A Brechin barber has raised a toast to his inspirational great uncle after the boxing club he inspired became a knockout success.
Friends Jocky McLean and Richard Keith opened Brechin Boxing Club in October last year and, after an influx of male, female and youth members, some of its classes are already waiting list only.
Jocky’s great uncle ran the town’s previous club, which closed its doors in the early 70s, with barber Sid Meldrum.
Jocky said: “My great uncle Tommy had the boxing club in the 60s and 70s.
“I used to talk to my uncle about starting back up but he was well in to his 80s by then. Then he passed away but starting a club was always on my mind.”
The club is based in a converted 1920s tin-roofed former Baptist church on South Esk Street
Jocky, Richard and the other members converted the building themselves for its new role in the Brechin community.
It has 67 members aged between nine and 14, 49 over-15s and 10 female fighters. Final preparations are being made for 12 boxers to fight competitively under the club’s banner this coming year.
Jocky said the club has also helped deal with his own personal challenges.
He added: “I have ADHD and I’m border line bi-polar, so it has been a great benefit to my health. Boxing is such a great benefit for adults and kids from all walks of life.”
Richard Keith was an experienced amateur boxer, and former district champion, when he became involved in the project.
He said: “I met Jocky in the barber shop where he was working and saw a boxing glove on the wall. We got chatting about boxing and how Jocky wanted to open a club in Brechin. I said I would love to do it with him.
“Brechin has never had a club since the 70s and it used to be a great club. Jocky’s uncle had the club back then.
“It has taken us by surprise at how popular and busy it has got in such a short time.
“The facilities have everything we need. The building was opened in 1921 and it had a great feel from first viewing and has a proper old school boxing gym feel.”
He said the club has attracted praise from other more established clubs.
“We have had great comments on how well we have done with the lads and lasses in a short time,” he added.
“Brechin will be back on the boxing scene and we have some real talent, both male and female, coming through.”