Born: March 7, 1935;

Died: January 12, 2020.

JACKIE Brown, who has died aged 84, was a top Scottish boxer of the 1950s and 1960s who won Scottish, British and Commonwealth flyweight titles as both amateur and professional, later adding the Scottish professional bantamweight crown to his laurels.

Inducted into the Scottish Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006, he had enjoyed a long career which began as an amateur in the early 1950s and finished with his final bout as a professional in 1966.

Edinburgh-born Brown kept elite company in the ring, including future world flyweight champion and fellow Scot, Walter McGowan, whom he beat in their first bout; former world bantamweight champion Mario D’Agata, whom he also defeated, and Johnny Caldwell, former world bantamweight champion, with whom he drew.

He fought in various countries including France, Finland and Italy as well as the UK. and always remembered sharing a dressing room with Muhammad Ali while on the undercard of his bout against Brian London at Earls Court in 1966.

A chance visit to Gilmerton Boxing Club in his early teens sparked his interest in the sport and later he joined Leith Victoria Boxing Club in whose colours he won the Scottish amateur flyweight title. This qualified him for the A.B.A. [British] Championships in 1958 at the Empire Pool, Wembley where he defeated Welshman Gerald John to claim the title.

Three months later in July, at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, he won the flyweight title on points against Englishman T.Bache, becoming the third consecutive Scot to claim the title after Hugh Riley and Dick Currie. A street party was held in his honour on his return home to Edinburgh with the gold medal.

In October 1958 he made his successful professional debut at Paisley Ice Rink and within a year won his first professional honour, the Scottish flyweight championship against Alex Ambrose. By August 1960 he had won all fifteen of his bouts including the notable scalps of D’Agata and Johnny Morrissey.

Defeat in 1961 to the heavier Freddie Gilroy, future European bantamweight champion, did not derail Brown who went on later that year to successfully defend his Scottish flyweight title against McGowan.

On February 27 1962, in Birmingham, he defeated Brian Cartwright to clinch the British flyweight title and in December successfully defended it against Nigerian Orizu Obilaso, while acquiring the Commonwealth crown. But six months later he lost both titles to McGowan, who knocked him out in the 12th round, leading to Brown moving up to fight at bantam.

Within a year he won the Scottish bantamweight crown defeating Tommy Burgoyne before fighting Johnny Caldwell at Paisley Ice Rink in a non title bout. In what many thought was the best performance of his career, he secured a draw and was extremely unlucky not to be awarded a win, one report suggesting Brown was ahead by a ‘huge margin of points’.

After another eleven bouts which included one against fellow Scot Evan Armstrong who took his Scottish bantam title, Brown hung up his gloves at the end of 1966, after 44 bouts.

Initially brought up in Edinburgh’s southside, Brown moved to the Moredun area as a teenager, where he met future wife Margaret, whom he married in 1958 shortly before the Cardiff Games. They enjoyed a long marriage during which they had three children, Jacqueline, Shirley and Johnson. Shirley was a Scottish squash international while Johnson won the Scottish junior tennis title.

While boxing he still had to earn a livelihood, which he did as a domestic appliances engineer. After boxing he did fitness training and helped train junior football side Arniston Rangers in the late 1960’s. His ‘boxing exercise’ classes in an Edinburgh leisure centre were very popular, running for over twenty years.

After their children emigrated to Australia he and his wife did the same about ten years ago and settled in Sydney. Unfortunately within a year he was diagnosed with dementia and spent his latter years in a care home where he still enjoyed doing fitness work with fellow residents. He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren, Sophie, Phoebe and Geordie.