chelmsford club which was then housed in an old shed-like building.

Seeing the poor state of the club premises, she began a campaign with her husband Peter, and the Essex Boys Clubs, to raise the funds needed to build a modern new gym and meeting facility.

This was eventually built in Rectory Lane, Chelmsford and is still used today for the benefit of the young people of the City.

She was the club secretary and club competition secretary for many years, helping to organise and match many successful charity shows in particular at the Heybridge Moat House Hotel in Ingatestone where the ham salads she provided for visiting clubs were well know in the area.

Tina also filled the role of Essex county secretary for a time, representing the county at Eastern Counties meetings and was an active boxing official in the Essex area.

Tina passed away on 7th February 2020 and her funeral will take place on Tuesday 3rd March at 2.30pm at Little Waltham Church, CM3 3IJ

All members of amateur boxing clubs are welcome to attend. Any floral tributes should be sent to: T. Pennack and Sons, 1-3 Maldon Road, Chelmsford, CM2 7DW.

Ronnie Rowe

England Boxing was sad to learn of the passing of Ronnie Rowe MBE in January 2020.

Coaching in both amateur and professional boxing, he helped establish north-east club Birtley ABC as one of the best amateur clubs in the country.

“He was a great friend and top coach and it was my honour to work with Ronnie at Birtley for over 25 years,” said Richie Boyle senior on Facebook.

“He wasn’t just a coach, he was a mentor and second father to many young boxers, not only in the gym, but also in life.

“He made life better for hundreds of young people. We had some brilliant trips away, making lasting memories.

“He will be remembered and missed by many and I wouldn’t be doing what I do now but for Ronnie.

“A gentleman and a legend, out thoughts are with his family. Heaven has gained a top coach.”

Image by Steven White, imagesbysw.com

Colin Webster

England Boxing was saddened to hear of the passing of hugely-respected London boxing coach Colin Webster, a victim of the Coronavirus.

Webster was a former coach and Vice President at Islington Boxing Club, where he presented the Colin Webster shield for the Junior Boxer of the Year.

Ho also served Finchley ABC with distinction, while his son, Danny Oliver, is a former Junior ABA champion.

An Instagram post from Islington read: “Colin was a fantastic ambassador to amateur boxing who was associated with Islington BC and Finchley ABC for many years.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this upsetting time. RIP.”

A Finchley post added: “RIP to a Finchley legend Colin Webster. Thanks for everything Colin, you will be missed by us all.”

England Boxing would like to add its own condolences to Colin’s family and friends.

Roy Barbor

England Boxing was saddened to learn that Solihull Boxing Club’s founder and long-time coach Roy Barbor has passed away at the age of 86.

He ran the club from 1969 until 2005 and was known not only as a great coach, but a mentor and father figure to many of the lads at the club.

Pictured with Roy, above, Ian ‘Brum’ Tennant, a former boxer at the club and now England Boxing Talent Pathway Coach, said: “Roy was a great role model and an inspiration for me to remain in the sport beyond competitive boxing.”

Senior Coach and former boxer at Solihull Boxing Club, Paul Archer, paid tribute to Roy by adding: “Roy was a committed and dedicated coach at the club for many years…he was a hard man with a big heart.”

Allan John, another former boxer at the Club, will attend the funeral to represent all of the many, many boxers who were fortunate to have been coached by Roy.

Richard Williams

England Boxing has learned that long-serving former Membership sub-committee member Richard Williams has sadly passed away.

Williams was chairman of London region’s Double Jab ABC from soon after its formation in 2012 until last year, when ill-health limited his involvement, and was also a respected official.

Head coach at the South London club, Mike Harris, said he will be ‘greatly missed’.

“Richard was very calm and well-mannered, hugely respected and had an ability as a professor and lecturer to get on with all kinds of different people,” he said.

“I think what appealed to him more than anything was that it was a world away from his normal working life. But he was one of those people who just loved boxing.

