Pat O'Brien





image Pat Mills
Pat Mills


Solution of the "Pat Mills" Mystery

A very "thin" house gathered at the Leeds N.S.C. on Sunday afternoon.  The weather conditions outside being ideal we can only conclude that the regular patrons took the opportunity to spend the holiday elsewhere, for Mr Heslop had put on a strong programme, the chief attraction being the bout between Jack Kid Casey (Sunderland) and Pat O'Brien (Darlington), who took the place of Jack Haynes (Birmingham).  Boxing readers will have some recollection of Pat Mills, who was a great fighter a few years back, and when I tell them that this O'Brien is one and the same Pat Mills they will wonder how it is that "O'Brien" should be able to come back and be licking all comers as he is doing up North just now.

How "O'Brien" Won

Casey, who has come on by leaps and bounds during the last few months, opened out in this contest with some beautiful work, especially during the 3rd, when on two different occasions he caught O'Brien with beautiful right crosses to shake him to his toes.  O'Brien won the 5th by better left-hand leading, although Casey was trying all the time with his right.

The 6th was the quietest round so far each lad easing a bit.  O'Brien again won the 7th by persistently carrying the fight to Casey with two hands.  Casey came in for a rare tanning during the 8th, when O'Brien scored with some nice left hooks.  During the 9th Pat would draw Casey's lead and then score himself with a straight left.  At the beginning of the 10th it looked as if Casey had shot his bolt.  O'Brien was scoring as he liked, but Casey was still strong at the end of the round.  The next couple were great rounds, both boys coming in for a round of applause at the close of each.

Then what a 13th!  Halfway through Casey scored with a right to the jaw that would have won many a fight, but it did not win this one, for O'Brien "came again" to shake Casey with a well-delivered left hook, followed by a beautiful right-hander.  The 15th was a great final round to a great fight.  Ben Green awarding a right verdict on points to O'Brien.


May 22, 1929


Pat O'Brien k.o. George Willis in Three Rounds

Pat O'Brien (Darlington) won in convincing style at St James's Hall in the principal encounter over fifteen "twos" at catch-weights.  His opponent was George Willis (Newcastle), and on his showing on this occasion Willis is a long way from being the middle-weight "champ" of the North-East.  Willis was never able to escape the shorter-delivered punch of the Darlington boxer, although the local showed his usual ability in left leading.  In the first round Willis was successful with his left leads, but his right was not so good.  He must have felt the shorter jabs of his opponent, and near the end of the round a left hook put him down for a brief count.  The 2nd was fought much on the same lines, but in the 3rd short half-arm rights and lefts to the face and jaw had Willis worried, and when he went to the floor from a short right to the jaw he was to all intents and purposes a beaten man.  He rose to his feet only to receive his quietus in the shape of another half-arm, and was counted out.


Pat O'Brien (Darlington) was in fine fettle for his fight with Farmer Jackson (Doncaster) at the Olympia, Middlesbrough, on Friday night.  Scheduled for 15 rounds, the contest looked like ending in the third, when Jackson was floored several times.  O'Brien fought powerfully, and the Yorkshireman was given little rest.  Jackson resisted skilfully in the 5th, but a vicious left hook almost settled his pretensions in the 6th.  The next round proved to be the last.  Jackson being unable to stand up to the Darlington man's heavy two-handed punching whereupon the referee called a halt.  One of the best contests seen for some time.

Evening News, Portsmouth - report

Pat Mills - down Memory Lane with Ron Brown

Fred Mills v Sid Ingram


Andrew Fairley has written a book called Pompey's Boxing Past (subtitle: Some of the best fighters from the Island City since 1900).  It is published by Pitch Publishing and you can read more about it on - (this is just a link, there is no website association for commission on sales)