Remembering Billy Taylor by Mark Newman


It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of former Repton boxer & coach Billy Taylor.

Like his former coach Tony Burns, who passed last year, Billy dedicated his life to Boxing and coaching boys to National Championship level.


Billy joined the Repton in the mid sixties and developed his craft and skill at an early age. He lived in Haggerston where he also honed his boxing prowess at local St Monica's and the Colverston boxing clubs before coming to Repton. He was a couple of years older than me and I remember as a novice, watching his skillful ability during sparring sessions and club shows from an early age. His younger brother Brian my old sparring partner was also at the club. When he phoned me from Spain last week to tell me the shocking news, I was absolutely devastated because, like everyone else we thought he was on the mend but Billy obviously kept this hidden by putting on a brave face.


During his senior boxing career at The Repton Billy went on to win national titles and box at the 1972 Olympics Munich.he defeated Lachen Magfhour of Morocco, before losing to Jochen Bachfeld of East Germany.


Billy turned professional in 1973 and won all of his 5 professional fights. He then decided he wanted to pursue a career in acting. He joined the 'Ugly' agency and did quite well, starring in many films, adverts such as 'Tango' and later movies like Harry Potter.


He also became a boxing coach and trained juniors at the Repton. He coached his Repton boys to National Championship level and produced many junior Champs.


Later on in life he moved to the Clacton area, where his dad Toshy lived his retired years. It was there that he formed a local Boxing club with former Repton Olympian Graham Moughton. That club evolved into St Osyth Boxing club where he coached his boxers right up until his illness hospitalised for a long time.


It was in his nature to fight against his illness but to of no avail. He suffered for a long time. His suffering is over as he goes to join his old Repton coach Tony Burns. Rest in Peace old friend we all have fond memories of your larger then life personality who loved life...


By Vernon Etridge


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