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Legendary boxing coach Vinty McGurk was 'Mr Immaculata'

Obituary

By David Kelly

Irish boxing is in mourning following the death of legendary Belfast coach Vinty McGurk.

Vinty, 92, who passed away at the weekend after a short illness had been around boxing all his life and for the majority of that time he was involved with the highly successful Immaculata club in the Lower Falls.

Throughout his time with the Mac he oversaw the success of many top amateurs along with coaches Ned McCormick, Paul McCullough and most recently Nugget Nugent.

He was also a fixture at Breen's Gym, helping out top professional coach John Breen when he set up his own camp following the closure of the Barney Eastwood gym.

Breen was said that he was "deeply saddened" by the passing of Vinty, whose passion for the sport was second to none.

Breen said: "Vinty will be sorely missed by everyone in the sport. He was such a nice man and he had a great influence on my life.

"To me he was like another dad, he was always there to pick you out and that included away from the ring. He will be remembered as a real boxing man, a man who would always fight your corner for you."

Current Immaculata boss Nugget Nugent was also quick to hail the influence of Vinty.

"Vinty was 'Mr Immaculata'. He was a great man. What I will always remember is that up until about three years ago he was still climbing over the railings to get into the club because we had no key to the front gate to get to the club.

"He had a great passion for boxing and the boxers," said Nugent.

Belfast Telegraph

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