Boxing

Irish boxing in mourning for The Timekeeper: Tony Heaney

Newhill ABC founder and Antrim timekeepr and judge Tony Heaney (front right) pictured with Antrim and Ulster officials and delegates including former Ulster secretary Davy Hawkins (centre) at an Ulster Council convention 

Irish boxing is mourning the passing of one its most dedicated officials, west Belfast man Tony Heaney.

A founder member of Newhill ABC, Tony will be fondly remembered by legions of boxers and supporters alike.

He combined his club secretarial and other duties with his roles of judge and timekeeper across Ireland for decades.

Tony was the man with the bell and clock carrying out the timekeeping role at ringside in many competitions and championships.

“Tony will be badly missed, he was a great character and for many, many years he would have been out of the house every night working voluntarily for amateur boxing,” said Holy Trinity coach Michael Hawkins.

“I know boxing men everywhere will be saddened to hear the news, Tony knew the game inside out.

“He was Mr Newhill for many years, a great worker for the club during hard times, always wanting to do his best for the young boxers.’’

Tony’s amazing workload is all the more remarkable when one considers the injuries he suffered in a bomb and gun attack on Kelly’s Bar at the top of the Whiterock Road in May 1972.

Badly injured, Tony lost a leg in the explosion and was lucky to escape with his life in a bombing that killed two local people.

But a fierce determination pulled him through and for decades after he helped the sport of boxing to survive those dark days, his enthusiasm, good nature and tireless work rate always evident.

Former Irish International and coach Jim McAuley and Ulster Boxing president Paul McMahon were among many officials who worked alongside Tony at the Newhill club base.

To his wife Ann and the Heaney family, Seconds Out extends our sincere sympathy at this sad time.

 

Tony Heaney (right) pictured with his grandson James Kelly (Holy Trinity), who won the Irish title in 2019, and Trinity coach Michael Hawkins

 

 

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