1967 Walter McGowan

1967 Walter McGowan wm

1967 and local Burnbank Legendary Boxer, Walter McGowan leads with this “right” and hope’s he’s on target.

He was actually guest at the opening and start of the 1967/68 season of Blantyre Miners Welfare Bowling Green. Giving him encouragement in this photo is left to right, President Peter Mackie, Vice President David Bethel and Mrs Mackie.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,

Lyn Hynds Was going to tag her there lol x
Gerry Walker I think Walter had a wee shop on Stonefield Road as well. If my memory is still working it was just up from Mickeys Cafe.
The Blantyre Project think that belonged to the family of his wife.
Etta Morrison Yes it was his in laws the Chalmers who owned the shop..
Billy Steven I worked with Walter and his Brother at the bolt works in Burnbank
Janet Cochrane The shop belonged to Gil and Isabelle Chalmers his wifes parents
The Blantyre Project Stonefield Place?
Janet Cochrane They stayed in Stonefield Place
John Duncan The house wee live in elmbank cres Burbank were told Walter lived it as a boy does anybody no if this is true Janet
Eddie Boyle Walter was my dad’s cousin… Means hes my uncle.
Robert Wilson Second cousin surely
Eddie Boyle Probably but dont call me Shirley lol
Christine Cather My mum is Walters eldest sister. He’s my uncle. You’re a second cousin.
Davy Thomson I work with his nephew,, also called Walter đź‘Ť
Peter Carney Av got a signed photo of Walter
Alan Smith Jack Bethel Is that your uncle with the disappearing sherry!
Anne Cook Yes!!-David was my Uncle Jim Bethels brother!!
Margaret Chalmers I remember Walter McGowan.
Catherine Dawes I am friends with his brother Davie
Pat Cleary In my opinion he was the best,also a cousin of Ann Ashbridge’s Dad, and a close friend of Jim McDermott, my wife May Cleary’s Brother
The Blantyre Project A popular character, so here’s my research on Walter McGowan, from my book, “Blantyre Explained”

McGowan, Mr. Walter – MBE (born 13 October 1942 in Burnbank, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland), is a retired Scottish boxer.

Boxing since the age of 9, he is renowned for having been lineal world flyweight champion and was well known in Blantyre. He was the son of Thomas McGowan, who had boxed under the name of ‘Joe Gans’ (a famous boxing miner).

He was a skillful boxer, who showed brilliant footwork and knew how to use the ring. However, he suffered throughout his career with cuts, often having fights stopped despite being ahead on points. Without this failing, he would have had an even more successful career. Amateur Career: McGowan was the 1961 ABA Flyweight Champion.

He suffered only two defeats in 124 amateur bouts. Fought amateur David Ferguson for 3 rounds and only won on point decision. Professional Career: He had his first professional fight in August 1961 when he fought George McDade at the Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, winning by a technical knockout in the third round. He lost his third fight to Jackie Brown on points, but then continued to build up an impressive list of wins. In his tenth fight he fought Jackie Brown for the British and Commonwealth flyweight titles. The fight was in May 1963 at the Ice rink, Paisley, and Mcgowan won by a knockout in the twelfth round. In September 1963, he defended his Commonwealth title against Killer Salomon from Jamaica. The fight was in Paisley, and McGowan won by a technical knockout in the ninth round.

In April 1964, he challenged for the European flyweight title, held by Italian, Salvatore Burruni. The fight was held in the Olympic Stadium, Rome, and McGowan suffered the second defeat of his career, losing on points over fifteen rounds.

In December 1965, he stepped up a weight and challenged for the European bantamweight title, held by Italian, Tommaso Galli. The fight was again in Rome and ended as a draw after fifteen rounds.

In June 1966, he again fought Salvatore Burruni, this time for the lineal world flyweight championship, which Burruni held. They met at the Empire Pool, Wembley, and McGowan won a fifteen-round points decision to gain the lineal world title, despite sustaining a badly gashed eye in the seventh round. Cuts were to prove a major problem in his career.

In September 1966, he fought Alan Rudkin at the Empire Pool, for the British and Commonwealth bantamweight titles that he held. McGowan scored another fifteen-round points win, despite suffering a cut eye in the tenth round. In December 1966, he defended his lineal world title against Chartchai Chionoi in Bangkok, Thailand. The Thai fighter won and took the title when McGowan suffered a badly cut nose in the ninth round, and the referee was forced to stop the fight. The two boxers had a re-match at the Empire Pool in September 1967, but again the Thai boxer won and kept his title, when cuts to both McGowan’s eyes and his forehead caused the referee to stop the fight in the seventh.

In McGowan’s next fight, in May 1968, he lost his British and Commonwealth bantamweight titles to Alan Rudkin. The fight was at Belle Vue, Manchester and Rukin won by a fifteen-round points decision. McGowan fought six more fights, all against foreign boxers, winning them all, before retiring.

His last fight was in November 1969 against Domenico Antonio Chiloiro. He became the first Scottish world-boxing champion to be so honoured when he was in the Queen’s Birthday honours list in 1966.

Walter retired in 1969. He was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, alongside the likes of Scottish boxing great Ken Buchanan.

In recent years he spent some time in poor health in a nursing home in Bellshill, before passing away on the evening of Monday 15th February 2016 at Monkland Hospital. One of 10 children, Wlater McGowan is survived by a son and daughter and a grandson and granddaughter.

Leave a Reply