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St Anne’s BC celebrates 50th anniversary


FLASHBACKPeter Mullen of St Anne’s BC is pictured with his collection of boxing cups and trophies in February 1971. Pic: Liam Lyons

Ger Flanagan

IT was October 1967 when the famed St Anne’s Boxing Club in Westport was established and a return of 102 national titles between then and now has surely exceeded the expectations of all involved.
That’s why the organisers of the club’s 50th birthday celebrations next Saturday are hoping as many of those winners can turn out and trade some old war stories in the Castlecourt Hotel.
“We’re hoping that everyone will come along on the night and talk to us; [and] tell us if we were good. Or bad even!” St Anne’s Club President Peter Mullen quipped to Midwest Radio last week.
“That’s what we’re hoping for, all the people that have come through the club over the years, it’s hard to think of them all and they won’t all be notified, but we’re hoping they will hear about it… and just talk to us and give us some of their memories.”
Mullen himself became the first club member to win a national title back in 1971 with club founder and the late John ‘Porky’ McGreal as his trainer. The foundations were laid back then and have continued to grow ever since as champions of all shapes and sizes walked through the doors of the Pete Callaghan Centre.
“It’s all about having a good base, having the gym ready every night before the lads come in,” Peter Mullen said when asked for the secret of St Anne’s success. “[Having] Good coaches on the floor and being consistent in what happens; to get good matches and match the lads right, it all comes together then in the end.”
Although Mullen broke the mould for national titles, arguably St Anne’s most famous son is current professional, Ray Moylette, scheduled for a massive homecoming fight in Castlebar on December 7.
The Islandeady native is one of only three St Anne’s fighters to hold a national title (Peter Mullen and most recently Shannon Sweeney are the others).
“I remember the first night his dad brought him in,” he recalled. “He was only seven or eight, and his brother, Richard, was boxing with us.
“Ever since we saw him we knew he was special and he’s proved that over the years. You don’t go and win world titles otherwise… He probably put St Anne’s on the map over the years and we can only wish him well.”
There’s no guarantee ‘Sugar Ray’ will be in attendance next Saturday night as he prepares for his WBC ranking fight, but either way it will serve as the perfect appetiser to whet the appetite for the December 7 showdown in Castlebar.  
But one thing is for certain, if St Anne’s conduct their anniversary celebrations like they have conducted their club for the last half century, then everyone is in for a brilliant night.