The remarkable success story of Ryston Boxing Club continues as the Newbridge club once again claimed the title of ‘All Ireland Club of the Year Award’ at a function last week in the Green Isle Hotel in Dublin writes Willie Crowley.
In attendance were dignitaries from the IABA, several of the Irish Olympic squad including team captain, Darren O’Neill, John Joe Nevin, Michael Conlon, Paddy Barnes, and Adam Nolan along with head coach Billy Walsh, while their star Intermediate boxer, Hugh Myers was also declared All-Ireland champion in his class.
The latest accolade - All Ireland Club of the Year 2012 - for the third time in succession and their fifth time in all is testimony to the dedicated work of chief coach Tom McDermott and his fellow coaches Bob Carty, Luke Connors, Joe McGann, Pat Davey, Darren Collins, Dave Molloy, and Club Secretary Mary Butler.
Master of ceremonies, the legendary Jimmy Magee, a frequent visitor to Newbridge paid tribute to the wonderful dedication of the boxers and coaching staff of the Ryston club which he said ‘had always been a pleasure to visit’.
The club was founded in 1965 by Larry Hannon, and Michael Kett along with Mickey Gray, (a former All-Army champion) who was the first trainer. The club ceased to exist at the end of 1968 season but was reformed again in 1970 and those involved were: Joe Cox, Michael Kett, John Culleton, John Murphy, Jackie Byrne, Timmy Lynch, Jimmy Keogh, Christy Kirwan, and Nick Mullally.
That same year Michael Collins won the Senior Heavyweight title while boxing for the Kilcullen B.C. after that he went on to represent Ireland in a number of internationals whilst boxing for the Irish Ropes B.C. In 1972 Joe Byrne won the club’s first Irish Juvenile title and Denis O’Brien won the Irish Light-Heavyweight Senior title.
During the late 1970s the club became a strong force in Irish boxing under the guidance of Eric McDonnell and Brian Cox when the club won the Dr Lombard Murphy Cup for the best club in Irish Juvenile Championship, with four Irish Champions and two finalists. The champions were Michael Mc Dermott, Tom 0’ Byrne, Dermot McDermott and Paddy (Parko) Hughes and the two losing finalist were Tom McDermott, who is the current chief coach, and Michael Byrne.
The beginning of the 1980s saw the club’s success continue and in 1981 no fewer that 19 Kildare County Championships titles were won by the club.
In 1986 Tommy Tobin from Pairc Mhuire outpointed future Olympic gold medallist Michael Carruth to take the Senior Irish Lightweight title. In 1989 Tom Mc Dermott and Paddy Sludds took over as boxing coaches and success continued right up to the new millennium. Success continued for the club at all levels, winning many individual national titles and being represented internationally at various levels since 2004.
The club has currently 50-60 young people in training,with ages ranging from 11 years upwards and includes 15 aspiring Katie Taylors. Funding is through their own efforts and to this end; they will be participating in a ‘bag pack’ in Dunne’s stores, Newbridge on Sunday, 21 December and would welcome all support.