“He was always on hand to help people out and offer them advice whenever they needed it and was regularly at the club to train, which helped with his Parkinson’s.

“I know he tried his hand in the ring himself, so he had a very good understanding of the sport, but it was in his administrative duties and out of the ring that he really excelled.”

Williams also served as assistant secretary to the London region and was also secretary of the South East Division as was.

He was secretary of Fisher Downside ABC for a number of years and also acted as a supervisor on the amateur circuit.

Terry Gillam, of Nemesis ABC, who acts as officials (R&J) secretary for the south of the London region, worked alongside Williams for many years.

He said: “He was a very nice chap – a gentleman. An educated man and a proper boxing man too.”

His wife, Jan added: “Richard loved boxing and this was rather surprising. He was very short-sighted, not especially sporty and innately gentle. I understand, however, that his left jab was quite something.

“I think of Richard as a scholar, librarian, musician and linguist. He could also drive a tractor and milk a cow. He kept up his singing to the last and singing was as essential to him as breathing.

“He also continued with his boxing training twice a week as this helped his movement enormously and he always walked better when he came back from sessions.”

Les Stevens

England Boxing has been saddened to learn of the passing of amateur boxing stalwart Les Stevens.

As an amateur, Stevens won 81 of his 87 carded bouts, despite not beginning to box until the age of 15.

His progress, however, was rapid and he soon went on to win a European Under-21 bronze medal in 1970 and later that same year a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in Edinburgh, both representing England.

In 1971, he became senior ABA heavyweight champion and also won a bronze in the European Games before turning pro in the next 12 months.

“Dad always told me how proud of boxing for his country 17 times made him feel,” said son Les junior. “He had never been abroad before boxing and he told me it was the best time of his life, travelling all over the world.

“It was the happiest period of his boxing career and he went on to have 28 pro fights, winning 23. But back in those days, there was no cruiserweight category and my dad was too big for light-heavyweight and too small for heavyweight, so he struggled all his career with that.”

After retiring as a boxer, Stevens turned to coaching, helping out the Clarke and Eton Boxing Club in Bracknell before moving the gym to Crowthorne.

The club also changed its name to Pinewood Starr after comedian Freddie’s Starr who is a lifetime president of the gym.

Stevens went on to train boys right up to earlier this year and it’s difficult to put a figure on how many champions he trained it, but it is estimated to be more than a hundred national titles.

Stevens junior added: “His record was up there with the best of them and he even turned down the England job around the time of the great Kevin Hickey due to trying to run a business and a boxing club.

“But he did take many England squads abroad over the years, as well as looked after Home Counties squads and he gave so much to boxing.”

Current England Performance Coach Mick Driscoll knew Stevens for more than 40 years, first meeting him as an eight year old.

Les was a big part of my life and when he first saw me box, he told me that if I ever needed any advice, I only need to get in touch with him,” he said.

“When I went professional, I took him up on that and it was he who advised me to go to the late Gary Davidson, who was my first manager.

“He was no mean boxer, but it is as a coach that I got to know him very well. He had so much respect from everyone and I never heard him say a bad word against anyone. He was a gentle giant.

“Every single year when you went to Schools or Junior shows, Les would be there studying and looking at the boxers, whether there was a Pinewood boxer there or not.

“He had a vast knowledge of the sport that he was always so willing to pass on to others and he has trained some top-class amateur boxers.

“Les has been a massive figure in both the boxing and travelling community and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”

John Pollock

Lambton Street has been left ‘devastated’ by the passing of popular coach John Pollock, who was a victim of the Coronavirus.

The 72-year-old will be a ‘huge loss’ to the Sunderland club where he has been volunteering for the past four years.

With gyms around the country currently closed in order to follow the government’s social distancing instructions, Head Coach Gary Bunting says the tragic news will only sink in once boxing returns.

