Ken Buchanan: Tributes paid to Edinburgh boxer Ken Buchanan following news of his death
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Tributes have poured in for Edinburgh boxing legend Ken Buchanan after it was announced on Saturday that he had died at the age of 77.
The former undisputed world lightweight champion is often named in the lists of the world’s greatest boxers of all time. He conquered the lightweight division in the early 1970s and ended his career with a fight record of 61 wins from 69 fights, winning 27 by knockout. Ken’s death comes a year after his son Mark confirmed he had been diagnosed with dementia.
Ted Hendy, 91, was friends with Ken for 55 years and his daughter Ann Loughton told the Evening News of the moment the boxing legend was almost knocked out by the family’s pet cat. She said: “My mum and dad met Ken 55 years ago when looking for a joiner to do some house repairs. He was indeed very good at his trade. Our cat Candy nearly knocked out the champion when Candy climbed the ladder knocking off a heavy hammer which narrowly missed Ken."
She added: “My dad went with Ken to the heavyweight championship of Europe contest and was sitting in a cafe in the middle of a London when he noticed they were late for the fight but Ken turned around and said ‘it’s okay Ted they can’t start the fight without me’. Ken won the fight against Carlos Hernandez. Ken has been a true family friend ever since, frequently right up till December last year. One day when visiting he was watching Countdown and he was brilliant at working out the maths and the conundrum.”
Tributes from the sporting world, celebrities and politicians have also been paid following Ken’s death. Northern Irish boxing legend Barry McGuigan said: “So very sorry to hear of the death of the amazing Ken Buchanan RIP. Ken travelled to MSG to beat the great Ismael Laguna for the WBA Lightweight Title way back in 1971. He was an outlier with his unique boxing style and he was a fabulous man. God Bless you Ken.”
First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “Sad to hear Scotland's first undisputed champion of the world Ken Buchanan has died. He inspired and mentored a generation of boxing talent here in Scotland and beyond. Rest in peace Champ.”
Hibernian Football Club said: “Hibernian FC were saddened to hear yesterday of the passing of Ken Buchanan, the Edinburgh boxer who conquered the world in the 1970s. The Scottish sporting legend delivered the match ball ahead of the derby earlier this year at Easter Road. Rest in peace, Ken.”
Current boxing world champion, Prestonpans fighter Josh Taylor, said: “For me, he was the greatest Scottish fighter we’ve had. He was a hero in the whole of Scotland. Goodbye, champ. A legend in every sense of the word. When I brought home the titles he came to my house and I said ‘I done it I’m just like you champ’, he replied ‘I always told you you would do it son’.”
Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh also paid tribute. He said: “Sad to hear of Kenny’s passing. He was one of my first ever heroes. I remember that my dad wouldn’t let me stay up to listen to the Laguna fight as I had school in the morning. The next day he was ecstatic that Ken had won. So was I.”
English boxing hero Frank Bruno added: “I just heard some sad news, we have lost one of our British boxing legends RIP Ken Buchanan. One of the best fighters to hail from Scotland, just have a look at his battle with Jim Watt, some said one of the best fights of its time period.” Boxing promoter Frank Warren said: “Saddened to hear about the passing of a true boxing legend Ken Buchanan. The thoughts of myself and everyone at Queensberry is with his family and friends.”