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These boxing 'heroes' keep our youngsters on the straight and narrow

By This is SouthDevon  |  Posted: May 16, 2009

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IN THE continuing unsavoury revelations regarding MPs' expenses which I condemn wholeheartedly, particularly members of my own party, I went with many others to pay respect to local boxing legend Johnny Mudge.

The contrast between our parliamentary representatives with their noses in the trough and the likes of Mudge, Dave Stacey, Keith Brooking, Jimmy and Sid Banks, Brian Pollard and many others who have literally given their lives to helping young people is an example to us all in the local community.

The importance of sport in everyday life in creating a sense of play, belonging, and keeping our youngsters on the straight and narrow is priceless. Any council investment in local sport is returned threefold as local youngsters get fitter, observe rules and get rid of all that surplus energy.

I got the boxing bug (later the wrestling bug) because of people like Johnny Mudge, Paul King, Bobby Johnson and Kurt Ernest who was at the funeral service still fighting fit at almost 80. Seeing such greats as Peter Fay and Boswell St Louis at Torbay fairs and later wrestlers such as Tiger Shark, The Golden Terror and Bearded Bill Roberts prompted me to join Sam McKeown's boxing booth and I met all my heroes over the years.

Johnny's passing is the end of an area in Torbay but the noble art of boxing will continue to flourish because of the dedicated group of trainers, officials and boxing lovers who run the boxing clubs in the Bay. And I have to say if the current council want a fairer, safer Bay then put your money where your mouth is and support boxing clubs right across the three towns because they do a great job and make Torbay a better place.

DAVID PEDRICK-FRIEND

Sunbury Road, Paignton

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