International boxing debut for Sid as dad makes his bow too

PUBLISHED: 11:33 03 January 2013

The Driscoll clan (left to right) Charlie, Sid, dad Mickey and Vinnie

The Driscoll clan (left to right) Charlie, Sid, dad Mickey and Vinnie


Two family members making their England debut on the same day is certainly a rarity – particularly if they are father and son – but Mickey and Sid Driscoll have just managed that achievement.

It came in Ireland recently when West Ham BC trainer Mickey Driscoll stepped up for the first time as coach to the England team and 14-year-old Sid made his international debut.

However, 43-year-old Mickey’s eldest son Charlie beat them both to the England spot years ago. He has numerous international appearances, alongside six national titles, already to his credit.

The 19-year-old West Ham club captain is aiming to add to that list when he makes his first ABA senior title bid in 2013, while brother Sid chases his second National Schools’ Championship.

Meanwhile, waiting in the wings, is another Driscoll brother, 11-year-old Vinnie, already a schools’ district soccer player, who is a regular at the boxing club nursery sessions and is aiming to make his ring debut in the months ahead.

Mickey Driscoll admits his role as club coach sees him at the club’s famous Black Lion Gym virtually seven days every week – some dedication for a boxer who quit the pro game in 1994 and vowed to stay away from the sport.

A big-punching light-welterweight, he had a good pro career and was beaten just four times in his 23 bouts, which included a spectacular knockout victory over Tony McKenzie which is still featured on YouTube.

Originally from Portsmouth, he admits he found it hard in pro boxing when he had to move to London.

“I felt a real outsider, I did not know a soul in London, which is probably why I now enjoy working at a real family club like West Ham,” said the 43-year-old, who runs HDS Personnel Agency at Tilbury Docks.

When he took his eldest son Charlie to the gym 10 years ago, he insisted he wanted to stay in the background. “But I was talked into helping out by chief coach Mickey May, and I became involved,” he said.

He has played his part in the Hammers’ success over recent years and helped his sons achieve their ambitions, while also earning the advanced coaching badge which brought his England call-up.

He hesitates when asked if he would like his sons to follow his route into pro boxing: “It’s completely different, it’s strictly a business where money is what really matters,” he added.

He is just pleased with the amateur achievements of his boys and all the West Ham boxers, and is looking for more success in 2013.

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