A fond farewell to former Lions ABC boxer Stan Ewens as club pays tribute

Mark Collings, Stan Ewens, Lawrence Okolie, and Robbie England (Pic: Paul Morant)

Mark Collings, Stan Ewens, Lawrence Okolie, and Robbie England (Pic: Paul Morant) - Credit: Archant

For the second time in as many months, Hoxton’s Lion ABC has been rocked with the sad news of the loss of another of its veteran boxing stalwarts, as Stan Ewens passed away earlier this month.

Stan’s passing followed the death last month of the club’s former veteran head senior coach, Roy MacDonald.

Ewens, just shy of 90 years of age, died after a short illness, this news having shocked the local boxing scene throughout north London and indeed the capital at large.

North Londoner Ewens, who lived in New North Road, N1, was associated for so much of his life in boxing with the Lion Club, although he was a frequent and very welcome visitor at both the Islington and Angel amateur boxing clubs too.

Boxing was his passion for much of his very long life and he counted successful local boxing men Colin Lake (Angel) and Kenny Field (Lion) among his trusted friends.

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In a long association largely in a coaching and training role at the Lion Club – although he also turned his hand on many occasions to most other things to help the club and its members – he will be remembered fondly for heading up the club’s nursery section, which helped enormously the newest recruits to the Lion’s successful boxing section.

When Hackney’s Lawrence Okolie came to the Lion Club as a 17-year-old principally to get fit and lose weight, Stan took him under his wing, along with fellow coaches Robbie England and Mark Collings.

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Okolie went on win a National Novices crown for the Lion Club and since those early days in Hoxton, his boxing exploits have come on in leaps and bounds, including representing Team GB at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

He is currently unbeaten as a professional (14-0) and on December 12 will take on Poland’s Krzystof Glowacki for the vacant WBO world cruiserweight crown at London’s O2 Arena.

Advancing years did not deter Ewens in the least, and he could often be seen taking the club’s boxers for running on Sundays regardless of the weather.

More recently he would regularly watch the club’s boxers exercising in a local park during the latter course of this current pandemic.

The Lion Club’s honorary secretary Paul Morant told the Gazette: “Stan will be sorely missed by everyone at our club.”

Chairman Alan Parry added: “Stan’s death is a great loss to the Lion Club and all who knew him there over many years.”

Former Angel ABC honorary secretary Bill Cross said: “Stan often used to pop into the Angel ABC and we always made him very welcome. He was a very nice man and boxing was always very much in his heart and in his thoughts at all times.”

Islington ABC competition secretary Reggie Hagland concurred, saying: “Stan was truly a lovely man and he always had good relations with our club, he really will be missed by all of us at Islington ABC.”

Long-time friend and former top Islington ABC coach, now linked with England Boxing, Bevis Allen said: “Stan always had time for everyone.

“He would often be seen during and after club shows speaking with young coaches, looking to inspire the next generation.”

Stan is survived by his daughter Lisa and her family.

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