It is almost exactly 100 years since the birth of Scotland’s first world boxing champion, Benny Lynch. To celebrate we’re taking a look back at the life and career of one of the country’s greatest sporting heroes.

Lynch was born on April 2 1913 in Glasgow and was the second son of John Lynch and his wife Elizabeth Alexander.

He began boxing as a schoolboy and soon joined the LMS Rovers amateur boxing club. The pugilist slipped easily between amateur and professional boxing at saloons in the Gorbals until his talent was spotted by future manager Samuel Wilson.

By the age of 20, Lynch had 25 contests under his belt and was already being acknowledged as the best ‘wee’ man in Glasgow.

In May 1934 he won the Scottish fly-weight championship on points over 15 rounds. When the return match was fought six weeks later, more than 10,000 spectators watched the same result at Third Lanark Football Club’s ground.

In September 1935 he won the World, European and British fly-weight boxing championships after beating Jackie Brown at Belle Vue, Manchester in two rounds in front of a crowd of 7,000. It was only his third contest outside Scotland in five years of professional boxing.

After the fight Lynch said: “I knew I had him going when I put him down the first time, and after that it was merely a matter of time.”

Following his win the Herald said: “The Scot fought like a human tornado from the first bell, and completely outpunched Brown, who was down ten times in all during the short time the bout lasted.

“Lynch’s performance must rank as one of the most spectacular ever recorded in a World’s Champion fight, and the Glasgow lad had to be protected by police from the rush of Scottish enthusiasts who wanted to carry him shoulder high from the ring.”

Lynch successfully defended his world fly-weight title three times in three years, an achievement never managed by any previous British boxer. He moved the headquarters of boxing in Scotland from Edinburgh to Glasgow and made it possible to use football stadiums for open air boxing shows.

He was fiercely determined in the ring and ungraciously dropped his manager Wilson in early 1936 before losing his first fight in two and a half years, a non-title match in Belfast.

The initial defence of his title was the first world championship to be held in Scotland. Lynch won comfortably and the bout attracted 40,000 people to Clyde Football Club’s ground. His third defence following his second in London packed the south-side stadium again as fans watched Lynch knock out Peter Kane of Golborne in the thirteenth round. The bout is generally considered to be one of the finest fly-weight boxing contests. It also turned out to be Lynch’s last world championship fight.

Lynch did not relish training and when it came to his fourth title defence in June 1938 he was stripped of his title because he was six pounds over the eight stone limit for fly-weight boxers.

He lost his next two contests in 1938. However, by this time, Lynch was an alcoholic. Cures for his condition were tried twice without effect and in September 1939 his boxing licence was refused on medical grounds.

On August 6 1946, Lynch died of a cardiac arrest and chronic alcoholism at the age of 33. He was buried at St Kentigern’s Cemetery in Lambhill, Glasgow.

However, Lynch remained an enduring figure in Scottish sporting history and in 1976 a television film starring Mark McManus, documenting his rise to world champion and his untimely death was shown by Granada TV.