The Wee Man
The Wee Man
By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, Comments Off on The Wee Man

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Benny Lynch was the archetypal Glasgow “wee man” boxer: measuring 5 foot 5 and a half inches and weighing in at 8 stone (or 112 pounds/ 52 kg) in his prime – and he had no peer in his time, or since it could be argued, becoming Scotland’s first world boxing champion.  

 

He was born in the Gorbals and the notoriously tough district bred a tough youngster who through his quick fists and ring artistry managed to escape the poverty and deprivation of the area through the even tougher times of the late 1920s.  In all, he fought more than 100 times, winning most of them.  In one year, 1933, he fought 17 times – can you imagine that now?

 

In September 1935, his return match in Manchester with title-holder Jackie Brown (after their March bout in Glasgow was fought to a draw) saw Lynch stop Brown in just two rounds, winning the British, European and world flyweight titles – and more than 100,000 cheering fans lined the streets of Glasgow when he returned home with his weighty haul of titles.

 

Lynch successfully defended his title three times but was stripped of it in 1938 for being 6lbs overweight.  Sadly, this led to his fall from grace as he succumbed to the bottle.  He took to heavy drinking and died, aged only 33, in 1946, and over 2,000 attended his funeral when he was buried in St Kentigern’s RC cemetery, in Lambhill. 

 

There have been many calls for a lasting city tribute to Benny, with movie star Robert Carlyle part of the Remember Benny Lynch Campaign group who are arguing and raising funds for a statue to be raised in honour of this true working class hero. In the meantime, the only visible recognition he has comes in the form of a mural outside of the city’s Clutha Bar, not far from his Gorbals home.

 

Leica M6 Classic & 2/35mm Summicron pre-asph (King of Bokeh)

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HC-110 (Dil. B – 7 min)

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