British and Irish Boxing has lost two of its own this week as former Prince Naseem Hamed coach Brendan Ingle passed away and former British, European and Commonwealth champion (in two weights) Dean Francis lost his battle with cancer.
Ingle, 77, is much revered for his work at Sheffield’s Ingle Gym, where the Irishman brought through a host of top stars like Johnny Nelson, Ryan Rhodes and Naz himself.
Not only known for his work with champions, Ingle helped countless children stay off the streets and out of trouble – leading to an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University and an MBE from the Queen.
For Francis, tragedy hit when the likeable character was struck down with cancer and given just years to live in 2017. Sadly, just a year later and Francis succumbed to his illness.
‘Star’ went through numerous weights during his career and was always game as they come in order to please the fans.
The boxing world has been awash with tributes to both men.
The Great Whispering Guru is gone. Brendan Ingle changed the shape and face of British boxing. The boxing man is dead. Everybody else in the business was in a line behind him / the place will not be the same. – Steve Bunce
Just seen the sad news about Brendan Ingle. What he created at the Wincobank gym with his sons and others is a very special piece in British Boxing history. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends – Anthony Crolla
Just heard about the passing of Brendan Ingle. A sad day for boxing, he did so much for the sport and the community. Our thoughts with Dom, John and all the family. Rest in Peace – Eddie Hearn.
Hearing the news about Brendan Ingle and Dean Francis is truly heartbreaking.. My thoughts are with all family and friends of both men at these difficult times.. Brendan Ingle has left a legacy that very few can ever compare to.. so sad – Tony Bellew
My family and all at @MatchroomBoxing send our deepest condolences to the family of Dean Francis, a great fighter and a lovely man. Rest in peace – Eddie Hearn
So sad to hear of the passing of Dean Francis my thought and prayers are with his family at this tough time – Enzo Maccarinelli
Gutted to just hear about the passing of Dean Francis absolute warrior and yet another great champ taken away from us too soon – Wayne Elcock
WBN would like to send our thoughts to both families at this sad time.