“Along with myself, John was frequently there six days a week doing whatever he could to help,” he added. “He was a very good coach and a lovely guy.

“He did not join us until later in life, first getting involved when his grandson came to box with us.

“He just helped out for a start but he loved it and he was soon taking his Level One course and really committing to it.

“John was as fit as a fiddle and he led our strength and conditioning sessions, which were very popular – the kids and the older boxers all got on really well with him.”

Pollock often travelled up and down the country to help prepare boxers for competitions, especially Box Cups.

He coached at the Haringey Box Cup, among others, and would ‘travel anywhere’ for the good of the club.

Bunting said: “John would never say ‘no’. Whenever you asked for his help, you always got it.

“He always had time for everyone and treated everyone who stepped through the doors in the same way and with the same amount of respect.

“It’s come as such a shock because he was in really great shape. Often he would stop to help out people struggling in his fitness classes, even though he was in his 70s and they were in their 20s.

“You can see just how popular and well thought of he was by how many messages of condolences we have already received on our Facebook page.”

John’s son, David, has launched a Just Giving fundraising page in his dad’s memory, with proceeds going to Lambton Street.

You can pledge your support here.

Geoff Hopcraft

England Boxing has been sad to learn of the passing of Geoff Hopcraft, a true stalwart of amateur boxing.

Born in April 1945, he started his boxing career with a few bouts for the Rotax Club before his family moved to Crawley in 1960.

A year later his dad, Arthur, founded the Crawley Amateur Boxing Club and the love affair for Geoff began.

He went on to have more than 200 bouts for the club, and among his illustrious opponents were former World lightweight champion Ken Buchanan and five-time ABA kingpin and Olympian Terry Waller.

An ear injury forced Geoff to hang up his gloves prematurely, and on moving to Kent he helped to form Ashford ABC.

In 1971, he moved again, this time to Nottingham and began coaching at the famous Phoenix gym, home in later years to Carl Froch.

Seven years later and Geoff was back home in Crawley and joined his father on the committee of the club.

The following year he became the club chairman, a post he went on to hold for a staggering 36 years, before handing over the reins of power to his son Rees.

In that time, Geoff became a highly-respected official of the Southern Counties ABA, a judge and the highest honour of them all, an England International referee.

During his mammoth service to Crawley Boxing Club, he oversaw the careers of hundreds of the town’s boxers.

Just prior to his death, Geoff was heavily engaged in the future plans for the club, always wanting the very best for its members.

Nothing was too much trouble for him in creating a legacy – and those who knew him are hoping a fitting memorial will be announced soon.

Sam Bezzina

England Boxing has been sad to learn of the passing of talented young coach and former National Schools champion Sam Bezzina, aged 26.

As a boxer, he started out at Ongar Boxing Club before moving to Repton and then fellow London Region clubs Newham and West Ham.

At the latter club he was a Games Maker at the 2012 Olympics, walking boxers to the ring.

He passed through the DiSE (formerly AASE) programme and went on to study for a degree at the University of East London.

Having initially moved into coaching at West Ham completing his Level One and Two qualification, he moved to Fight For Peace where he took over as Head Coach.

England Boxing Performance Coach Mick Driscoll said: “I was his coach and in his corner for years when I was at West Ham. He was a talented and clever boxer who had some great success at schools, junior and youth level and while that did not translate to success at Elite level, he quickly realised he could use his talents to great effect as a coach.

“He made great progress and the fact he was a Head Coach at such a young age showed the ability he had and the respect he commanded.

“It’s very sad and it will be a big loss not just to the boxers he coached and the clubs her served, but the London boxing scene and England Boxing as a whole as he was destined to go on to even greater things.”

A statement on the Fight For Peace Facebook page read: “We’re devastated following the news of the tragic passing of our much loved Head Boxing Coach, Sam Bezzina. We’ve lost an exceptional coach, mentor, brother and friend.

