Boxing coach gets honour aged 91

Daily Echo: Jack Bishop Jack Bishop

HE had his first fight in 1933, kept professional boxing alive in Southampton almost singlehandedly for five decades and is still training local boxers at the ripe old age of 91.

Now Jack Bishop has been recognised for his efforts in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The fighting legend has been awarded the prestigious British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to boxing in Southampton and Portsmouth.

Mr Bishop’s mantelpiece is already bulging with a glittering array of military medals received over his dedicated services to both the Royal Marines and the Army, which saw him serve in the likes of Holland, France, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Italy, Sicily, North Africa and Palestine.

Discipline On top of that the Fareham resident, affectionately known as ‘Mr Boxing’, has also been recognised for his contributions to the sport, with ten championship belts having been won from his modest gym in Captain’s Place, Southampton, and a British Boxing Board of Control Lifetime Service Award to his name as well as the BEM.

A proud Mr Bishop said: “It’s a great honour.

“When I got the letter I had to read it six times because I thought somebody might be pulling my leg.

“I am proud to have fought for my country and collected eight medals but I think this will be the best of them all.”

Mr Bishop has trained championship-winning fighters Jan Magdziarz, Gary Cooper, Steve McCarthy, Paul McCarthy, Danny Ruegg, Colin Kenna, Steve Ede and Sammy Couzens.

But he has also contributed immeasurably to the local community with the countless youngsters that have come in off the streets and benefited from his no-nonsense approach and discipline to life in general.

He is also well-known for one of boxing’s more remarkable moments at Southampton Guildhall when Steve McCarthy’s fight with Tony Wilson was interrupted by Wilson’s mother invading the ring and hitting McCarthy with her shoe.

In the ensuing melee Bishop was stabbed in the arm.

“I just love the sport,” said Mr Bishop when asked to explain his longevity.

“I’ve done boxing pretty much all of my life.

“I had my first fight at Whale Island when I was in the cadets.

“They asked for volunteers and I still don’t know what made me put my hand up that day.

“I have trained champions and have kept kids off the street and that is very satisfying.

“What I really like is that I am still so close to so many of the boxers, even many years after they have retired.

“I have some great memories.”

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:31am Sat 14 Jun 14

SOLENTDRIFTER says...

GOOD ON YA' JACK - WELL DONE AND LONG MAY YOU REIGN......
GOOD ON YA' JACK - WELL DONE AND LONG MAY YOU REIGN...... SOLENTDRIFTER
  • Score: 4

7:28am Sat 14 Jun 14

daniellaconey says...

my grandad...wat a legend xx
my grandad...wat a legend xx daniellaconey
  • Score: 10

8:30am Sat 14 Jun 14

saintsfan76 says...

Dedicating his life to his favourite sport and instilling his passion into his pupils. Richly deserved...well done Jack!
Dedicating his life to his favourite sport and instilling his passion into his pupils. Richly deserved...well done Jack! saintsfan76
  • Score: 2

10:07am Sat 14 Jun 14

SNUGGLES 78 says...

that mcnasty bout was hilarious.
that mcnasty bout was hilarious. SNUGGLES 78
  • Score: 16

10:15am Sat 14 Jun 14

MisterGrimsdale says...

A BEM is a better honour than a knighthood now. I take my hat off to anyone who has one. WEll done Jack.
A BEM is a better honour than a knighthood now. I take my hat off to anyone who has one. WEll done Jack. MisterGrimsdale
  • Score: 1

10:40am Sat 14 Jun 14

freefinker says...

.. what a totally and utterly barbaric 'sport'.
About time it was banned
.. what a totally and utterly barbaric 'sport'. About time it was banned freefinker
  • Score: -18

11:22am Sat 14 Jun 14

Zexagon says...

freefinker wrote:
.. what a totally and utterly barbaric 'sport'.
About time it was banned
Start a campaign if you feel that strongly
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: .. what a totally and utterly barbaric 'sport'. About time it was banned[/p][/quote]Start a campaign if you feel that strongly Zexagon
  • Score: 1

12:52pm Sat 14 Jun 14

sue1956 says...

Ah bless
Ah bless sue1956
  • Score: 7

1:42pm Sat 14 Jun 14

Sunny Saint says...

Well done and congratulations Jack. In 1971, he caught me using his garden as a short cut to get home. I thought he was gonna knock my head off, but instead convinced me to take up boxing in Southampton. He also had a hand in me joining the Marine cadets which for me became a life changing event as ended up joining the Royal Marines in 1979 and boxed for Commando Forces. Thanks Coach x
Well done and congratulations Jack. In 1971, he caught me using his garden as a short cut to get home. I thought he was gonna knock my head off, but instead convinced me to take up boxing in Southampton. He also had a hand in me joining the Marine cadets which for me became a life changing event as ended up joining the Royal Marines in 1979 and boxed for Commando Forces. Thanks Coach x Sunny Saint
  • Score: 3

2:00pm Sat 14 Jun 14

aldermoorboy says...

Well done, you have done a lot of good for the youth of this city.
Well done, you have done a lot of good for the youth of this city. aldermoorboy
  • Score: 1

8:04am Sun 15 Jun 14

seriarselyfedup says...

Congratulations Jack, you're a Legend.
Congratulations Jack, you're a Legend. seriarselyfedup
  • Score: 2

3:09pm Sun 15 Jun 14

Reality-man says...

Reckon I could have him
Reckon I could have him Reality-man
  • Score: 2

3:31pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Dr Martin says...

freefinker wrote:
.. what a totally and utterly barbaric 'sport'.
About time it was banned
Why??
Banning it, will drive it underground
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: .. what a totally and utterly barbaric 'sport'. About time it was banned[/p][/quote]Why?? Banning it, will drive it underground Dr Martin
  • Score: 1

11:11am Wed 18 Jun 14

wenogam says...

freefinker....this wasnt just about the boxing, it was about a 91 year old who fought for our country. jack bishop is one of the most kindest caring gentleman you could wish to meet, i know this because he is my dad.....from a vey proud daughter.
freefinker....this wasnt just about the boxing, it was about a 91 year old who fought for our country. jack bishop is one of the most kindest caring gentleman you could wish to meet, i know this because he is my dad.....from a vey proud daughter. wenogam
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree