Lion BC old boy MacDonald sadly passes away following two-year battle with illness
- Credit: the lion club - submitted
Local boxing fans, especially those following the amateur code, will be saddened to learn of the death of local man Roy MacDonald who sadly passed away after a two-year illness which involved him suffering severe lung complications.
MacDonald was born on March, 16, 1937 in Hoxton, a mere stone’s throw away from the current headquarters of the Lion Boxing Club in Pitfield Street.
And boxing was always his passion from his early years, with him ultimately giving over 70 years faithful service to his club, first as a fine and successful amateur boxer himself and later as head coach at the club.
He did, along the way, have a few seasons as a coach at the then Islington Boys’ Club, but he was first and foremost a loyal Lion BC servant.
MacDonald was involved in over 400 contests in the Lion BC vest, losing just nine bouts, three of which he later reversed.
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He was successful in both Junior ABA and then National Association of Boys Clubs (NABC) competitions and later helped steer hundreds of local youngsters to success in the ring.
One such youngster was son Lee, who starred as ‘Zammo’ in the very successful TV series Grange Hill, whom he steered to National Junior ABA and NABC championship success in 1984.
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One of his few regrets about his wonderful life in boxing was that he did not decide to turn professional. We will never know what he might have achieved in the paid code, quite a lot I would have wagered.
He was an exemplary coach and always had the interests of his boxers at heart, never seeking to see them overmatched – their health and welfare being uppermost always in his mind.
Son Lee said: “It was my dad‘s knowledge and great experience that helped me succeed when I was boxing at the Lion club. I relied and trusted him implicitly. If it looked like I was ever losing in a bout, he would sit me down in the corner during the interval between rounds and tell me what to do to get back on top and invariably it worked.
“He didn’t talk to me that much about his own achievements in the ring, but he was rightly proud of his stoppage success over 1956 Melbourne Olympic champion, Scotland’s Dick McTaggart.”
The Gazette extends its sincere sympathy to Maureen, Roy’s widow, and sons Lee and Danny and their families on their loss.