Terry Spinks, West Ham’s Olympic boxing legend, dies

08:14 27 April 2012

Terry Spinks...boxing legend

Terry Spinks...boxing legend

Archant

One of Newham’s favourite sons, boxer Terry Spinks, who won gold at the 1956 Olympics at the age of only 18, has died at the age of 74.

Terry, the youngest Briton to win an Olympic boxing gold medal, died at his Essex home after a long illness, just 90 days before then Olympics comes to his home town.

West Ham’s Terry Spinks, won flyweight gold in Melbourne. He also won the British featherweight crown as a professional, won 41 of his 49 professional fights and was awarded an MBE ten years ago

The son of a West Ham bookmaker, Terry was the only boxer to be schoolboy, ABA, British and Olympic champion, started boxing at the age of nine with the West Ham Amateur Boxing Club.

He was working as a binman when the call came to join Great Britain’s Olympic team and only had a week to prepare before he went to Australia.

He beat Romania’s Mircea Dobrescu in the final.

Spinks turned pro the following year and retired from boxing at the age of 24.

He won the British featherweight title in 1960 beating Bobby Neill and defended the Lonsdale Belt twice before losing to Welsh fighterHoward Winstone in 1961.

Terry became a trainer, coaching the South Korean team at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

A long campaign led to Terry being awarded an MBE..

Despite his failing health, Spinks remained a fixture at meetings of the London ex-Boxers’ Association until shortly before his death.

He was true gentleman, and on one of his visits to the Recorder’s former office in East Ham, remained as humble in his later years as he was when he won his title.

The word legend is trotted out too often these days for sports stars. But in Terry’s case, it was simply a perfect fit,

Live Blog Transfer Window Live - July 30

 

Latest Stories

25 minutes ago
The man is seen without his wig, walking on the opposite side of the road (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A brazen thief donned a ‘Rastafarian-style’ dreadlock wig and hat before running up to a woman on a street in north east London, stealing her handbag and leaving her with a broken arm.

Read more
Fancy somewhere different for dinner? [Photo courtesy of Events In The Sky]

This new London restaurant in Canary Wharf perched high in the sky lets diners experience Michelin-starred food from 100ft up.

Read more
11:51
The killer shark lurking among the fish in the Islington shop

An animatronic shark was installed in a fishmongers in Islington to scare the hell out of customers and promote unlikely sequel Sharknado 2.

Read more

TOP STORIES

Promotions

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.