History | Aug 06 2019

On This Day: The heartbreaking tale of Benny Lynch ends at just 33 years old

He was Scotland's first boxing world champion by the age of 22 but his career was over when he was just 25 years old. Kevin Batchelor tells the tragic story of the legendary Benny Lynch
benny lynch
benny lynch

BORN in the Gorbals, the slum tenements on the south bank of the Clyde in Glasgow, 5st Benny Lynch joined a local boys’ boxing club, then graduated to the more famous L.M.S Rovers Club. But Benny wanted the glamour of the paid ring, so when a boxing booth appeared on a bit of waste ground in the neighbourhood, young Lynch asked for a job. He got paid five shillings from booth owner, and became a regular performer. Local trainer Sam Wilson was so impressed with him he got him work in the small halls around Glasgow. Lynch crammed in 48 fights in his first three years.

He won the Scottish flyweight title and boxed a draw with world champion Jackie Brown. Six months later, aged 22, he floored Manchester’s Brown eight times before referee Moss Deyong stopped the fight in two sensational rounds. Lynch was flyweight champion of the Britain, Europe and the world. He was feted everywhere he went, started drinking heavily and the three months of celebrating his world title win sowed the seeds of his ultimate downfall.

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