Wolverhampton BC is one of the oldest established clubs in the UK.
Founded in 1936 by a group of local businessmen headed by Harry Dallard, the club was based at Goldthorn Social Club, Goldthorn Hill. The club later moved to an upstairs room in St George’s Hall, St Georges Parade, before moving to the Rose & Crown in Park St South around 1948. The club eventually had a fully equipped gym in Montrose Street, but sadly the premises suffered a fire and all of the equipment was lost in the blaze. New premises were acquir
ed in Union Mill Street, where local bookmaker and club Secretary George Wilson spent a lot of his own money equipping the new gym out.
The club flourished in the 60’s and became home to several fine prospects including Bobby Blower, who in 1967 beat Alan Minter in the Junior ABA Championship final. The following year Bobby beat John Conteh on his way to winning the ABA Light Middleweight title.
Other prominent boxers who have passed through the doors of WABC over the years include Tony Wilson, Bingo Crookes, Richie Carter, Nigel Rafferty and Dean Harrison to name but a few.
John Thomas joined the club after being demobbed from the Navy. ‘Tommo’ had boxed in the Navy, and eventually completed an ABA coaching course to begin his long association with WABC.
By the mid 80’s the club had moved to its present home on the corner of Colliery Road and Willenhall Road. Upon entering the premises, the sense of boxing history is overwhelming. Memorabilia adorn the walls, with trophies, books, signed gloves and all things boxing everywhere. The club has three rings, along with an array of heavy bags etc that would be the envy of a lot of pro gyms! The club is recognised as being of enormous benefit not only to the local East Park community, but for the whole of Wolverhampton.
Various famous faces have visited the club, including in recent years Amir Khan, Joe Bugner and Earnie Shavers amongst others.
A lot of people have worked tirelessly to make the gym what it is today, and are still working hard to leave a legacy for future generations of Wulfrunians.
A 25 year lease on the premises was signed a few years ago, and steps were taken to preserve the memorabilia and contents of the club.
Any boxing fan or visitor to Wolverhampton would do well to take an hour of their time to visit WABC, it really is a fight fans’ dream.