A BOXING stalwart who has dedicated most of his life to the sport says he is surprised and proud about being made life vice-president of the Merseyside and Cheshire Amateur Boxing Association, writes Alec Doyle.
Alec McGowan, from Whitby, was nominated for the lifetime position on the regional executive committee in recognition of a glittering career that began when he walked through the doors of Golden Star ABC in Ellesmere Port – a club which is celebrating its 50th anniversary but, as Alec points out, now “needs some help.”
The 69-year-old former bar impresario went on to make Rotunda ABC a revered club at home and abroad, but he was still knocked out by his nomination.
“It was a great surprise to me to be nominated, and also a great honour,” said Alec. “Being able to work without the concern of being re-elected each year will allow me to address some more long-term issues and follow things through to their completion.”
Alec got involved with boxing when he offered his assistance to Golden Star when they broke up with the Phoenix ABC, helping the Ellesmere Port club get equipment as they led a nomadic existence, before he decided to join Rotunda in Liverpool.
There he was part of the team that built the club into one of the biggest in Europe.
Rotunda has recently received investment of more than £400,000 and in the last two years has seen five of its best fighters turn professional, including Commonwealth Games gold medallist Stephen Smith, his brother and Junior and Senior ABA champion Liam, fellow ABA champion Joe Selkirk and three-time ABA champion Tony Bellew.
“The club has achieved some wonderful things and I am very proud,” said Alec. “But on the executive, my role is not just to represent my club, I have to represent all clubs, large and small.”
That means Alec will be keeping an eye on his former club Golden Star, which this year is marking its 50th birthday.
“Golden Star needs some help at the moment,” he said. “Carl Teasdale has been keeping it going but he needs someone to come and help him revive the club’s fortunes.
“It is my job to look after clubs like that, make sure they can get their coaches trained up and stay open for the young boxers who go there.”