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Les Darcy Statue Closeup
Les Darcy Statue Closeup

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

A statue commemorates boxer Les Darcy.

One of 10 children of an Irish Catholic share farming family, Les Darcy quickly developed a love of boxing which was a major sport in those days. He left school at 12 to become a carter and then became a blacksmith’s apprentice. (He became very fit and strongly built as the blacksmith’s striker). He began to fight in tournaments at 15 and showed natural talent. He soon became a drawcard and in two years to September, 16, 1916 he won 22 consecutive bouts.

He had an enormous following from Maitland and the coalfields and each new fight was awaited with eager anticipation. He was not recognised as undisputed world middleweight champion but he beat a series of American imports who included most of the best of the era. In that period he tried to enlist but he was under 21 and his mother refused her consent.

In October, 1916, shortly before his 21st birthday Darcy heeded some bad advice. He sailed surreptitiously for the United States in a bid to clinch an official world title. After that nothing went right. Newspapers branded him a coward and deserter, United States State Governors banned him from boxing, promoters abandoned him, fans sent him white feathers. In Memphis, Tennessee he fell ill with blood poisoning and died on May 24, in state in a chapel in Sydney and it is claimed that 700,000 were in his funeral procession.

Location

Address:New England Highway & Grant Street, East Maitland, 2323
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.747435
Long: 151.582476
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Sport
Monument Designer:Tanya Bartlett
Link:http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonli…

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 5th August, 2000
Front Inscription

James Leslie DARCY
1895-1917
World And Australian Boxing Champion

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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