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Stories of a Post-industrial Hero: The Death of Johnny Owen / Martin Johnes

Sport in History, Volume: 31, Issue: 4, Pages: 444 - 463

Swansea University Author: Johnes, Martin

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Abstract

Boxing is widely seen as a deeply symbolic sport. Perhaps at no time was that truer than when Welsh boxer Johnny Owen died after being knocked out in a world title bout in 1980. Owen's likeable personality, his commitment to his family, community and nation and his skinny appearance all exacerb...

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Published in: Sport in History
ISSN: 1746-0271
Published: 2011
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa13621
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Abstract: Boxing is widely seen as a deeply symbolic sport. Perhaps at no time was that truer than when Welsh boxer Johnny Owen died after being knocked out in a world title bout in 1980. Owen's likeable personality, his commitment to his family, community and nation and his skinny appearance all exacerbated the widespread feeling that someone special had been lost in tragic circumstances. His death led to debates about whether boxing should be banned but in his home town, and towns like it, there was also widespread pride in Owen. Like many boxers before him, he was an emblematic figure who represented both the ideals of Welsh working-class communities and their suffering and courage in the face of adversity and tragedy. His story was thus told and retold, its meaning and relevance shifting in the emerging post-industrial environment.
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Issue: 4
Start Page: 444
End Page: 463