Boxing legend Ken Buchanan finally recognised by home city

Ken Buchanan, centre, with Willie Henderson and Lord Provost Donald Wilson. Picture: Neil Hanna
Ken Buchanan, centre, with Willie Henderson and Lord Provost Donald Wilson. Picture: Neil Hanna
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HE raised his gloves in triumph as he won the world title, the roar of the crowd ringing in his ears.

A host of plaudits followed and many commentators came to regard Ken Buchanan as the greatest British fighter who ever lived.

It’s great that I am remembered and so many people turned up”

KEN BUCHANAN

But the astonishing achievements of the Fighting Carpenter have been strangely overlooked in his home city – until last night when he was honoured in a long overdue civic reception.

The recognition of his outstanding career came almost half a century after his historic 15-round victory over Ismael Laguna in the punishing heat of Puerto Rico, and more than three decades after his retirement.

The 70-year-old appeared emotional as archive footage of his boxing heyday was played to the guests in the City Chambers who cheered and applauded his achievements.

He said: “I thought people had forgotten about me and it’s a wonderful feeling that they haven’t.

“They are bringing me back. I think maybe they realised what I achieved. It’s great that I am remembered and so many people turned up.

“I have guys here tonight I hadn’t seen for years. It’s lovely to see them after all this time.”

Among those who attended was former Rangers player Willie Henderson, 71, who described it as “privilege” to be there.

He added: “I bet I’m the only guy here who saw him beat Maurice Cullen [in February 1968] for the British Lightweight title in London and saw him in Miami against Frankie Otero. He ranks with Britain’s greatest ever boxers and it is a privilege to be here.”

Prize belts belonging to the former lightweight champion were on show for the audience.

Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: “Fifty years on from his first professional fight, it’s a proud moment to be able to mark Ken Buchanan’s career. He’s one of Edinburgh’s most decorated sporting legends and on behalf of the city we want to give him the local recognition he deserves. It’s fantastic to be able to relive some of his biggest boxing moments.”

But it was lifelong Buchanan fan and depute Lord Provost, Councillor Steve Cardownie, who had worked hard to ensure the event went ahead.

He said: “This is long overdue and I’m delighted to have played a part in ensuring Ken Buchanan’s career is being celebrated in a fitting manner, a civic reception in his home city.”

The Northfield boxer was presented with a certificate from Phil Jones, whose mother, Myfanwy, and father, Brynley, took him in to their home when he moved to South Wales in 1965.