With a pre Second World War origin, The Pat Benson Boxing Academy recorded it’s first National Champion in 1931, a year after the formation of the club under the name The Irish Forrester’s. A famous belt adorns the wall of the modern new premises detailing National Champions from 1931 to Matthew Macklin in 2000, a poignant reminder of the long and rich history which was being carved out decades before our current national champions were even born.
The club still holds a strong Irish feel, the green and white colours quite evident everywhere the club is represented. However in keeping with tradition, the club has always nurtured talent from the black and minority ethnic communities, mirroring and celebrating Birmingham’s ever more diverse cultural make up.
M.Evans National Champion 8st (stones)
W.Froggatt National Champion 8st
W.Webb National Champion 8st 6lbs
D.Hathaway National Champion
W.Finnigan National Champion 8st 7lbs
Possibly the club’s most successful year; in the National ABA Championships, Paul and Mark Ramsey won Senior ABA titles in a squad that included a staggering 4 finalists and 7 semi finalists. Both men boxed for England many times and Paul Ramsey competed against the likes of Andreas Kotelnik, Kostya Tszyu and Ricky Hatton during his Small Heath days.
M.Ramsey Light Middle ABA Champion
P.Ramsey Light Weight ABA Champion
another England member, Rowan Williams boxed at the Barcelona Games as a Small Heath member. He reached the quarter final stage.
Matthew Macklin wins Senior ABA title at the age of 18.
Frankie Gavin, future world amateur champion, wins National Schoolboy Title for Small Heath.