Sport Remembers Tom McCormick, boxer

The world champion boxer killed in seconds

World champion boxer Tom McCormick had some encouraging words for his sparring partner as they prepared to fight on the Somme. “Careful where you tread,” he told his friend. But seconds later he was dead.

Born in Dundalk, Co Louth, in 1890, he was an adopted Scouser and his career began with a 20 round draw against Johnny Basham at Liverpool Stadium in 1913.

Three titles... then the trenches

McCormick was just 25 when his brilliant boxing career was cut short by war. In 1914 he had already become British, European and World welterweight champion.

Just six months before his death, McCormick had taken the British Commonwealth and British Welterweight title from Johnny Summers in 20 rounds in Sydney. A few weeks later he won the Australian version of the World Welterweight title in Melbourne.

McCormick was a sergeant in the 12th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, which had taken particularly heavy losses on the first day of the Somme. Five days later he was killed as the Manchesters tried to push forward at Fricourt.

His body was never found and his name is on the memorial at Thiepval.

Somme Remembers

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. The Royal British Legion is calling on communities across the UK to take the time out from their daily lives to honour those who fell. We have created a Somme 100 toolkit which contains everything you need to organise a Remembrance event in your community.

Make your own commemoration to one of the casualties of the First World War by simply placing a virtual poppy in their memory on our Every Man Remembered website.>

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