Former President of Weymouth ABC dies

Gordon Nelmes

Gordon Nelmes

A MAN who devoted his life to helping youngsters in Weymouth has died at the age of 65.

Gordon Nelmes, former president of Weymouth Amateur Boxing Club, passed away peacefully at his Preston home after a long illness.

He helped shape the town’s amateur club and coached hundreds of youngsters over the years.

At eight years old, he started at the Boxing Club in Hardwick Street and competed in his first boxing bout at the age of 10.

Mr Nelmes had around 70 to 80 boxing bouts, got to the school’s semi-finals and lost to the eventual winner – which his brother David said was ‘considered very special’ at the time.

When Gordon finished boxing he became official in charge (OIC) of the town’s amateur boxing club, referee, a coach, a judge and a timekeeper.

He refereed the Amateur Boxing Association’s (ABA) Schools’ Final in Derby, the England and Wales Schoolboy International in Weymouth and events held in Berlin.

Mr Nelmes was in charge of USA and England boxing teams during their stays at the Rembrandt Hotel and he held positions in the Devon, Dorset and Cornwall ABA.

Over many years he worked tirelessly to raise funds for Weymouth Amateur Boxing Club.

Mr Nelmes attended St John’s Primary School and Wey Valley School before leaving at 15 to become an apprentice carpenter.

He ran his own carpentry business and also specialised in brewery work in the South West.

When the boxing club was given a Lottery grant, Gordon carried out work to a high standard, which is still there today.

He leaves his wife, Jeanne, sister Sheila, brother David and sister-in-law Margret and his three daughters, Hayley, Claire and Rachael and 14 grandchildren.

Gordon will be also be ‘terribly missed’ by his nephews and nieces.

David Nelmes, 64, of Nottington, took over his brother’s role as president of the club a year ago – their father Dai Nelmes was the previous club president until he died in 2001.

David said: “Gordon did everything for me and we were always together, so for me it’s a big loss.

“He was larger than life and boxing was his life. As the song goes, he was simply the best.

“Nobody was more enthusiastic than him for the club and he helped a lot of people get where they are today.

“We’ve had some lovely tributes since he died on May 1, saying what a good referee he was.”

A sign of remembrance in the boxing fraternity is to ring the bell 10 times. Weymouth will carry out the tradition at their next tournament in November.

A funeral will be held at 12.15pm tomorrow at Weymouth Crematorium and all are welcome.

A reception will follow at Redlands sport centre in Dorchester Road.

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