Boxing hero Freddie Gilroy hospitalised following stroke
One of Northern Ireland's best known boxers has been taken to hospital after suffering a suspected stroke.
Family and friends have been at the bedside of 79-year-old Freddie Gilroy in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital following his admission on Friday.
His wife Bernadette said yesterday that his speech was "muffled" but he was able to walk with assistance.
Gilroy won bantamweight bronze for Ireland in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics before turning professional, winning British, Commonwealth and European titles during his career. In 1960 he fought Alphonse Halimi for the World Bantamweight title in London, but lost on points. In 1963 Gilroy fought fellow Belfast man John Caldwell. He won and then announced his retirement.
Mrs Gilroy (70), speaking from her home at Mountainview in Ardoyne, said Freddie had been taken to hospital from Bruce House residential home on the city's Antrim Road, where he had been living in recent months.
Hollywood movie star Liam Neeson, a former amateur boxer in his native Ballymena, previously described Gilroy as his childhood hero.