Rare collection of sport memorabilia ready to pack a punch with boxing fans

From Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan to Sir Henry Cooper and Frank Bruno, Wolverhampton Amateur Boxing Club has welcomed some of the greatest figures of the sport through its doors over the years.

Now volunteers are hoping for a knockout success as they throw open the doors to a new archive for enthusiasts to enjoy.

Visitors can now wander freely between two rooms filled with boxing memorabilia, including gloves signed by some of the biggest names in the sport, merchandise from some of the sport’s biggest fights, and a gown once worn into the ring by Mike Tyson himself.

Also on display are dozens of trophies and thousands of back-dated issues of now defunct publications Ring Magazine and Boxing News, dating back to the 1930s, as well as vintage posters from around the same time. Those wishing to relive some of the sport’s great moments can even sit down to watch any number of old VHS recordings at their leisure.

Club secretary John Thomas has compiled the collection as a record of the club’s history and of boxing generally, to bring back memories for boxing fans and to inspire youngsters to take up the sport.

He said: “What we like to do is look after the kids. We do everything for the local community that we possibly can, because to us it’s about bringing the kids up in the right manner and giving them discipline.

“The idea of this is it’s a memorial, an archive, a facility for the community and a boxing gym all at the same time. It’s a major thing. There’s no other facility of its kind in the country.”

The club was established in 1936 by a group of local businessmen.

It moved to its current location in Willenhall Road in the late 1970s and has since undergone around £200,000 worth of refurbishment.