I WAS delighted to hear from Manchester EBA Secretary Eddie Copeland that this year’s Northern Boxing Federation Gala went very well, with around 150 attending. This was the first time the event had been held at the Hotel Sheraton, Blackpool, and the feedback was totally good – everyone felt they were well looked after, the staff were friendly and the food was excellent. The owner said it was great to have the ex-boxers there, and looks forward to welcoming them back next year.
“The Gala night itself – June 29 – was a great success,” Eddie said. “In attendance were the following EBAs – Manchester, Wirral, Merseyside, Leeds, Scotland and North Staffs. An excellent three-course meal was served, with myself and Terry Carson compering the proceedings. New NBF President for 2019/20 was Leeds EBA Secretary Paul Abraham. The boxers in attendance were introduced. Manchester – Neville Tetlow, Jimmy Lewis, Jeff Shaw, Roy Richardson, Gavin Stirrup, Ian Harrison, Phil O’Hare, Johnny Green and Steve Ward. Merseyside and Wirral – Tony Cunningham, Terry Carson, John Smith and Tony Carroll. Leeds – Frank Fitzgerald. Our main guests of honour were Allan Richardson (former British featherweight champion and current Leeds EBA President) and two Scottish legends who are boxing royalty, Dick McTaggart MBE and Ken Buchanan MBE [pictured]. Both received a standing ovation. The night was finished with great entertainment from Hannah Delaney and a thoroughly enjoyable weekend was had by all.”
That’s great to hear. Among the better-known names mentioned, I was interested to see that of Tony Cunningham, whom I remember as a good-value lightweight from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Tony won seven and drew three of 32 outings, but the figures are deceptive – he met some good people, here and overseas, normally went the distance, and always came to fight. He was no journeyman – content to cover up and lose every round. Good to see you’re still involved in the game, Tony.