Canning Town Olympic hero Terry Spinks to be remembered at boxing event

Boxer Terry Spinks, 64, holds up the MBE that he received from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Pal

Boxer Terry Spinks, 64, holds up the MBE that he received from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace, 46 years after winning an Olympic gold for Britain. Spinks was 18 when he took the medal at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 as a flyweight. - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Boxing demonstrations will be among the attractions on offer at an event celebrating the life of local flyweight hero Terry Spinks.

(L-R) Challenger Howard Winstone squashes the nose of Champion Terry Spinks during the early rounds

(L-R) Challenger Howard Winstone squashes the nose of Champion Terry Spinks during the early rounds of the fight. Winstone won by a 10th round TKO - Credit: S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

East Londoner Spinks remains the youngest Olympic gold medallist in British boxing history after taking the top spot at the 1956 Olympics at the age of just 18.

Friday’s fitness-promoting event will be fittingly held in Terry Spinks Place, the community space named in his honour and close to where he was raised in Liverpool Road and Morgan Street in Canning Town.

The varied attractions on the night will include live music from Newham Ukes, a live zumba class and a chance to learn and play chess on a giant chess board.

The son of a West Ham bookmaker, Terry started boxing at West Ham Amateur Boxing Club at the age of nine and went on to win 41 of his 49 professional fights.

Nineteen year old flyweight Terry spinks, of West ham, London, has been elected by the Boxing Writer

Nineteen year old flyweight Terry spinks, of West ham, London, has been elected by the Boxing Writers' Club as the Best Young Boxer of the Year. Spinks, a Gold Medalist at the last Olympic Games, is unbeaten in the 11 fights he has had as a professional since April. * He has a return fight with ireland's Ivan McCready at the Empress Hall, London. - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images


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His cousin, Rosemary Ellmore, never saw him fight in person as she was seven years younger than him but still remembers the excitement of finding out that he had won gold.

As televisions were relatively uncommon at the time, she found out about his victory by listening to the bout on the radio.

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“There were so many celebrations and so much excitement,” Rosemary, who cared for Terry for 19 years ahead of his death in April 2012, aged 74, said. “It was very different in 1956, it was such a big thing because winning gold then was so much more rare.”

Terry, who was awarded an MBE in 2012, remained firmly committed to Newham and his roots, including West Ham Amateur Boxing Club where he handed out certificates at its annual prizegiving.

“Everybody knew him in the East End and he was passionate about the area,” Rosemary added.

*The event runs from 6pm to 10pm. For more information visit thebrickbox.co.uk/events

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