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Malc Halliwell's Wrestling, Boxing and School Photo Album

Wrestling, boxing and keeping fit have been fine traditions in Bolton for generations. Two recent nominations for inclusion on the planned Spirit of Sport statue have given me the opportunity to publish these old photographs. Malcolm Halliwell, of Willow Close, Deane, tells me his grandfather Jack "Sailor" Halliwell — a well-known Daubhill character — was a fitness fanatic who was a trainer in the 1930s. One of the people he worked with was Boltonian Jimmy Crompton, who was the British flyweight wrestling champion in 1935. Mr Halliwell said: "In later years my grandfather was a time-keeper at Bolton Wrestling Club." He thinks the two are on the picture of Bolton Wrestling and Athletic Club above.

If anybody has any more information about the photographs, Malcolm would like to hear from them. His telephone number is 01204 655238.

The pictures below feature another man who worked hard with local young people. Owen Moran, who died after a motorcycle accident in 1939, was one of the town's best-known boxers and fought some 400 fights. For 10 years before his death, at the age of 46, he was a valued instructor at the Haulgh and Sunning Hill school play centres. An obituary from 1939 describes Owen Moran as "a fine type of Lancashire mill lad with a great devotion to physical culture."

The writer says that although he was never a champion, there was little doubt that he would have attained that position but for the intervention of the first world war. He added: "Moran met all the leading lights of his day and enjoyed a wide reputation for his brilliant left hand and his uncanny elusiveness."

Photos taken at Bolton Wrestling and Athletic Club approximately 1933-5 donated by Malc Halliwell the grandson of Jack "Sailor" Halliwell.


malc-photo-1 Jack "Sailor Halliwell" 3rd row 5th from left - trainer who trained Jimmy Crompton and in his late 60s he was the time keeper at Bridgeman Street
Jimmy Crompton 3rd Row 4th from left
Norris Wilson 1st left 2nd row
Sailor Halliwell lived on Willis Street and Norris Wilson lived on Willows Lane
malc-photo-2 Boxing photo taken on Adelaide Street
Owen Moran is in the middle of the 2nd row
Rees Gibbon 2nd row 3rd from right - he lived on Bridgeman Street
Miles Bardsley 2nd row 5th from right - he lived on St Helens Road
malc-photo-3 Owen Moran left of man in the suit
Rees Gibbon 2nd from right on the 2nd row
Brother Joe Gibbon 3rd row end on right
malc-photo-4 Owen Moran Directly behind cups
Rees Gibbon directly behind Owen

Brandwood Street School


Brandwood Street School

Left to Right
1st row - David Stretch, Roy Crook, Malc Halliwell, David Smith, Brian Fogg, Ross Williams, Roy Partington
2nd Row - Iris Norcross, Barbara Plumbley, _ ? Doreen Lever, Yvonne Peace, Jean White, Maureen Woods, Helen Woodrow, Wendy Williams?, Helen Worth?, Florence Topliss
3rd Row - Valerie Farrrel, Ross Dunning, _ ? Harold Chambers, Tommy Strickland, Keith Hibbert, Arnold Edwards, Brian Cleworth, Ray Wilks, Jean King
4th Row - Phyllis Squires, Christine Thomas, Gillian Hickman, Jacqueline Addams, Pauline Miller, Lesley Barnes, _ ? Joan Finan, Pat Rigby, Teacher Tom Smethurst
5th Row
Eileen Hoyle, _? _? _?