Slideshow: Farewell to Sheffield boxing legend Brendan Ingle

0
Have your say

He was one of the city’s treasures, a hero in the sporting world who also helped many young Sheffielders make something more of their lives.

Brendan Ingle, who died a week ago aged 77 from a brain haemhorrage, was a renowned trainer of many boxing champions, including ‘Prince’ Naz Hamed, Herol ‘Bomber’ Graham and Johnny ‘the Entertainer’ Nelson.

Sheffield boxing trainer Brendan Ingle in St Thomas's gym, Wincobank

Sheffield boxing trainer Brendan Ingle in St Thomas's gym, Wincobank

He was a great one for giving his star boxers nicknames but his famous gym in Wincobank wasn’t just a home for elite athletes like that amazing stable of major title holders.

The Dublin-born son of a dockworker and one of 15 children, he knew hard times himself and worked tirelessly to help other working class kids in his adopted city.

He responded to a request from a local vicar to help run a youth club and St Thomas’s became renowned for helping troubled and sometimes violent youngsters to learn to take some pride in themselves and their communities.

It was something that he encouraged his professional boxers to do as well.

He famously said of British middleweight champion Brian Anderson: “He was a right tearaway.

“I would say if it wasn’t for boxing, he would have been in prison. Well, I was right. He became the governor of Doncaster Prison.”

As someone who came to this country when pubs and private landlords would often have racist signs up saying “no blacks, no Irish”, Brendan was also an anti-racist activist, happy to support many events over the years.

His sons are continuing his legacy and many Sheffielders will remember him fondly.