A DARFIELD boxing champ’s legacy is now on display in Darfield Museum.
The Maurice Dobson museum has been given Billy McHale’s trophies and plaques by his son, Stuart.
Billy died in June last year. He was one of the village’s best known sportsmen, becoming welterweight NCB national champion in 1949 and Northern Counties ABA champion in 1950-51.
Stuart, from Medina Court, Darfield, said: “When he won the British Coal Championship he went to the Royal Albert Hall and it was Prince Philip who presented him with his trophy. Dad said Phillip said to him, ‘What’s a good looking young man like you doing in a sport like this?’ He had quite a few stories to tell from his time.”
Billy also set a gym up in the Mitchell and Darfield Club, where he trained boxer and trainer Terry Halpin. He had also been in the corner for renowned trainer Brendan Ingle.
Stuart added: “There are lots of trophies with his national finals and his plaques, and two big cups. One is his British Coal which I’m not sure is national or local, and the other is the McHale Cup, which he had won three times - but it was a coincidence that it was named the same. I took them to Darfield because I thought it would be good for them to be in the village where he lived all his life. It is great to see they have not just been wasted.”
Museum chairman Geoffrey Hutchinson said: “Billy was a miner at Darfield Main but was very well known in the area for his amateur boxing prowess. He fought at welter weight, weighing about ten-and-a-half stones. The cups, plaques and certificates on display were mostly from matches fought in NCB tournaments in different parts of the country including London and in Ireland.
“Billy died in June 2016 aged 91 and will be remembered by a great many Darfield people who remember his boxing career. The display is available to view at any time the museum is open.”