“Sam led our team of boxing coaches over the past two years at our London Academy with great charisma and humility. He played a key role in the development of many of our members, both as boxers and young people, created an extremely popular junior boxing session and helped produce a London regional and UK national champion in his first year with us.”

Fred Cummings

England Boxing has been saddened to learn of the passing of well-respected Midlands official Fred Cummings following a short illness.

Growing up in Birmingham, he boxed for Wilmot Breeden ABC, which was based at the sports club of the automotive parts manufacturer.

As an official, Cummings acted as a Grade A judge and was also an examiner and tutor of officials.

He was Head Ringside Official for The Midlands County and gave more than 50 years of service in all.

Cummings officiated at countless National Championships up and down the country where his willingness and good humour earned him many friends.

Mick Budden, who has recently stepped down as Technical, Rules and Officials sub-committee secretary, and frequently appointed Cummings for major events, said it was ‘a very sad loss’.

“Fred was a delight to work with and never had a cross word to say about anyone,” he added.

He was a lovely guy and so helpful – when some people didn’t want to officiate at certain tournaments, he would always oblige and step into the breach.”

Midlands Official Jim Lavery went to Lea Village Secondary Modern School with Cummings before they later re-connected through boxing.

He remembers a man with a ‘cracking, dry sense of humour’ who was ‘really down to earth’.

He said: “I was a couple of years younger at school than Fred and used to play rugby with him (Fred is pictured below, centre, holding the ball, with Jim next to him) and we got on pretty well.

“He worked in the police force for more than 20 years and I remember he got an award when he arrested someone despite having been stabbed in Handsworth, one of the toughest areas of Birmingham.

“Then some years later I went to a show in West Bromwich and he was officiating and he recognised me. He said they were always on the look-out for officials and that’s where it started for me.

“He didn’t train me himself, but I know he trained countless others and from the messages that I’ve had from people who have heard about his death, it’s clear he was very well thought of and people were appreciative of what he has done for them.”

Midlands Regional Association Secretary, Louise Gibbs, was one of those who benefited from Cummings’ knowledge.

“He took my judges’ course some 15 or 16 years ago and he has been very well-respected on the boxing circuit,” she said. There will be people all over the country who will be saddened by this news.”

Friend and fellow official, Tom Clarke, added: “I have known Fred for over 25 years, and I travelled together on numerous occasions to officiate at Boxing Championships throughout the UK. He was passionate and a font of knowledge on all aspects of boxing, amateur and professional.

“He was always the first to crack a joke, his sense of humour was second to none, he loved to play his mouth organ and break out into song when the boxing had finished for the day and we got together over a social beer in the evenings. We had some memorable journeys and experiences together.

“Fred will always be remembered in the Midlands for his unique style when announcing as MC. He took great delight in enlightening the audiences, coaches and boxers on the rules of boxing as a warm-up prior to the tournament starting. He just rolled out fact after fact whether it be a scoring blow, or fouls, or the process of scoring points.”

Alan Minter

England Boxing has been sad to learn of the death of 1972 Olympic bronze medalist Alan Minter at the age of 69.

He finished on the podium at the Munich games in the light-middleweight category.

Minter was an ABA champion in 1971 for Crawley ABC before going on to be a world professional champion, claiming the undisputed world middleweight title against Italian Vito Antuofermo in Las Vegas in 1980.

He later lost the title to Marvin Hagler and retired in 1981, but had always stayed in touch with boxing and the Crawley club in particularly where his brother Mickey and other family members have also boxed.

Minter had been acting Honorary President of the club at the time of his death which followed a battle with cancer.

Paddy Harmey, a long-standing coach at Crawley said: “What Alan achieved was incredible and he has always been a superb role model for all the boxers at our club.

“We have a picture of him on our wall and it is a reminder to all the youngsters what can be achieved.

“He has always made himself available to come to our shows and hand out trophies and was always prepared to put an arm round the shoulder of our boxers if they felt they had been hard done to with a decision.

