Watch: Leithers in poignant farewell to local boxing club legend Joe Fortune

Leithers have gathered to pay their respects to a man who devoted his life to transforming the lives of generations of aspiring young boxers.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 7:06 pm

Applause rang out loud and clear at noon on Wednesday as locals paid tribute to boxing coach Joe Fortune, who passed away at the end of January aged 90.

A crowd gathered outside Leith Victoria AAC boxing club where Mr Fortune sculpted the likes of Alex Arthur, Bradley Welsh and Stephen Simmons into boxing success stories.

On the day of Mr Fortune's funeral, the attendance of which was restricted to family only due to the coronavirus, the socially-distanced crowd stood silently on either side of Academy Street awaiting the cortege.

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Members and officials from Leith Victoria held up placards with a message reading "RIP Joe".

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Alex Arthur and Irvine Welsh lead tributes to legendary Leith boxing coach Joe F...

As the hearse came to a stop, the mask wearing crowd began to applaud in honour of Mr Fortune.

Clad in their blue training tops, Leith Victoria members and officials held up placards, their message reading "RIP Joe", as the cars departed around 12.35pm.

The funeral of Leith Victoria boxing trainer, Joe Fortune, took place on Wednesday.

Responding to the news of Mr Fortune’s death on January 27, former boxing champion Alex Arthur and writer Irvine Welsh were among the well-known public figures paying tribute to the veteran coach.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist and former WBO world champion, Arthur, tweeted: “Today we lost my childhood coach, a man that taught me so much about life and boxing.

“A good amateur and a tough pro in his day, Joe really lived through some trauma and hardship. He taught me to be mentally tough. I’ll never forget you. #JoeFortune thank you.”

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh added: “Very sad to hear about the death of Joe. Fabulous coach and a very sound guy.”

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