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Lord Brooks of Tremorfa
"If he's looking down now he'll say 'that's the best crowd we've had since my last fight'"
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Saturday, 7 October, 2000, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Farewell to former boxing champ
Bearers carrying coffin
Crowds gathered to say goodbye to Howard Winstone
Over a thousand people paid a final farewell to former world boxing champion Howard Winstone.

Rugby greats Gareth Edwards and Barry John joined boxing fans to pay tribute.

The streets of his home town of Merthyr Tydfil were filled with flags at half mast to say farewell to their favourite son.

Former world middlewight champion Alan Minter
Boxer Alan Minter paid his respects at the funeral
The song "The Boxer" by Simon and Garfunkel was played as the casket was carried from the packed church.

His casket carried a spray of white lillies from his wife Bronwen. The message read: "In loving memory of my darling husband. Always loved, never forgotten. All my love Bronwen."

St Tydfil's Church was packed with mourners - some had arrived three hours before the funeral.

A tribute was read by his friend, Baptist minister Reverend David Protheroe.

"It is a measure of the man that tributes have come here from around the world.

"I've known Howard nearly all his life. He never got big headed and he was an inspiration to people.

"He has given something special to us," said Rev Protheroe.

Winstone died in his home town last Saturday after a short illness. He was 61.

Featherweight title

His rise to fame began at the Empire Games in Cardiff in 1958 when he became the only Welshman to win a gold medal on home soil.

He turned professional and became undefeated British champion and also held the European title for four years.

His greatest moment came at the Albert Hall in 1968 when he beat Mitsunori Seki of Japan to win the world featherweight title.

He was known as a stylish boxer and he won 60 out of 67 fights as a professional before he retired in 1969 to become a pub landlord.

Floral tribute
Many floral tributes were left to the boxer
In 1968 he was awarded the MBE.

Other boxing legends in the congregation included Alan Minter, Ken Buchanan, Eddie Avoth and Terry Downes.

Lord Jack Brooks, of the British Boxing Board of Control, said: "Howard was a modest man but he had nothing to be modest about.

"He was a great man. If he is looking down on us he will enjoy this. It is the biggest crowd he's had since that fight."

A male voice choir sang as he was buried at Cefn Coed Cemetery.

Assembly First Secretary Rhodri Morgan has said that Wales had lost a great sportsman.

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See also:

01 Oct 00 | Other Sports
Tributes to boxing legend Winstone
30 Sep 00 | Other Sports
Boxing legend Winstone dies
01 Oct 00 | Boxing
Britain's Golden Gloves
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