Teddy Baldock - The Pride of Poplar. The story of Britain's Youngest Ever Boxing World Champion
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The name Teddy Baldock is enshrined in the record books as Britain's youngest ever world champion. A powerful glory and tears story of an East End boxing idol who went from national hero to fallen star.
Born at Poplar on May 20th, 1908, boxing was in his blood, his grandfather having been a bare-knuckle fighter. Baldock's brilliant boxing skills and colourful style saw him fight in famous venues like Madison Square Gardens.
At 19, the Pride of Poplar defeated American Archie Bell at the Royal Albert Hall for the World bantamweight title, in one of the greatest bouts between boxing's little men.
He would never reach such heights again, but when he retired after a distinguished career of over 80 fights he remained a hero of the East End, long after his heyday in the ring.
Teddy's story is the stuff of legend; in his prime, his wealth and fame was such that he rubbed shoulders with dukes and earls but in 1971, when he died penniless in an Essex infirmary, he didn't even have his own pyjamas.
About the Author
Like so many West Ham supporters Brian Belton was born only five minutes walk from the club ('I heard 'em cheering in me cradle'). As a teenager Brian worked primarily to support his habit of following West Ham around England.
In his twenties the Mayflower Centre shanghaied him to work with young people in the Canning Town area. Brian was now a youth worker and eventually was persuaded/ bullied/ bribed into taking a professional qualification with the YMCA College in London.
He gained a degree at City University and then became a Senior Youth and Community worker in Islington, whilst gaining a Masters Degree at Essex. He has published over 50 books, mainly on football.