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,

Latest Stories

Police want to speak to this man in connection with the rape of a man in a Kingston nightclub (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

CCTV has been released of a man police want to speak to after a 19-year-old man was raped in a nightclub toilet in Kingston-upon-Thames.

Read more
Police have released a CCTV still of the man wanted after a gunpoint robbery at Charlton Lido in July (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

The moment a man walked in to Charlton Lido with a gun to commit an armed robbery has been released by police who want to track down the suspect.

Read more
The man was found with a stab wound and bite marks on Wanstead Flats (Picture: PA Images/Stefan Rousseau)

Two teenage girls have been arrested after a man was found stabbed and bitten on Wanstead Flats by firefighters called to put out a grass fire.

Read more

Match Reports

TOP STORIES

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

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.