Author seeks stories of Lisburn’s ‘fighting men’

Brian Madden.
Brian Madden.

A boxing writer who is researching a new book about professional fighters from Lisburn is appealing to local people to help him track down the city’s ‘sluggers’ from the distant past, or their family members.

Belfast author Brian Madden, who describes himself as “a fight fan and pen-pusher”, previously penned ‘Yesterday’s Glovemen - The Golden Days of Ulster Boxing’ - a book about professional boxers, the majority of them journeymen, who were in the ring for one thing and one thing only, to earn money to feed their families.

Brian Madden's previous book Yesterday's Glovemen - The Golden Days of Ulster Boxing.

Brian Madden's previous book Yesterday's Glovemen - The Golden Days of Ulster Boxing.

Now, for his follow-up book, he’s turning his attention to fighters who hailed from Lisburn. And he’s keen to hear the stories of the city’s many professional boxers.

“Lisburn was a great place for professional boxers: people like Jim Coates (real name Kenneth/Ken Coates), Jim Keery, Joe Collins, Jim Clark, Jim Corbett (Norman McKee), Jim Dawson, Billy Dickson, R. Alexander, B. Andrews, Billy Graham, Patsy Lavery, Jim McCutcheon, Jim Smith, Bob Thompson, John ‘Silver’ Thompson, Sam Thompson, Jim Ward, Dick Waring, Ginger Watters, and last but not least, Sammy Lockard,” Mr Madden said. “The list is, literally, endless of ‘fighting men’ from Lisburn.”

He continued: “I am presently working on another book and I would be grateful if any former professional boxers (including those mentioned) could contact me as I would like to include them in my book. If the boxers are deceased, and a great many of them are, then it would be great if any of their relations could contact me. Hopefully they would have a photo of the boxer.

“I have many, many records of Lisburn boxers from yesteryear but, unfortunately, no one to interview. I already have the late Sammy Lockard’s story finished, but I’m hoping there will be 26 stories in total.

“I usually depend on next-of-kin of deceased former fighters having a photo of their loved ones and, in most cases, they do. It would be great to hear and share their stories.”

Brian Madden can be contacted by emailing maddenbrian1@hotmail.co.uk or by calling 07833 956731.