Boxer trib­utes

Sport star passes away aged 82:

Sale & Altrincham Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

RICKY Hat­ton has led trib­utes to his for­mer boxing coach Paul Dunne, call­ing him ‘a fa­ther fig­ure through my teenage years’.

Mr Dunne, who was chief coach of Sale West Am­a­teur Boxing Club and hugely re­spected within the sport, passed away aged 82 af­ter a short ill­ness.

The Hit­man, who went on to win a string of world ti­tles af­ter be­ing coached by Dunne, said: “The pass­ing of Mr Dunne was as up­set­ting as it gets for me.

“He was more than my am­a­teur boxing coach, he was like a fa­ther fig­ure as when I was grow­ing up”.

“He didn’t only set me on the right path in boxing, he set me on the right path in life.

“I feel I speak for ev­ery­one who boxed for Sale West A.B.C or any­one from the Sale Race­course Es­tate Youth Club who was for­tu­nate to spend any length of time in his com­pany.

“His fam­ily were my fam­ily to me and my love goes out to them now more than ever.”

His proud fam­ily said his work with young­sters was about far more than just train­ing and step­ping into the ring.

Mr Dunne’s daugh­ter Amanda Thoma­son said: “He was in­spi­ra­tional in coach­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of box­ers, but my dad’s in­flu­ence also changed their lives.

“We have got many won­der­ful mem­o­ries. He was my best mate and my dad.

“He ate, slept and breathed boxing and the sport has lost some­one very spe­cial.

“He will be sadly missed and we want to thank eve- ry­one for their mes­sages and their sup­port.”

Mr Dunne, from Sale, leaves his wife of 57 years Kath, four chil­dren and seven grand­chil­dren.

Fu­neral de­tails are due to be an­nounced at a later date but all dona­tions will go to the Manch­ester ExBox­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

He fought more than 30 bouts as a ban­tamweight over 10 years, with his first fight as a pro in 1952.

One of the high­lights of his pro­fes­sional ca­reer was a win by knock-out over highly-rated US ti­tle con­tender Car­los Chavez in New Or­leans in 1954.

Mr Dunne’s fam­ily moved to Manch­ester from Ire­land when he was 14. By then, he had al­ready won an Ir­ish ti­tle as a school­boy. He trained at his near­est boxing club, the Holy Name Boxing Club on Ox­ford Road, Chorl­ton, be­fore turn­ing pro.

Writ­ing on Twit­ter, Bri­tish Su­per Mid­dleweight cham­pion Paul Smith Jnr said: “Sad to hear the news that Paul Dunne has died. Great fella, Dunny. Did a lot for lo­cal kids and boxing.”

Manch­ester-based boxing manager and coach Joe Gal­lagher paid trib­ute to a ‘huge char­ac­ter’ in am­a­teur boxing and Mat- thew Hat­ton, Ricky’s brother, added on Twit­ter: “RIP Paul Dunne, my old am­a­teur coach. Boxing through and through. A real char­ac­ter and a great man.”

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