Chris continues grandfather's legacy at boxing club

October 29 2020
Chris continues grandfather's legacy at boxing club

CHRIS Richardson is following in his grandfather's footsteps by taking to the ring at Downend Boxing Club.

Steve Richardson was one of Bristol’s most experienced amateur boxers competing in over 100 amateur contests in the 1950s and early 60s.

Boxing for the Robinson’s and British Railways clubs, it was normal for Steve to box up to three times a day in competitions throughout the West.

Steve had been a victim of bullying in his early years, and after taking a hiding one day he told himself it would never happen again, and started training at the same gyms of the time's most famous Bristol boxers, Terry Ratcliffe and Gordon Hazell.

As the sport does for so many young people, Steve’s times were no different in that he became hugely committed and disciplined, to the point that his competitions gave way to meet the demands of the region's professionals to spar with him, as he was recognised as reliable and the very best available to them.

On one of these occasions, a spar with Gordon Hazell, who was preparing for a European title challenge, was witnessed by a genuine superstar of the time, former world light-heavyweight champion Freddie Mills.

Freddie immediately wanted to sign Steve as a professional but Steve refused, as he had just married and was very committed to the new Mrs Richardson and his young family that followed.

Long after he retired from the ring, Steve (above) attended Downend Boxing Club and offered hours to the young people, imparting his limitless knowledge and life experience.

His catchphrase could be heard at least twice every session - "self-recommendation is no recommendation - and that encapsulated the wonderful humble manner of our life vice president.

Steve passed away in 2018, however his legacy can be seen in son Neil and grandson 16-year-old Chris, as they work out in the gym at the Harry Crook Centre in Fishponds.

Neil is currently training as an England Boxing coach, and Chris a fledgling boxer with great promise, and his grandfather's commitment and drive.

It’s wonderful to see the family tradition continue.

Steve was a wonderful gentleman and this has passed to his son and grandson - however, sharing a boxing ring with them is another matter!

Craig Turner