Brendan Ingle runs a boxing gym in the Wincobank area of Sheffield. It is modestly named St Thomas’ Boys and Girl’s Club, but the gym is far from ordinary. It has, under Ingle’s leadership, produced four world champions, six European champions and 15 British champions.
This incredible record makes Ingle one of the most successful boxing coaches of all time. The gym was started when the local minister asked Ingle, a former professional boxer who moved from Dublin to Sheffield in the 1950s, to create a program to help the community’s youngsters stay out of trouble.
What began as a small local initiative has routinely produced champions, with the training and general discipline imparted by Ingle and his sons. His most famous protégé is Nazeem Hamed to whom Brendan Ingle was a mentor from the age of seven.
The trainer is much loved in the area for his work in teaching young men and women the sport, and also giving them much-needed direction from an early age. In 1998 he was awarded the MBE for his contribution both to boxing and the community. He also holds a honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.
Brendan’s Glove Garden is a small garden produced in recognition of Brendan’s work in which two seats are in the form of boxing gloves, sculpted out of sandstone. They were created by sculptor Saffron Waghorn. Between the boxing gloves is a plaque repeating a piece of advice that Brendan gives to his boxers, “If you don’t get an education someone else will always control your life.”
Brendan died in May 2018 and plans are in the works for a substantial further memorial.