The history of the fighting men of Merseyside come under the spotlight once again later this month as the third instalment of the popular “Mersey Fighters” series is published. Showcasing a collection of triumphant and desperate stories courtesy of a mixed cast from Liverpool’s long and illustrious boxing heritage, The Mersey Fighters 3 – more lives and times of Liverpool’s boxing heroes, contains in-depth stories on 14 local boxing legends including such names as Noel Quarless, Sugar Gibiliru Jnr., George Turpin, David Burke and Paul Edwards as well as the tragic then uplifting story of Richie Wenton – who speaks of his dramatic life and career in detail for the very first time here.
Penned by sports historian, Gary Shaw, and boxing writer, Chris Walker, the third volume of the highly successful series also sees a host of other local fighters from the 1960s up to the 2010s revealing honest highlights and heartbreaks from both their amateur and professional careers. These include; Steve Harkin, Ronnie Hough, John Naylor, Stan Atherton, Tony Cunningham, Ian Chantler, Billy Seasman and Alan Levene.
“This volume is slightly different from the first two as the biographies are a lot longer,” revealed Shaw. “Originally we aimed for around 20 fighters to be included but, over the course of near four years, and following long and numerous interviews, it was clear that 14 was a more realistic number. The stories told to Chris and myself were quite detailed and the fighters reveal a lot about their careers. It wouldn’t have done them justice to leave anything out so what you get is 14 in-depth biographies of some of the region’s biggest names – both from today and going back to the 1960s and early 70s. To hear these stories from the fighters themselves after admiring and looking up to them for so many years was a privilege. Liverpool sports fans and general boxing fans should really enjoy it and I hope they come out and support it.”
Sharing the gratitude of his co-author, Walker is also honoured to be part of such an ambitious project. “After covering the local scene for a long period now, I was well aware of Gary’s work on previous efforts so there was no hesitation from me when offered the opportunity to be part of something like this. Guys like Paul Edwards, David Burke and Steve Harkin are names that I’ve covered from ringside on several occasions so to have a chance to play a big part in revealing their stories to a wider audience was a dream come true. It’s also great to hear from fighters from other eras and there are some amazing stories and fights to be found in all of their biographies. I’m looking forward to seeing them all together come launch night.”
Mersey Fighters 3 launches on Friday 20 November with an official celebration at The Casa Bar, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BQ. Starting at 6pm and open to all, most of those featured in the book will be in attendance should any fight fans want their copy signed on the night. Priced at £15.99, £1 of all sales at the launch will be donated to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign as part of a raffle for an exclusive signed glove and artwork.
Available in all good book shops in late-November, author signed copies are also available from www.merseyfighters3.co.uk.