Mick Carney OBE

Today at Fitzroy Lodge boxing gym we had a 2 minute silence for Mick Carney who died a week ago at home in Bromley. Much has been said about the London legend that he was (click here for Steve Bunce’s tribute on the BBC London boxing hour).

It was about as unsentimental a silence as you can get. Just 30-odd folk in bandages and headgear standing around in the Lodge as Colin Neil — longtime friend of Mick and Lodge Saturday master trainer — counted down the seconds. A bag or two squeaked as they swayed on their hooks and a few trains rumbled overhead en route to Waterloo.

I only knew Mick from going to the gym — I was never trained by him and was often reminded by him about how I’d missed the amateur boat and I’ll  remember fondly the roll of the eyes when I jokingly threatened to turn pro just to spite him. Still he always found time to come over during training and offer a few pointers — the sign on the wall at the Lodge says “Learn to Listen” talking back to Mick was always a dangerous game.

He was a man of few words but he loved the written word. We’d often talk about what books were were reading and maybe now I’ll get round to reading the book he gave me last Christmas (an unwanted gift from some “dense” acquaintance). Mick was also a great aficionado of quality TV: HBO’s Treme series was a favourite, he even went to the preview at the South Bank; and just 5 weeks ago when I last saw him he was waxing lyrical about the lovely music in that show. I sent Mick a CD of Treme music a couple of weeks ago — I hope he got to hear it.

Funeral on 1st Dec St Edmunds Church, Beckenham.

UPDATE December 1st . . . What a turnout for Mick. I don’t think South London’s  ever seen so many geezers with broken noses and thick necks all in one place before (although come to think of it, it was in Beckenham). Click below to hear Nigel Travis’ superb and moving tribute to Mick.

UPDATE: 24/3/13 . . . found this great picture of Mick and Fitzroy member Jacqui Lee Pryce taken in 2006

Picture by Viktoria Bakir


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