Clark: McTag­gart snub dis­grace­ful when Des­per­ate Dan has statue

The Herald - Sport - - FINAL SAY - JIM BLACK

RON­NIE CLARK very much doubts that he will ever be recog­nised in boxing cir­cles in the same way that fel­low Dun­do­nian Dick McTag­gart is re­garded by his con­tem­po­raries.

But the 30-year-old su­per-feath­er­weight is keen to let his voice be heard in call­ing for Dundee’s most fa­mous boxing son to be hon­oured with the erec­tion of a statue in his home city.

Clark con­sid­ers it some­what ab­surd that the lo­cal coun­cil saw fit to give their bless­ing to a mon­u­ment com­mem­o­rat­ing a comic mag­a­zine char­ac­ter cre­ated two years af­ter McTag­gart’s birth in 1935.

The statue in ques­tion is of Des­per­ate Dan, of Dandy fame, the wild-west strong­man who sup­pos­edly shaves with a blow­torch and is ca­pa­ble of lift­ing a steer with one hand af­ter a serv­ing of his Aunt Ag­gie’s cow pie.

It leads Clark to sug­gest lo­cal coun­cil­lors per­haps think more of Des­per­ate Dan than they do of a real-life hero. Call­ing for this to be rec­ti­fied, Clark said: “It’s dis­grace­ful the way Dick McTag­gart has gone un­recog­nised con­sid­er­ing what he achieved.

“Imag­ine there be­ing a statue to Des­per­ate Dan in the mid­dle of Dundee but noth­ing recog­nis­ing the man who put the city on the map in sport­ing terms? Dick is a true gen­tle­man and an ab­so­lute leg­end so there should def­i­nitely be a statue of him in a prom­i­nent spot.

“There is a bronze bust of Dick at the lo­cal St Fran­cis Boxing Club but that’s tucked away in a back room when it should be on pub­lic dis­play for ev­ery­one to see.

“Even the Dick McTag­gart Sports Cen­tre is used for gym­nas­tics rather than boxing.

“He de­serves bet­ter and far greater recog­ni­tion and re­spect than he is cur­rently af­forded af­ter such a re­mark­able ca­reer.”

McTag­gart, who turned 80 ear­lier this month, was win­ner of the Olympic light­weight gold medal at the 1956 Games in 200 Ren­field Street, Glas­gow G2 3QB. email: sport@the­ Tel 0141 302 7156

Sports editor Gra­ham Shields / Deputy sports editor Gor­don Steven­son Mel­bourne and bronze four years later in Rome. He had 634 bouts in to­tal, win­ning 610 of them, but never went pro.

McTag­gart also won Com­mon­wealth Games gold and sil­ver medals in a glit­ter­ing 10-year ca­reer which saw him crowned ABA Cham­pion five times, as well as Euro­pean cham­pion.

Mean­while, Des­per­ate Dan had bet­ter be­ware, for Clark re­vealed that he was once struck a glanc­ing blow on the chin with a ham­mer – and hardly flinched!

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