We’ve always punched above our weight

Boxer turned coach Tommy Bruce playfully spars with Bobby Donald at the Sparta Boxing Club in 1957

Boxer turned coach Tommy Bruce playfully spars with Bobby Donald at the Sparta Boxing Club in 1957

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IT was music to the ears of young boxing enthusiasts in the north of the Capital keen for a chance to enter the ring and master the sport.

Kabo Boxing Club has set up home in Granton Youth Centre, opening facilities to all the public but with a focus on attracting under-25s in particular.

Lightweight champ Ken Buchanan waves to the crowds from an open-top bus in 1971

Lightweight champ Ken Buchanan waves to the crowds from an open-top bus in 1971

In partnership with Amateur Boxing Scotland, the venture has been developed over many months, bringing together youth clubs, community centres and local schools.

The news this week adds to Edinburgh’s rich boxing history, shown in these pictures taken throughout the decades.

Back in August 1957 it was youngsters at the city’s Sparta Boxing Club who were enjoying getting to grips with the sport, learning tricks from former sportsman turned coach Tommy Bruce, playfully sparing with them.

Things were equally as playful when British heavyweight Henry Cooper was in town in 1974, pretending to punch Evening News journalist John Gibson as they chatted about his career for a piece in the paper.

News man John Gibson meets Henry Cooper in 1974

News man John Gibson meets Henry Cooper in 1974

Just as Kabo Boxing Club hopes to unite the North Edinburgh community around the sport, that is exactly what happened in July 1958 in the Abbeyhill neighbourhood when Empire Games gold medallist Jackie Brown was welcomed home to Lyne Street by family, friends and adoring neighbours.

He was lifted in to the air at a street celebration which saw locals hang banners and bunting.

1958 Empire Games boxing gold medallist Jackie Brown is welcomed home to Lyne Street

1958 Empire Games boxing gold medallist Jackie Brown is welcomed home to Lyne Street