Tribute to highly-respected official Galloway

May 26, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing has been saddened to learn of the passing of long-serving and highly-respected Hampshire and Isle of Wight ABA official Dennis Galloway.

It has received the following tribute that has been kindly put together by Lou Stamp and his wife, Pat.

Dennis, known as Denny, he was born in 1931 and spent his early childhood in the Shetland Islands near his father’s Navy Base.

Although there was no boxing gym as such, when he was about eight years old, a Navy PTI got a few of the local boys together and set up a little boxing circuit with some old tyres and a kitbag, then taught them boxing basics and later some light sparring when he felt they were ready.

Denny loved the fitness and friendships that developed and he was devastated when his dad was posted to Portsmouth towards the end of the war, at the age of about 14.

Within a few months, however, he had joined the local Kingston Boys Club and was delighted to find they had a boxing section.

Denny began boxing competitively in 1946, and although the boxing club kept changing premises due to war damage, he stuck with it and boxed first as a schoolboy, junior, and then senior, contesting 100-plus bouts.

By 1953, Denny had met and married Pat, and, in 1956, they were allocated a council house in Leigh Park, meaning boxing took a back seat whilst they set up home.

A carpenter by trade, Denny joined a local self-build group, and when another member of the group who was the local school headmaster heard about his boxing, he asked if he’d be interested in helping out at the school and teach some unruly boys some boxing discipline.

The rest was history as, between them and a few volunteers, they set up Leigh Park Amateur Boxing Club.

The club went on to produce many champions, with the most famous being Chris Bessey, who after joining the army became a five-time ABA champion.

His Brother Billy was also an ABA heavyweight champion and who is now head coach of this fine club, while Tony Oakey became a former ABA and world professional light-heavy weight champion.

Denny went on to become a judge and referee firstly in Hampshire, then in the newly-formed Southern Counties ABA. Over the years, he reached England Major Panel status and also served on the executive committee of both associations.

He sadly broke his back in a car accident in 1976, and although he was told he’d be lucky to walk again, three years later he was back doing what he did best, refereeing.

By 1985, he was struggling with his back injury but still worked within the associations. He then became the county registrar for a number of years, and a regular timekeeper.

He was made a life Vice-President in 2006, and, although battling cancer for many years, he maintained his links with boxing as long as he could.

Denny finally lost his battle with cancer on 11th May 2020 at the age of 89. He is survived by his wife  Patricia, having devoted his life to amateur boxing, and will be sadly missed by anyone who was lucky enough to know him.

  • Dennis Galloway’s funeral will be held at 12pm on Tuesday 2nd June at Portchester Crematorium.

There must be no flowers whatsoever at Denny’s funeral (his wishes), with just one floral tribute from Pat.

However, donations will be more than welcome to Cancer Research and can be sent to Burrel’s Funeral directors at Waterlooville.

Sadly due to the current Coronavirus, the full quota of mourners in the crematorium chapel has already been allocated, but if anyone wishes to pay their respects they can do so outside the chapel by following social distancing guidelines.