Jack Magowan


April 9, 2009 – One of Ireland’s best known boxing writers, Jack Magowan, died in Belfast after a short illness. He was 79. He was the Belfast Telegraph’s long-time boxing and golf correspondent, having joined the paper in 1950. He served as sports editor until his retirement in 1991, but continued to write informative and entertaining articles until shortly before his death. He also wrote for The Ring and other publications. His knowledge of boxing was unsurpassed, his research and archival facilities the envy of competitors. His favorite Northern Ireland fighters were Jimmy Magill, Jimmy Warnock and Tommy Armour. Veteran sports writer Malcolm Brodie, who worked with Jack on the Belfast Telegraph for many years, wrote in a tribute: “Jack Magowan was the ultimate all-round journalist with a capacity to write entertainingly in a Damon Runyonesque let’s-publish-and-be-damned style, and he also possessed the technological ability to design and edit award-winning pages. He was unquestionably the most accomplished Irish boxing writer of his generation – acerbic, fearless yet fair in his criticism, be they amateur or professional, competitor or official.” A member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association, Jack enjoyed a special friendship with the late Reg Gutteridge, ITV commentator and London Evening News boxing writer, and with Harry Carpenter of the BBC, both of whom accepted his ability to “read” fights. Golf was his other passion. He covered more than 30 Open championships, Ryder Cups, US and European tournaments and, unlike those who are content to sit in the media centres collecting data and interviews, he liked to walk around the course to get the “feel” of what was happening. His life revolved around his family and his devotion to them was remarkable. Every morning for years he would rise at dawn and take his son Simon for swimming practice. His dedication and patience paid off when Simon competed for Northern Ireland in the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton in 1978. He is survived by his wife Betty, son Simon and daughter Jane. From Patrick Myler