THERE was a large attendance at the Fr Horgan Boxing club last Monday night, when former boxing great and well-known musician Donnie Carroll presented both Fr Horgan’s and Sunnyside clubs with awards at a function at the Northside premises at Churchfield.
In attendance were professional boxers Gary Spike O’Sullivan and Tommy Hyde along with along with past and present boxers from both boxing clubs.
Donnie was a very accomplished boxer in the fifties and sixties when he boxed out of the CIE and Sunnyside clubs.
He was the first man to box in the Glen Hall in 1957 and went on to win the Munster title in 1960.
Donnie is also a well know musician and he moved to New York in 1993 to concentrate on his music career.
He sang the Irish National Anthem for Spike O’Sullivan into the ring for his first professional fight in New York and whenever Spike is in town he always looks after the Cork contingent.
Donnie received the Cork Man of the Year twice, in 2010 and 2016 for all the work he does raising funds for charities and sporting club.
He was also a big Castleview supporter and remembers many happy days watching the Northside club at Church Road.
Donnie who is home for a short holiday was delighted to be among some young and old friends.
"I'm delighted to return home and see so much great work been done with these great clubs, and it is also great to see so many young boxers,” Donnie said.
“I boxed with the CIE and Sunnyside clubs and won many titles over a 15-year period and never lost the love and the buzz as I always follow all the Irish fighters especially the Cork lads.
"I had the pleasure to sing Spike O’Sullivan into the ring when he fought in New York on a couple of occasions,” Donnie added.
Spike O’Sullivan was delighted to meet his old friend and explains how Donnie is always their for him and his family when his fighting in New York.
“When I got the call that Donnie was going to be here tonight, I was delighted to come along," Spike said.
“Donnie is a legend in Cork and Ireland boxing circles and he is also one of our best musicians that is living abroad.
“I will have some big news coming in the coming weeks about my next fight and I’m keeping myself busy in the gym," Spike said.
Kenneth Crinnion, who is the head coach with Fr Horgan’s thanked everyone who attended the function.
“I want to thank everyone for coming along tonight and its a pleasure to have such a legendary character like Donnie Carroll visit our club premises.
"It’s great for all our members to see so many great boxers from the past and present here tonight.
"I also want to thank Spike (O’Sullivan)and Tommy (Hyde) for taking some time out of their busy schedules and giving our young boxers advice which will give them plenty of confidence,” Kenneth said.