Northern Ireland news

Boxers add tributes to Freddie Gilroy ahead of funeral in north Belfast

Freddie Gilroy is to be buried this morning following Requiem Mass at Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne. Picture by Arthur Allison/Pacemaker
John Monaghan

BOXERS of all generations have continued to pay tribute to Olympic medallist Freddie Gilroy ahead of his funeral today.

The north Belfast man, who died aged 80 on Tuesday, is to be buried at Milltown Cemetery following Requiem Mass at 11am at Holy Cross Church.

Gilroy won a bronze medal for Ireland in the 1956 games in Melbourne while a member of the St John Bosco club.

Former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan tweeted: "A very sad day for Irish boxing, the brilliant Freddie Gilroy has passed away RIP. He was one of my idols. Deepest sympathies to his family."

Olympic medallist Michael Conlan tweeted: "RIP to the great Freddie Gilroy, I heard so much stories of him growing up in the Bosco! #IrishBoxingLegend."

The Boxing Union Of Ireland described him on Facebook as "a superb boxer and role model".

"What a man, his legacy will always live on in our hearts. What a boxer in a very tough era, fought the best in the world, a true Belfast boy and boxer.

"Condolences to all his family especially his lovely wife Bernadette and Teddy who cared for his brother a lot special wee man."

Gilroy was the first Irishman to capture the Lonsdale belt, the oldest championship belt in boxing, which required three successful title defences.

However, his belt went missing in the mid-1980s and was never found.

Last year the fighter's brother Tommy made an appeal for its return after being approached by a man who claimed he had held the belt in a house in north Belfast.

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