A History of Sport in Wales: Book review

Martin Johnes has delivered an easily accessible work for the University of Wales Press’s ‘Short Guide’ series, fulfilling its brief to “chart the concise history of sport in Wales since 1800”.

Understandably, the book is dominated by rugby and football.

As even those two pillars receive necessarily brief attention, the coverage given to boxing is limited in the extreme.

That said, there is good discussion of mountain fighting and booth fighting, and the interesting argument is made that the popularity of the latter meant that amateur boxing never established as strong a tradition in Wales as it did in England.

Jim Driscoll, Freddie Welsh, Jimmy Wilde and Tommy Farr are discussed, and there is a short consideration of the boxers of Merthyr from the latter half of the 20th century.

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