I WAS delighted to receive an email from Matt Gale of South Cerney, Gloucestershire, who describes himself as an “avid reader” of BN. Matt says: “I’ve never boxed but have been a huge fan since as long as I can remember, and grew up on the likes of Nigel Benn, Steve Collins, Frank Bruno and Naseem Hamed, to name a few. I love keeping up to date on the EBA meetings up and down the country from your column, and I want to make an active effort to try and attend some in my local area if that is possible/allowed?”
It’s certainly allowed, Matt, and any EBA would welcome you. I can’t stress this enough – you don’t have to have boxed to join an Ex-Boxers’ Association. You just have to love the game. The trouble is, I don’t know of an EBA in your area. I know some have folded over the years, which is a shame, but without support no organisation can keep going. That said, not every EBA contacts me – some prefer to keep themselves to themselves, which of course is their privilege. For instance, recently, London EBA President Stephen Powell attended late member Jack Hudson’s funeral in Sheffield – and announced that there was a good turn-out from Sheffield EBA members. I’m afraid I didn’t know Sheffield had an EBA. But I wish you well, Sheffield, and hope you get good attendances at your meetings – and if you ever have an event you’d like publicised, do let me know. Similarly, if one of your members passes away, that’s something I can put in the column – his old opponents would be interested. And if there’s an EBA based within a reasonable distance from South Cerney, I’d be grateful if someone could give me the details, and I’ll pass them on. You’ve got the chance of an enthusiastic new member! The West Country has always had a strong boxing tradition – Bristol was a major venue in the bare-knuckle days – and I’d be sorry if there were no EBA presence any more.
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