Billy Beynon

Billy Beynon. By Cope's Cigarettes [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Billy Beynon. By Cope’s Cigarettes [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bantamweight Billy Beynon enjoyed a highly successful 192-fight career before getting out of the game unscathed, only to die in a colliery accident at the age of 41.

The Taibach miner, who was born in 1891, enjoyed the high point of his career in 1913 when he won the British title from Digger Stanley.

Londoner Stanley reclaimed the belt from the Welshman before the end of the year, though, and in December 1913 Beynon was again unsuccessful in a tilt at Charles Ledoux’s European title.

Beynon continued to mix in high-quality company and fought on until 1931, after which point he stayed involved in the game as a referee.

But he was also working underground, and just a year after his retirement from the ring disaster struck.

Beynon was killed under a fall of stone at Bryn Navigation Colliery near Maesteg, the former boxer dying while rescuing one of his 15 children.

The youngest of his children was just six weeks old at the time, and Jack Petersen was amongst the boxers who lent his support to the charity fund set up for Beynon’s family.

In 2011, villagers in Bryn named the hill that the former boxer used to train on “Billy Beynon Hill” in honour of his memory.


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