Bell the boxing behemoth

HEAVYWEIGHT HERO: Barnoldswick boxer of fame, Frank Bell. (S)
HEAVYWEIGHT HERO: Barnoldswick boxer of fame, Frank Bell. (S)

This week the spotlight falls on Barnoldswick’s brave boxing behemoth, the legendary gentle giant Frank Bell.

Frank, seen here in a column by my late dear friend and colleague John Jackson, was born in Barnoldswick in 1926 and became a truly celebrated heavyweight hero fighting 31 contests between 1949 and 1956.

Frank fought some of the greatest heavyweight boxers of the 1950s: Tommy Farr in 1951; Don Cockell in 1952; and Joe Bygraves and Jack Gardner in 1954.

John’s article from the 1980s features Frank’s finest hour, when he fought the renowned heavyweight champion Tommy Farr and knocked him out with a flurry of right upper-cuts in the second round.

The full house of spectators at the huge stadium in Porth, Glamorgan, watched Frank’s stunning victory in shocked amazement. It was the first time that anyone had knocked out the far-famed Tommy Farr.

Frank, West Craven’s very own 6ft 4.5in. gigantic, local hero made headlines in every national newspaper.

Frank Bell still has many relatives who live locally. They are justly proud of his illustrious glory days in the ring.