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BOXING LEGEND IN GOLF CLUB K0.

Byline: STEVE BRADLEY

MIDLAND boxing legend Pat Cowdell is fighting to clear his name after being barred from his golf club for singing war songs.

Smethwick-born Cowdell, 56, a former world featherweight boxing title contender, is in a tussle with Sandwell Park Golf Club following a boozy night out in September.

He and pal Barry Lane, who owns a property business, have been suspended from the club for a month from November 21.

Club member Pat, the one-time British, Commonwealth and European champion, said: "I'm going to appeal against the suspension.

"I think this goes back to last year. The course was not in very good order and some of the committee were not doing their jobs properly.

"We called an Emergency General Meeting where a vote of no confidence was passed. But the committee, despite being voted out, just stayed where they were."

He claimed the bad feeling caused by the incident had influenced the decision to bar him. "Barry and I were singing a few songs from the Second World War. Vera Lynn was top of the charts.

"We had had a few drinks. Don't get me wrong, but any offence we caused was of the mildest form. We were celebrating people's sacrifices in the war, and people couldn't handle this."

A letter from the club informed the duo they would face disciplinary procedures for their "loud and robust conversation and singing" during a presentation dinner and alleged they had refused requests to quieten down. Pat and Barry apologised by letter for any offence they had caused but a disciplinary committee voted to ban the pair for a month.

The club was invited to comment but declined.

At the height of his professional boxing career Cowdell won the bronze medal in the bantamweight division at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

He also won the gold medal at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, and a bronze medal at the 1975 European Amateur Boxing Championships held in Katowice Poland.

Since retiring as a professional boxer in 1988, Pat trains a band of fighters.

And his most famous pupil, Birmingham's Jimmy Vincent, twice challenged for the British title before retiring in 2005.

CAPTION(S):

BARRED: Former boxer Pat Cowdell
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Nov 8, 2009
Words:370
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