Torbay Amateur Boxing Club’s six decades of producing champions

Boxer Heidi celebrates success

Boxer Heidi celebrates success - Credit: Archant

Torbay Boxing Club was first formed in 1957, at Audley Park School gym. The club then moved to a temporary gym at Hampton Avenue, St Marychurch, above Wallace Arnold coach depot. In 1964, they moved again and trained in Market Street, Torquay.

Joseph Tarrant, national finalist

Joseph Tarrant, national finalist - Credit: Archant

From, 1968-1976, they trained in a small gym in George Street, where Fleet Walk now stands. In 1977, they purchased their current gym in Hele Road, Torquay, where they still are till this present day.

Percy Thomas, Sid Banks and Jonny Mudge were probably the first coaches at the club. Then, Norrie Bailey and David Brightman, and the whole Bailey family were a driving force for the club in the early 1970s. With Kevin, Shaun and Paddy Bailey all boxing for the club, you also had the Brooking family as well.

Keith went on to become a Grade A England referee, and Les went on to become a Western Counties and England coach.

The Nicettes were a big boxing family as well, Mark, Guy, Ralph, George and Richard. Mark went on to become national champion and George went on to box for England.

Ben Andrews, Western Counties light heavywieght champion, with Torbay Amateur Boxing Club head coach

Ben Andrews, Western Counties light heavywieght champion, with Torbay Amateur Boxing Club head coach Darrell Asplen - Credit: Archant

Nigel Western, along with the Bailey brothers, was also very sucessful for the club.

David Stacey was also instrumental in the 1980s as a coach after having a very sucessful boxing career himself, taking over as the Baileys retired, although David Brightman still coached for a long time after that.

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In those days, Snip Cornish was the local boxing reporter. Torbay Boxing Club are proud of the fact that they are the longest-estasblished boxing club in Devon - 1957-2020.

The club has produced national champions, England boxers, belt winners, numerous Gold Medal Box-Cup champions, and are now one of the biggest clubs in the Western Counties, with an extremly large and experienced boxing squad.

Torbay Amateur Boxing Club rising star Neo Judge

Torbay Amateur Boxing Club rising star Neo Judge - Credit: Archant

Darrell Asplen is the current head coach, and also the Devon county coach. The club also has a club manger, Mike Reardon, who has been very sucessful in organising and raising funds for the club.

Darrell said: 'The club is also currently working with the youth offending team, which is extremly rewarding, and are actively working with the local community to help disadvantaged children.

'The aim is to be one of the top clubs in the country, and produce champions of the future, just like Tyson Fury who trained at the club as a teenager.'

Torbay ABC currently has the Western Counties light heavyweight champion Ben Andrews at the club, also national finalist and Harringly Box-Cup winner Joseph Tarrant, double gold medal Box-Cup winner Sonny Reardon, who beat the national champion to win his first gold, the undefeated talent Leroy Alfred, rising stars Bailey Hippollyte and Neo Judge and the double box-cup Gold medalist Zakk Turnstill.

Jake Madelin, Western Counties champion, with Torbay ABC head coach Darrell Asplen

Jake Madelin, Western Counties champion, with Torbay ABC head coach Darrell Asplen - Credit: Archant

To date, the club also has six Western Counties champions, Rivera Gold Medal Box-Cup winners John Hewitt, Callum McCluskey, Ollie Groves, Liam McCluskey, Sonny Reardon, Zakk Turmstill and Ben Andrews. This tournament was the first box-cup to be held in Devon, and was organised by Mike Reardon and Chris Chillcott, hosted by Torbay ABC.

Club manager Mike Reardon, Chris Chillcott and head coach Darrell Asplen would like to thank everyone that has ever given their time to coach, box, or volunteer at Torbay Boxing Club.

Ben Andrews after defending his light heavyweight belt

Ben Andrews after defending his light heavyweight belt - Credit: Archant