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EBA newsletter – June 21

Billy Schwer
Action Images/Andy Couldridge
Leeds EBA are posting positive numbers at their monthly meetings

LEEDS EBA is one of the oldest in the country – maybe the very oldest – so I was delighted to hear from Secretary Paul Abrahams as follows: “After numbers had dwindled to single figures we are now getting over 20 attendees each meeting. The officials are still President Allan Richardson [former British featherweight champion], Chairman Michael Daniels and myself as Secretary/Treasurer. We also now have a working committee of three to look into ways to promote the Association further. We were able to make a generous donation to the Ringside Rest and Care charity after a successful boxing show at the Queens Hotel in Leeds. Twelve Leeds EBA members will be heading to Blackpool for the NBF Gala Weekend at the end of this month.”

That’s all good to hear. As I say, Leeds has been going a long time – one of the founder-members was the late Lew Taylor, who was a regular correspondent (and occasional visitor to the BN office) when I was editing the Old-Timers column in the 1970s. Incidentally, the NBF Gala is this coming weekend (June 28-30) at The Sheraton Hotel – this is always a good event, and I hope it goes well this time.

Allan Richardson has been a fine ambassador for Leeds, and the EBA movement generally, for many years. I saw him box several times – he always gave 100 per cent, and I was delighted when he won the British title in 1977, halting former conqueror Vernon Sollas in eight rounds.

The current Leeds newsletter includes an interesting article on Joe Fox, the city’s first pro champion. Between 1909 and 1925, Fox won the British crown at both bantam and featherweight, and campaigned successfully in the USA, Canada and Australia. Leeds’ meetings take place on the first Sunday of the month at The Anglers Club, 75 Stoney Rock Avenue, Beckett Street – starting at 11.30am.

Home Counties EBA hold their Summer Barbecue on Sunday July 7. Doors open at 12 noon, and the meeting starts at 1pm. Champions who have already confirmed they’ll be attending include Alan Minter, Tony Sibson, Herol Graham, James Cook MBE, Francis Ampofo, PJ Gallagher, Billy Schwer (pictured), Andy Till, Rocky Kelly and Gary Hobbs. Venue is the Bricketwood Social Club, Oak Avenue, St. Albans, Hertfordshire – and this too is always a good day.

My thanks to Wynford Jones for letting me know of some changes to the Welsh EBA, following their 2019 AGM. Wynford writes: “Martin Williams stepped down after a year as Secretary and the position of Vice-Chairman was left vacant following the passing of Danny Davies, a loyal servant of the group for many years. Eddie Avoth and Kevin Hayde were re-elected as President and Chairman, respectively. Cyril Thomas agreed to revert to the role of Secretary and will continue as Treasurer, and I was elected as Vice-Chairman. I will also act as Assistant Treasurer and will deal with the financial aspects of staging the British Ex-Boxers’ Hall of Fame event in September 2020. A sub-committee consisting of Kevin, Cyril, Dave Furnish and myself will oversee the staging of this event at the Mercure Holland House Hotel in Cardiff.”

Wynford’s someone else I remember coming to the BN office in the ‘70s. He told us that he wanted to become a referee – which he did, going up to A class. Good to see you’re still involved in the game, Wynford.

North Staffs EBA Secretary Richard Vaughan wrote to tell me that they have a new venue. Meetings are now held at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of each month (excluding January and December) at Marston’s Furniture, Willott House, Hamil Road, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 1AQ. Penitent stool time, as the late, great Reg Gutteridge used to say. The ex-boxer and coach whose passing was commemorated at London EBA’s June meeting was called Patrick Leamy, not Leahy as I said. My apologies for any distress caused to Patrick’s family and friends.

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