Achievements of Wrexham sports legend to take pride of place at town's boxing club


Steve Craddock

Achievements of a Wrexham sporting legend will take pride of place at a town boxing club.

After Wrexham County Borough Museum held an exhibition about local sporting heroes, the museum was reluctant to simply throw away the information board commemorating the story of boxing star Johnny Basham.

The museum turned to Cllr Ronnie Prince, a former amateur boxer in his teens, who suggested the board could be donated to Wrexham Amateur Boxing Club, based in Penymaes Avenue.

Jonathan Gammond, of Wrexham County Borough Museum, presented the board to George Crewe of Wrexham ABC after sharing some of the sportsman’s inspiring story.

Mr Gammond said: “Johnny Basham was born in Newport but moved to Wrexham to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in 1911 and he was big into boxing.

“He trained in the town up at Hightown Barracks and in Poyser Street and he became one of the instructors for the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during the First World War.

From left: Cllr Ronnie Prince with Steve Grenter and Jonathan Gammond, of Wrexham Museum, handing over the board to Steve Williams and George Crewe from Wrexham Boxing Club

“In 1916 he won his first championship, the British welterweight champion, and has been a real inspiration to many boxers across Wales but especially here in Wrexham.

“The exhibition finished and I thought – I don't want to throw the panel away. It is such a great photograph of him as well, it is a quality photograph from that period, and he has a great story.

“He is inspiring young people to take part in a sport which keeps a lt of people out of trouble, it is a good sport.”

Mr Crewe said Johnny Basham was something of an inspiration for him after his posters were put up across Wrexham after he became British Welterweight Champion in 1916.

He added: “A lot of people can’t remember the likes of Johnny Basham – I can only remember him through my parents talking to me about what a great boxer he was.

“When he won the championship apparently he became quite a star. He went on an open tram or bus and was paraded through town.

“We are pleased to have this trophy of Johnny Basham and certainly it will be appreciated by all the boxers.”

Cllr Prince said: “Johnny Basham is still remembered in the town. It is going in the gym and I hope it gives more young boxers something to aspire to.”

See full story in the Leader

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