Hundreds say final goodbye to Hillfields boxer Jude Moore

HUNDREDS of people filled Bristol Cathedral to say a final goodbye to Hillfields boxer Jude Moore.

Friends from his home city and across the boxing world joined Jude’s family for a moving service, which included laughter at memories shared and applause as the world title belt Jude most wanted to win was presented in his memory.

Jude, who was 19, died suddenly in March in Hoddesdon, where he was training at a boxing academy with a view to turning professional.

Members of Fishponds-based Downend Boxing Club – where Jude won National titles at schools and junior level, was Western Counties champion five times and boxed in European and international bouts – wore their club tracksuits and lined up outside the cathedral in a silent tribute as Jude’s body arrived on April 12.

Coach Craig Turner gave a eulogy describing the “whirlwind” nine years after Jude walked into the gym, with “comedy, drama, deep philosophy, romance, elite sporting achievement and above all else a deep and all-consuming love for him”.

Tales of Jude’s scrapes, energy, love for life and “precocious talent” brought smiles and laughs, before former World Boxing Council super middleweight champion Glenn Catley, who had worked with Jude, presented a championship belt on behalf of the WBC and British Boxing Board of Control.

Jude had wanted to win the WBC title as Glenn had, and Craig said he was sure he would have done.

Making the announcement Jude would not live to hear, Craig declared him “your winner and for all time the new WBC champion of the world”, with the congregation bursting into a huge round of applause that echoed through the cathedral.

Jude’s brothers Beau and Ethan also took part.

Beau read a poem, The Boxer’s Prayer.

Ethan, himself a former double National champion and junior European silver medallist, shared fond memories in his eulogy, from boxing in the garden as children pretending to be Rocky and Apollo Creed, to a recent meeting where Jude turned down a game of pool, saying: “I don’t play a game I can lose.”

Afterwards a celebration of Jude’s life was held at Cleve RFC in Mangotsfield.

Tournament tribute

The tournament in memory of Jude Moore at his old school, Mangotsfield

MORE than 250 people attended a tournament at Jude Moore’s old school, staged in his memory by Downend Boxing Club.

Jude had been a prefect at Mangotsfield School, whose head teacher Hetty Blackmore said he “inspired others wherever he went”.

Complete silence descended on the sports hall on April 2 as boxing’s Western Counties regional secretary, Mike Hemming, rang the traditional ten-bells salute that has been heard at tournaments across the country in Jude’s memory.

A massive round of applause and emotional scenes followed, as those who attended sang along to The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’. 

There was a great reception at the event for Jude’s brother Ethan, before 14 bouts and four skills contests were staged involving Downend Boxing Club members and contenders from other clubs around the West of England and Wales.

The Downend members who took part were Archie Caswell, Finley Haskins, Carter Slocombe, Rio Toomey, Lacey Holloway, Kadon Smith, Rudi Watts, Tommy Pring, Caleb Rees, Vinnie Bush, Mackenzie Lawrence, Jack Foster, Chris Richardson, Marlon, Jodie Horton, Nick Wilkinson and Riley Catley.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees and former WBC World super middleweight champion Glenn Catley, who boxed each other twice many years ago, presented prizes and watched their sons, Caleb and Riley, both take wins.

Club coach Craig Turner said: “Mangotsfield school were quite simply outstanding supporting us to put the event together, and we are hugely grateful.

“We are just amazed by the support and generosity from the clubs of the Western Counties, Hoddesdon and County Wexford.”

Jude Moore in training. Picture: Craig Turner
Jude Moore in training. Picture: Craig Turner