Tribute: John Dryden

September 15, 2021 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing has been saddened to learn of the passing of well-known Tyne, Tees and Wear boxing coach John Dryden.

A coach at Wellington ABC in Middlesbrough, which he set up in the 1980s, he also formerly coached at North Ormesby ABC.

Taking up boxing as an 11-year-old with Billingham Synthonia, he went on to become Northumberland and Durham champion before later boxing for the Army.

Secretary for the Tyne, Tees and Wear Region, Phil Hattan, said: “John was a legend in our association and a former England Boxing coach and educator, working alongside Kevin Hickey and Ian Irwin.

“I have personally known him for over 40 years and I am very saddened by his passing as he was a great man.”

Dryden’s list of champions included John Pearce, who won gold at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, along with ABA titles, and who was a former opponent of Carl Froch.

More recently, he helped produce three finalists at the same England Boxing National Elite Championships Finals in 2012 elite finals at York Hall, in the shape of Peter Martin, Josh Leather and Louis Cunningham.

England Boxing would like to send its deepest condolences to John’s family and friends.

Picture courtesy of