LEITH VICTORIA, Scotland's oldest and most illustrious amateur boxing club, will welcome amateur boxing's oldest surviving boxing club coach, Harry Craft, back to open the Edinburgh institution's new boxing museum for their centenary in July.

Former Leith club coach Craft was not only an ever-present ringside fixture at the Leith Vics' two annual shows until afflicted by total blindness two years ago, but in the 1960s he was a key factor in Leith flyweight Jackie Brown winning the 1958 Cardiff Commonwealth flyweight gold medal. Craft also helped Vics light-heavyweight Bill Sutherley gain entry to the 'Guinness Book of Records in the sixties as the youngest ever winner of a senior Scottish amateur boxing title.

''I'm delighted that the club officials have asked Harry Craft to open the museum," said Sutherley. "He was such an inspiring coach and ring cornerman.''

Leith Vics club leader Douglas Fraser added: ''We will be letting the public see for the first time articles like a cup won in 1921 by our 1920 Antwerp Olympics welterweight silver medal winner Alex Ireland; a cup won in the 1920's by our bantamweight boxer George Smith - who went on to referee Muhammad Ali's title clash with Henry Cooper in 1966. We also hope to contact the family of our ex-flyweight Johnny Hill who won the 1926 ABA flyweight title then became Scotland's first ever world champion flyweight in 1928."

''However, we have been unable to contact the family of our ex-lightweight Jim Rolland - who became the first ever Scottish boxer to win a gold medal in international competition - at the 1934 London Empire Games.

Similarly, efforts will be made to mark - via photographs - Leith Victoria's 1920s welterweight champion Eugene Henderson, who refereed major world title fights such as Freddie Mills v Gus Lesnevich in 1946 and the world middleweight crown scrap between American ring legend Sugar Ray Robinson and Britain's Randolph Turpin which the latter won by 15 round points decision in July 1951.

Other outstanding Leith Vics boxers to be celebrated in the new museum are 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and former WBO 9st 4lbs champion Alex Arthur, who has pledged to bring his championship belts to the opening, as well as material related to former 1920s Leith club coach and first ever Scottish two-time Lonsdale Belt winner, James 'Tancy' Lee.

Meanwhile, Craft will be guided through the July opening ceremony by his son Jim, a former Leith Victoria lightweight who took Dundonian 1956 Olympic games gold medal winner Dick McTaggart the distance in 1961.

It is also hoped to show a memento of Leith Vics boxer Alex 'Bud' Watson, who holds the all-time record for winning most Scottish amateur titles -claiming 14 crowns at different weights between 1938 and 1947.