Former Hastings West Hill boxer – and the first national s choolboy champion at the age of 11 – Joe Lee lost his battle with M otor Neurone Disease on August 11.
Over his 55- years as a coach Jo e trained, cornered and produced many champions and semi-finalists.
Supporting the boxers inside and outside of the ring, always the most pleasant and quietly spoken man, Joe was able to get the best out of his boxers with his gentle manner.
Former West Hill boxer John Gray passed away the next day after l ong- standing health complications.
After hanging up his gloves, John started coaching in 1964.
John’s ability to make all boxers feel at ease with his wit and humour made even the darkest depths of a boxer’s time in the ring something to hold on to and gave them the drive to keep going.
Always known as the heart of the West Hill, John’s achievements saw him coaching many finalists and champions over his 55-plus years as coach.
Both men, each with different qualities, helped to put the Hastings West Hill Boxing Club on the map a nd helped so many boxers, inside and outside of the gym.
Both were men who gave so much of t heir time for nothing in return other than the love of the sport and the club.
They have left a huge hole that will never be filled – and the thoughts of all at the club are with their families and friends.