Bigger than the Waltons and better fighters: the boxing Cope family

THE FIGHTING COPES: Front (l-r): Peter Jnr, Peter Snr, Adam, Middle: Daniel and Luke, Rear: Lee
THE FIGHTING COPES: Front (l-r): Peter Jnr, Peter Snr, Adam, Middle: Daniel and Luke, Rear: Lee

ASK people for the name of a famous big family and nine out of 10 would mention the Waltons.

The gentle life of the fictitious American family in Virginia entertained the nation on our TV screen over 30 years ago.

But ask people around here of a famous fighting family and there would be a unanimous answer: the Copes.

And the explosive exploits of brothers, Peter, Daniel, Adam and Luke, are making boxing followers sit up and take notice.

However, Hartlepool’s “Fab Four”, who all box for the Gus Robinson Developments team, have now become the “Famous Five” after eldest brother, Lee, returned to the sport.

That the quintet are skilled in the “Noble Art” is no surprise.

Boxing is in the blood as dad, Peter Snr, has been a successful amateur and professional coach for the last quarter of a century.

Not that any of his 14 children, nine boys and five girls, have been forced into the boxing ring.

“Lee did a bit of boxing when he was younger and he’s only now just fancied having another go,” said the 47-year-old daddy of the Cope clan.

“Peter did not start coming to the gym until he was 15 and had his first bout at 16 which is quite late for boxers.

“The same went for Daniel.

“Adam and Luke started quite early, getting into it because of Peter and Daniel.

“I never put any pressure on anyone to box, whether it’s my own kids or anyone else’s.

“They have all made their own decisions and that will always be the case.

“If any of them came to me and said ‘dad, I want to pack boxing in’, I would honestly say ‘fair enough’.”

SEE Thursday’s Mail for full feature and pictures