Olympic gold medallist Spinks dies

27 April 2012 / 11:07

Terry Spinks, the youngest Briton to win an Olympic boxing gold medal, has died at his home in Essex following a long illness. He was 74.

Spinks won flyweight gold at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics aged just 18, beating Romania's Mircea Dobrescu in the final.

As a professional, the east Londoner won 41 of his 49 fights, including winning the British featherweight championship, before retiring at the age of 24.

British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert Smith said: "We are very sad Terry has passed away. He was a great boxer and a very nice guy.

"He was an Olympic gold medallist at 18, which is very young, certainly when he was fighting boxers from Russia and the Eastern bloc, men who were 25 or 26.

"He was also a very good professional boxer, but most importantly he was a nice person."

After hanging up his gloves, Spinks became a successful trainer, including coaching the South Korean boxing team at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

In 2002, Spinks was awarded an MBE for services to boxing and charity work.