Boxing will miss Jack Brooks, a true champion of the Noble Art

Boxing will miss Jack Brooks, a true champion of the Noble Art


Boxing is deeply saddened, as indeed I am, by the death at 88 of my good friend Jack Brooks, the former chairman and president of the British Boxing Board of Control.

Jack, or Lord Brooks of Tremorfa as he was latterly known, was a really lovely man, one of the nicest I have encountered in life and in the sport, both worldly and wise.

He was one of the most respected chairmen the Board have ever had and his benign stewardship guided them one of the most difficult periods in their history.

It was a time when, because of the Michael Watson business, the Board went into receivership, but he steered them through it and was instrumental in arranging affordable new headquarters in Cardiff.

His presence as Chairman, a post he held with distinction until a decade ago, has been greatly missed as indeed has been his presidency since he relinquished it last year.

Politically he was a true socialist, a man of the people and of great principle – a real old Labour stalwart. There aren’t many of them left.

In 1979, he became a life peer as Baron Brooks of Tremorfa, after many years acting as agent to former Prime Minister Jim Callaghan. He was chairman of the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation and as such was instrumental in the redevelopment of the docks area of Cardiff now known as Cardiff Bay.

He was also a former Chairman of the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame and of Sportsmatch Wales.

His rhetoric in the House of Lords when he fought the corner for sport in general and boxing in particular was renowned.

His great passion was what he always believed remains the Noble Art and as the Board said in their tribute to him this enabled them to maintain their position as one of the world’s most prestigious boxing commissions.

A gentleman in every way and one with a sense of fun and eternal good humour.

I shall always be personally grateful for wise counsel and the encouragement he always gave me as he puffed away on his beloved pipe.

Jack, you will be missed by us all in the sport.

My deepest sympathies to Peggy and all Jack’s family.

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