Former British champion Sammy McCarthy dies aged 88

PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 February 2020

Former British featherweight champion Sammy McCarthy has died aged 88 (pic: Alex Daley)

Former British featherweight champion Sammy McCarthy has died aged 88 (pic: Alex Daley)


Former British featherweight champion Sammy McCarthy has died at the age of 88.

McCarthy, known as 'Smiling Sammy', fought over 50 times in the 1950s and served as champion from 1955-1956 before retiring at the age of 26.

After quitting the ring, he managed many successful boxers such as Olympic gold medallist Terry Spinks.

The Stepney fighter made his professional debut in April 1951 with a first-round knockout of Hector Macrow.

He was unbeaten in his first 28 fights, which included wins over Freddie King, Jackie Turpin, Ronnie Clayton, and Jim Kenny.

McCarthy then beat Clayton at White City Stadium in 1954 for the British title before losing it to Billy 'Spider' Kelly.

After moving up to lightweight, he beat Willi Swoboda and later lost to Joe Lucy in a British title fight.

Later in his life, he ran pubs but also served time in prison for armed robbery of banks before living in retirement in Wanstead.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Latest East London Sports News

Fri, 16:00

The Lewin Sports Injury Clinic is marking its first year of business – and it’s been a bizarre time because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fri, 10:38

In-form West Ham forward Michail Antonio has been ruled out of Saturday’s trip to Liverpool, but David Moyes is hopeful he will not be missing for too long.

Fri, 10:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton admits they’re missing special moments without fans in the ground as they head into another hectic week.

Thu, 13:00

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff has backed English Football League chairman Rick Parry’s combative letter to the Government and revealed the toll on players caused by the continued absence of fans from matches.

Wed, 16:00

London Lions have added Great Britain centre Fahro Alihodzic to their roster as they approach the start of the domestic season and look to January’s FIBA Eurocup campaign.

Wed, 15:00

A programme to get more youngsters involved in outdoor sport is being started at Mile End stadium in the search for “the hockey stars of tomorrow”.

Wed, 13:00

West Ham United fan and budding journalist Kwame Boakye is feeling optimistic under manager David Moyes.


Did you know? UCAS gets almost 3 million university applications from around 700,000 people each year. That’s a lot of competition. So how can your son or daughter stand out? 

With winter fast approaching, it is now more important than ever for us all to carry on following COVID-19 precautions to help stop the spread of the virus by always observing the three-tier local restrictions and remembering three key words – Hands, Face, Space.

The NHS COVID-19 app can make a real difference to how we all tackle the pandemic, protecting our loved ones and those most at risk from coronavirus. Everyone aged 16 and over across England and Wales can download the app for free and play their part in combating the pandemic.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Latest from the East London Advertiser