Shropshire Star

Final bell rings as Shrewsbury boxing legend Colin Hough forced to call it quits

Legendary boxing coach Colin Hough is hanging up his gloves and is being forced to close Shrewsbury and Severnside Amateur Boxing Club after failing to find someone to take over.


The 89-year-old started life at the club in 1947 as a 14-year-old and boxed for them until he began his national service aged 18.

Hough continued boxing during that time and later reformed the club, alongside some stablemates after returning to England.

He is now retiring due to his age and medical issues but has been unable to find someone to inherit the club, which will now see it close.

"I'm being forced to retire due to age and ill health," Hough told the Shropshire Star.

Shrewsbury Boxing Coach Colin Hough, ages 89, is having to retired his club, Shrewsbury and Severnside Amateur Boxing Club, due to ill health

"The sad part is I can't get anyone to take over the club, so I'm gone and the club is gone too. Anyone taking over it would have to take a child protection course, a child welfare course and then a first aid course, before having a DBS check with the police.

"Sadly I can't find anyone who is willing to take over and commit themselves. It's so sad to have to see the club close.

"The club has been closed recently until the end of September and it was due to open again for the typical boxing season, but I have to put a stop to it now.

"I can't carry on and it's sad to see my phone ringing with people still interested. I've just had a woman ring me asking if her son can join as he's being bullied at school.

"I've always said as well as being a boxing trainer I'm an unpaid social worker, it's a big part of our job.

"I chose this life and after having boxers that boxed for England and won titles, my proudest thing is helping keep kids out of trouble.

"I was in the pub the other day and bumped into a man who said I kept him out of jail when he joined my club as a 12-year-old, that means the world to me.

"The biggest reward is those lads I've helped and how some of them have helped me at my age too.

"I had some great times as a coach, I loved it, but it was tough once Covid began. I was ill myself and it stopped the progress of the club.

"The 80's, 90's and 2000's were wonderful. We've had some great lads come through."

Hough also had an incredible career as a professional boxer where he earned a record of 140 wins and 17 losses.

He became friends with Telford's own Richie Woodhall, who went on to become the WBC super-middleweight world champion.

"Richie is the kind of person that never forgets when someone helps them, he is a good friend of mine," Hough added.

"He's old school like me. He's top drawer, a real gentleman. I have a lot of time for people like Richie Woodhall."

Woodhall told the Shropshire Star: "He's done a marvellous job helping kids and getting them off the streets.

"The kids he's got off the streets must have run into the thousands.

"I boxed as an amateur in the 70s and 80s, and I knew him then, he knew my dad."