Jimmy Doyle – Hoxton Boxer
Our great (and evil) Aunt passed away recently, aged 97. She lived a spartan existence and there was no evidence of the memories we collect through our lifetime. No photo’s or letters. There was however a press clipping about Jimmy Doyle who would have been my grandad’s half-brother.
For a long time I’ve toyed with attempting to research my families chequered and colourful history. The paternal side of my family are from Hoxton. Back in the days when trousers not meeting your ankles was down to having to get clothes that didn’t fit from the missionaries because you were poor, and not because you’re a hipster. Finding out about Jimmy, former professional boxer, and local lad who kept the local boxing club during the war and kept score during the 1948 Olympics, has made me more curious to find out more.
The photo’s aren’t fantastic and the print has worn down but I have transcribed what we believe the full newspaper clipping says.
“The man who defied Hitler’s Luftwaffe to keep Hoxton’s Crown and Manor Boys’ Club open throughout the war years is dead. Former professional boxer, Jimmy Doyle, who devoted a lifetime to running the Wiltshire Row club, died recently aged 84. Past and present members of the club paid tribute to their former leader whose service spanned 29 years. As a youngster he boxed as an amateur with the Hoxton Manor Club and won two London Federation of Boys [illegible] 1922- 1924. The Hoxton Manor Club merged with the Crown Club in 1939 to form the present Crown and Manor Club. He became assistant leader of the Crown and Manor Club when it was formed in 1939 and two years later he became its manager. “He managed to keep the place open during the war despite it being bombed” said club spokesperson, Dave Munday. “After the war he continued as club manager, being appointed a boxing score: during the 1948 Olympics. He finally retired from club activities in 1959”.
If anyone has any experience or tips on tracing family history I’d love to hear from you.