IT IS fair to say former boxer Jimmy Griffiths had a memorable career.
His niece Karen McIntyre has recently been in touch to fill in some more gaps about his life.
The Griffiths family were originally from the Wolverhampton area but moved to Barnsley before Jimmy was born, in Royston. A keen sportsman, he also played football for Frickley Colliery and had trials with the team he supported, Wolverhampton Wanderers, but found his way into the boxing ring in the late 1920s. He boxed up and down the country as well as regularly at Barnsley venues like the Drill Hall (now the Barnsley Chronicle offices), Midland Street Stadium, Imperial Hall and Dillington Park.
By the time he signed up to fight in 1942 he had boxed more than 140 times winning at least 84.
He was injured in mortar fire in Normandy, six days after landing with the South Wales Border Regiment, where he also worked as a physical training instructor.
After the war, he relocated to Calderdale and worked for Rowntree Mackintosh’s Albion Mills factory in Halifax for 32 years. He retired in 1980 before dying four years later.
He retained a keen interest in boxing and regularly went to conference events to meet his heroes like Muhammad Ali.
Karen said: “I was recently doing some ancestry research and I am always trying to find things about him as he was a very interesting man and met lots of film stars through the boxing fraternity.
“He met all the greats Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Henry Cooper and Sugar Ray Robinson.
“He remained single and liked to travel abroad especially to less tourist places.
“He had a great sense of humour and very physically fit but despite this, he suffered a fatal heart attack and passed away in June 1984.”
In his long career, Griffiths boxed the likes of British and European champion Ernie Roderick and even recorded a win over another champion in Dick Turpin the brother of Randolph, who famously beat the all conquering Sugar Ray Robinson in what is considered one of boxing’s greatest ever upsets.