Tributes paid to Kettering’s ‘irreplaceable’ Clive

Clive Hall.
Clive Hall.

A man who was instrumental in giving Kettering’s sports clubs a venue to play at has died at the age of 81.

Clive Hall, who worked tirelessly to coach the town’s boxing stars, died earlier this month after a long illness.

He was employed as the borough’s sports development officer for many years, saving taxpayers a fortune after turning the Drill Hall into a facility that housed badminton, judo, indoor cricket, boxing, wrestling, skating, table tennis and more.

He promoted many sports but boxing was always his first love, producing 11 internationals and many champions.

Former boxing coach and friend of 52 years Clive Hogben said: “He taught a lot of people and guided them all through their lives.

“He will never be replaced.”

Mr Hall, originally from Wales, went to Kettering Grammar School before being called up for national service.

On his return and married he moved to Barton Seagrave in 1962 to raise his family.

He joined the Kettering Keystone management committee as a head coach and fundraiser for the newly-formed boxing section and managed to get Dave Wallington down from heavyweight to middleweight, winning national honours and the ABA championship in 1969.

Dave went on to represent England 25 times, never letting his club or country down, before bad eyesight prevented him from turning professional.

He had many success stories, plotting with John Cullen to knock out Joe Buner twice.

He also saw Mr Hogben become the club’s first junior national champion before Mr Hall decided to turn professional as a manager and promoter with 19 boxers including Tony Poole, Manny Gabriel, Dave Loveland, Mick Markie, Harry White, Dick Goodman, Dennis Bailey, Shane Porter, Micky Costello and more.

He travelled far and wide with the sport and was the first to set up a television sponsorship with Gola and Manpower, as well as being the first to bring dinner boxing in the same room.

But it wasn’t just boxing where Clive made an impact.

He made the Drill Hall conversion work on a very limited budget, brought the milk race to the town centre and hosted “It’s a Knockout” at Wicksteed Park.

He also played a big part in Kettering’s twinning with Lahnstein in Germany.

Mr Hogben said: “It wasn’t just boxing, he did so much for the borough.

“He achieved so much but he was very modest about it.”

Mr Hall went on to work in marketing and promoted The Cotton Club, Reflections and the Central Rock Cafe before retiring for a well-deserved rest.

His funeral service will take place on Thursday (January 24) at the Warren Hill Crematorium in Rothwell Road at 1.30 pm.

His final wish is a typical fundraising one with donations being made to Kettering School of Boxing, where he was general secretary since 2001.