Descendants of famous Warwick and Leamington boxing brothers the Turpins lend award to town museum

The family of Randolph, Dick and Jackie Turpin gathered at Leamington Art Gallery & Museum to hand over the award which was given posthumously to the brothers by the British Boxing Board of Control in March to recognise their achievements in the sport

Turpin family members hand over the award to Huw Jones at Leamington Art Gallery & Museum. Picture submitted.
Turpin family members hand over the award to Huw Jones at Leamington Art Gallery & Museum. Picture submitted.

The family of famous Warwick and Leamington boxers Randolph, Dick and Jackie Turpin have lent an award given to them for their achievements in the sport to a museum so it can be displayed to the public.

The descendants of the the three brothers gathered at Leamington Art Gallery & Museum at the weekend to hand over the award, which was given posthumously to the brothers by the British Boxing Board of Control at its national awards ceremony in March.

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It will be on display at the museum in a case already dedicated to the Turpin brothers.

The Turpins 20th August 1951: British boxer and World Middleweight Champion Randolph Turpin, with his manager and brothers, Dick and Jackie, in New York. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Curator, Huw Jones, who worked with the Turpin family to get the award on display, said: “It’s wonderful to see the British Boxing Board of Control honouring the Turpin brothers with this award.

"We are very grateful to the Turpin family for loaning it to us so that it can be enjoyed by visitors to the gallery.”

The recognition for Warwick-born black British world champion boxer Randolph, his ‘colour bar’ breaking brother Dick and Jackie was long overdue.

The award recognised their contribution to UK boxing, and to black British sport.

Curator Huw Jones places the award in the display case at Leamington Art Gallery & Mueum while Turpin family members look on. Picture submitted.

At the awards ceremony, former British light-heavyweight title winner John Conteh said his love of boxing was inspired by the brothers - while world championship winner in two weight-classes Joe Calzaghe also paid his respects.

Dick, Randolph and Jackie Turpin were born in Warwick in the 1920s but also spent much of their life in neighbouring Leamington.

Eldest brother Dick was the first black athlete to win a British title after the Board of Control lifted the so-called ‘colour bar’ in 1948 – which had blocked non-white boxers from competing professionally for titles.

He went on to win the middleweight title on the global stage at the Commonwealth Games that same year.

But Randolph eclipsed his brother’s achievements and became the first black British world champion in 1951 when he beat boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson in a middleweight title fight in London.

Jackie enjoyed a 10-year professional boxing career and ran Warwick Racing Club Boxing Gym – continuing to train there until he was 80-years-old.

Dick fought in the army during the Second World War while Randolph and Jackie served in the Royal Navy.

There is a statue of Randolph in Warwick town square and a newly erected blue plaque marking Dick’s achievements outside Sainsbury’s in Saltisford.

They were secured by the chairman of the Randolph Turpin Memorial Fund Adrian Bush.

Keith Turpin, son of Dick Turpin, said: “Thank you to Huw, and to the museum, for letting us have this award put on display for all to enjoy.”

The museum, attached Leamington Library at the Royal Pump Rooms in the Parade, is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10am and 4pm.

Admission is free.

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Pioneering Warwick and Leamington boxing brothers Dick, Randolph and Jackie Turp...