Celebrating boxing legend Benny Lynch, Scotland’s first-ever World Champion boxer
A free exhibition is running until the end of September at Gorbals Library, just streets away from where Benny Lynch was born.
It showcases the World and European Championship trophies he won in 1937, displayed together for the first time since the legendary boxer died 70 years ago this August.
‘Scotland’s greatest ever sporting legend’
“Benny Lynch is Scotland’s greatest ever sporting legend,” said Former World champion boxer Jim Watt MBE as he unveiled the new display.
“He was our first World boxing champion and he inspired those of us who followed that it was possible to do the same.”
The exhibition is the culmination of a partnership between Glasgow Museums’ outreach service, the Open Museum, and the campaign group Remembering Benny Lynch, endorsed by Robert Carlyle, who hope to have a statue of the man erected in his home city.
“This is a really special moment for us, with the campaign group and the Open Museum coming together to create this fabulous display,” said Bryan Turnbull, a member of the group Remembering Benny Lynch. “Our hope is that it raises awareness about the campaign to get Benny Lynch a statue in his home town and pays tribute to his legacy as a legendary world champion boxer.”
Benny’s World Championship
trophy in Glasgow’s collection
Work on the exhibition began when Open Museum outreach assistant Kevin Kerrigan, whose grandfather had sparred with the legend, spotted the Benny Lynch campaign on social media.
Intrigued, Kevin looked on Glasgow Museum’s database and discovered the city had Benny Lynch’s World Championship trophy in its collection.
Kevin contacted the group and, together, they curated the exhibition, deciding what it would feature, the stories it would tell and where and when it would be located.
“I am delighted to have assisted the group,” said Kevin. “I hope it will help the group realise their ultimate ambition of having a statue of the world champion erected in his home city.”
Images of the World Champ in action
The travelling exhibition features Benny’s World Championship trophy, from his 1937 victory over highly-rated American fighter Small Montana in a 15-round points win at Wembley.
For the first-time in over 70 years it sits alongside his European Championship trophy from the same year, courtesy of a loan from a Glasgow businessman who purchased it at a charity auction.
Benny’s boxing gloves also sit alongside magazine and newspaper articles detailing his career, and striking images of the World Champion in action.
The travelling exhibition will be at Gorbals Library until the end of September 2016, with a quick stop in Central Station on Friday, September 9 – the day Benny won the World Flyweight title 81 years ago.
For visiting information, click here, and to read more about the tragic tale of the man behind the boxing gloves, pick up our August issue.