“He got the nickname ‘Boom, Boom’ because he was loud when he threw his punches, which didn’t always endear his with the referees of the time.

“His first England international call-up saw him called in at the last minute after someone else dropped out where he boxed the Irishman Willie Cullen, who was European champion at the time – and won.

“I don’t think there was any doubt right from the start that he was a first-class performer – and it showed with the great career he went on to have.”

Tributes 2019

Ramaz Hameed

Ramaz Hameed

Tyne, Tees and Wear Boxing Association official and PTSB coach Ramaz was 54 at the time he passed away in the hospice close to where he and his family lived.

He officiated as a Referee on the 16th September 2018 at the Brandon Boxing Club Show, but, sadly, this was to be his last appointment, alongside another referee and good friend Paul Allen.

The last contest Ramaz refereed was the contest between Callum Sweeney of Brandon Boxing Club and Daniel Stuart from Australia.

Travelling together by car, he apologised for his refereeing and told Paul he hadn’t been feeling too good all day. That’s the kind of man he was – thinking of his performance and not letting anyone down, especially the two boxers.

Ramaz’s achievements in his time as an official were due to his 100% commitment to the sport that he dearly loved. He became a grade C Judge from in October 2008, progressed to a level B Judge by November 2011 then achieved his Major Panel Grade A judge qualification in March 2014.

It was also during this time he decided he also fancied doing some refereeing and decided to give it ago, becoming a Grade C Official referee in October 2013. He was so pleased with himself, having never set foot in the boxing ring to compete as a boxer.

He secured his Grade B in April 2016 and became known in the ring for his knowledge commitment & passion in sport, going on to secure Major Panel Grade A Referee status in November 2016.

In all, Ramaz fulfilled more than 370 appointments from club shows at grass roots level to representing England at international level.

He refereed and judged at England Boxing Schools, Junior, Youth and Development Championships, NABGCs at Class A, B, C and D,  Box Cups and Elite boxing, both male and female at national and international competitions at home and abroad.

Ramaz’s next step would have been to become an AIBA official, and to to reach this level would have been his dream.

In hospital, he fought hard against his illness and received a host of well wishes from around the country, as well as a visit from Chris Eubank and an email from the wife of the late Muhammad Ali, which was followed by a plaque in the Muhammad Ali Museum as a tribute to his services to boxing.

Ramaz underwent a major 12 hour operation and was then in intensive care for two weeks, but after a big battle to recover, all looking good.

However, after an eight-month fight, his body could take no more and he sadly passed away on 10th May with his family by his side.

RIP Ramaz – gone, but never forgotten.

John Lee

John Lee sadly passed away when officiating at the regional rounds of the England Boxing National Schools Championships 2019.

He became part of the Yorkshire ABA in the 1980s. He was a very dedicated and hard-working member and official for the region, with nothing ever too much trouble.

In his role of supervisor, he attended all the shows he was appointed to in the South Yorkshire area and would often travel to other areas of the region and other associations to help out when needed. John was also a regular face at championships and was a very welcoming man respected by his fellow officials, the club coaches and the boxers.

John was a member of the Yorkshire executive committee for many years, also holding the post of regional appointment secretary, a role in which he took great pride in.

John never had a wrong word for anyone, he loved boxing, inspired others and gave so much to the sport. Though he will be sadly missed, he will always be ringside with everyone in Yorkshire.

As a mark of respect for his contribution, 10 bells were rung in his memory on semi-finals day of the England Boxing National Schools Championships 2019 at K2 Crawley.

Jim McCarthy

Jim McCarthy, a previous ABA General Manager and Life Vice President, passed away on Saturday 26th January at the age of 81.

He had been totally involved in amateur boxing at all levels for over 60 years, starting out when his father was instrumental in opening the Westree Amateur Boxing Club in Maidstone.

