World title challenger leads tributes after death of Sussex boxing coach
Shoreham’s former heavyweight world title challenger Scott Welch has paid tribute to his former amateur coach Dave Brown, who has died aged 76.
Back in 1992 Brown coached Welch to the prestigious ABA heavyweight title at the Albert Hall, and Welch told the Herald: “Dave’s passing is not only very sad for his family and many friends but leaves a huge hole in the sport locally."
Born on D-Day, June 6, 1944, at his grandmother’s home in Myrtle Crescent, Dave was the oldest of seven children to parents Thomas and Elsie, and the family home was in Tower Road, Lancing.
Dave discovered his love for the noble art at school, and excelled in the sport winning district championships, two West Sussex titles and one county title.
His love of the sport never waivered, as an adult, and aside from running over 20 marathons with Worthing Harriers, he helped form Lancing Boxing Club in Vernon Street and has been with Hove Boxing, latterly, Brighton and Hove Boxing Club for more than 50 years.
It was at Hove ABC that he first came across the teenage Welch. “I first met Dave when I walked into the gym as a 16 year old, back them gym etiquette was that you didn’t jump on a lad as soon as he walked in as you didn’t know how long he was going to last, I was in there about six weeks and still hadn’t been looked at, so I started making a bit of noise on the bag, hitting it heavily, then Dave came over, starting giving me a bit of guidance.
“Dave was a great man, along with the late Roger Smith, we spent hours and hours driving up and down the motorway going to bouts.
"As a coach one of his many qualities was nothing was too much for him, as a heavyweight I was always on the bill fairly late on, and most nights we’d be getting back in the early hours, and that was back in the day when shows were on Wednesday nights, Thursday nights, but he’d be back at his butcher's shop in Lancing opening up a few hours later.
“During the contests, between rounds he was so calm, very constructive, technical but not over technical, more instinctive, his ethic was all about hard work, both in sport and in life.
“He always believed I could win an ABA title... the two years prior to my win, he took me up to watch the finals in preparation."
Welch, who on turning pro went on to win the British and Commonwealth belts in 1995, added: “His ethos about the club was that it was open to anyone who wanted to train, you probably can’t put a number on how many young people locally he’s kept out of trouble through Boxing.”
Brown leaves a widow, Sue, four children, Stephen, Shaun, Caroline and Stuart, and his much-loved grandchildren.
His funeral is takes place on Monday 26 April and Brighton and Hove Boxing club boxers, both past and present, are providing him with a guard of honour at 12.30pm when the funeral cortege leaves his shop, in North Road, Lancing.
Donations in Dave’s memory can be sent to St Barnabas House via this link or Ian Hart Funeral Service Ltd, 01903 206299.