Tragic boxer Benny Lynch honoured with exhibition

Benny Lynch, Scotland's first-ever World champion boxer, is the focus of an extended display at People's Palace, Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
Benny Lynch, Scotland's first-ever World champion boxer, is the focus of an extended display at People's Palace, Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
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He was crowned champion of the world at the age of 22 but died tragically just eight years later.

Now boxing hero Benny Lynch will finally be honoured in his home city of Glasgow with the staging of an exhibition devoted to his exploits.

Lynch’s gloves, trophies, championship belts and his first and only boxing contract are among the exhibits.

The collection of rare artefacts, some of which are on public display for the first time, include an International Boxing Hall of Fame plaque, which has been donated by Lynch’s family, programmes and tickets from some of his bouts.

It is hoped that a long-awaited statue of Lynch will be in place inside Central Station, scene of Lynch’s famous homecoming after becoming world champion in 1935, by the time the exhibition closes at the end of 2020.

A campaign to honour Lynch with a landmark work of art has been backed by the leading Scottish actors Robert Carlyle, Martin Compston and Tommy Flanagan.

The show has been launched just over a year after the premiere of a documentary charting the rise and fall of Lynch.

The displays were unveiled by another iconic former world boxing champion from the city, Jim Watt, who hailed Lynch as “Scotland’s greatest ever sporting legend”.

Born in 1913 and raised in the Gorbals area of the city, Lynch turned professional at the age of 18. He claimed the British, European and world flyweight titles in September 1935 when he defeated Jackie Brown in Manchester.

He fought 102 contests in just seven years, winning 77 fights but his career was to be blighted by alcoholism and weight problems. It was finally brought to a halt after he lost his boxing licence in 1939.

Watt: said: “The really important thing about Benny Lynch is that being world champion was such a fantastic achievement back then. There are 68 version of the world championship today – when Benny won his there were only eight.

“He was the first one to do it, he showed the rest of us and he is an inspiration to every other Scottish fighter. He was also a man of the people. He was the same Benny Lynch from start to finish.”

Bryan Turnbull, chairman of the “Statue for Benny” campaign, said: “Benny Lynch means a lot to people in Glasgow and Scotland and we hope this exhibition will further elevate his status and secure a statue in his honour.”