Jim served the sport in every capacity as trainer, judge, referee, OIC, time keeper, President at Kent and Southern Counties level, team manager at county and national level and general manager of the ABA around 2001.

His life and his passion was amateur boxing.

 

 

Terry Giles

One of the country’s longest-serving judges, Terry Giles, was approaching his 86th birthday, when he passed away in August 2019.

Serving as a judge on the amateur boxing circuit up until very recently in London, he covered every domestic championship staged for nearly 58 years – most of them with his beloved Dagenham Amateur Boxing Club.

Among those he has seen at close quarters who have gone on to compete at the highest level are Charlie Magri, Henry Akinwande, John H Stracey, Alan Minter and Nigel Benn.

Tom Lowe

Tom Lowe of Tom Lowe ABC, Staffordshire and the Midland Counties, finally lost his battle against illness in June 2019.

Tom was 54 years of age and was Head Coach and matchmaker for the club since its concept in the 1990s. Condolences go to his immediate family who all played an integral part of the club and to all that have been connected with Tom Lowe ABC, as he regarded them all as part of his greater family.

Tom was extremely well respected and it will be a great loss not only to boxing but to the community as a whole.

Tenny Turner

Well-known and highly-respected boxing coach Tenny Turner passed away in September 2019, aged 53.

He formed and was Head Coach at Southern Counties club Turner’s Boxing Academy in Camberley.

Prior to that, Tenny competed as an amateur for Basingstoke ABC, boxing in the 1980s along with the likes of Stuart Gill (Regional Registrar for the Southern Counties), Peter Hopcraft (Crawley ABC coach) and Mick Driscoll (England Performance Coach).

Tenny is pictured in the corner of Ben Litwin, a finalist at this year’s England Boxing National Amateur Championships.

“He was a genuinely brilliant coach who could always be trusted,” said Gill.

“I’ve spoken to so many coaches and people about Tenny today, and everybody has said the exact same thing – he will be sorely missed. RIP Tenny.

Southern Counties Club Support Officer, Avoen Perryman, said: “He was truly a very happy and well-respected coach who could light up the room with his smile.”

Tenny Turner

Tributes 2018

Brendan Ingle

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of boxing trainer Brendan Ingle.

Ingle was made an MBE in 1998 for his services and contributions to British boxing and his work with young people in the Sheffield area.

Having moved to South Yorkshire from Ireland aged 18, he fought as a professional middleweight in his mid-20s, and at his pinnacle was ranked as the number eight fighter in the UK.

Read the full tribute on the BBC website here.

Johnny Caiger 

We’re sad to share the news of the passing of Johnny Caiger.

Johnny Caiger was a Light Middleweight ABA champion, a few times over, and then in the army representing England at the Commonwealth & Empire Games gaining a bronze medal. He then continued to represent England for the army team.  He later turned pro as one of the first crop of the Terry Lawless fighters.

For years he worked tirelessly as the trainer for Fairburn House Boys Club in Canning Town (training the first Super Heavy Weight Adrian Elliot among others). Johnny also worked with the England squad training youngsters for medal success.

Over the last few years, he was more actively engaged in another more genteel sport, crown green bowls, where he excelled at this too, winning various singles and doubles championships.

There will be a memorial celebration for Johnny Caiger in Weymouth on April 8th which would have been his birthday.

Tributes 2017

John Ball

It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of John. Having been involved in our sport for more than 70 years, he was a dedicated member of ABAE.

Over the years, he has served as a director of the ABAE and was a member of the ABAE council. He held the positions of Secretary of the R&J’s Commission and then as Chairman of the R&J’s Commission. He was also a Life Vice President of ABAE. He served on association committees over the years and his input was invaluable.

After many years as a referee/judge, locally, nationally and internationally, John was awarded the Olympic Games in Los Angeles USA in 1984. This was to be a highlight of his career in amateur boxing. In 2002, he was appointed as an adjudicator at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

John will be remembered fondly, and missed by all those who knew him.