Wally Barnes v. Gordon Faithwaite


Gosport's sporting history has been documented by local historian Ron Brown in his light-hearted book This Sporting Life, from which the following account is taken.


Boxing in Gosport was probably at its most popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and boxing shows were sure of a good-sized audience.  Amongst the local talent fighting for cups and prizes donated by local traders and dignitaries were John and Wally Barnes, Roy Little, Tom Clarkson, Taff Lewis, and Fred Mills.


Fred was respected by every opponent who put on gloves against him and he probably did more for boxing in Gosport than anyone, Ron noted in his book This Sporting Life, not only as a boxer but also in promoting the sport.





by courtesy of The News, Portsmouth


Fred fought all over the south and the bouts usually went his way.  An old friend and opponent,  Jim Fuge, who died in 1979, and who had sparred with the legendary heavyweight Joe Beckett, had recounted to Ron the "heck of a fight" he had with Fred in Brighton, with the bootmaker winning on points.



In the New Barracks Gymnasium

One of Fred's encounters was against the former European Champion Bugler Lake in 1934.  It was supposed to be an exhibition match and turned out to be anything but . . .

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