The boxing world turned out to pay tribute to legendary Hartlepool respected referee and official Fred Potter.
Fred, who spent three decades as a referee before becoming one of the country’s most influential officials, passed away earlier this month, aged 86, after a short illness.
Dozens of people attended a short service at Hartlepool Crematorium, which heard about Fred’s marriage to his beloved late wife Mary, his work as an engineer and his remarkable achievements within the sport he loved, including receiving a lifetime achievement trophy at the 2014 Hartlepool Mail Sports Awards for more than 50 years of devotion to boxing.
Among those attending the service were legendary champion trainer George Bowes; former Commonwealth Cruiserweight champion turned timekeeper Stewart Lithgo; former British champion George Feeney; former Northern area champion Paul Wainwright and former British, Commonwealth and European champion Michael Hunter.
The sport’s organisers were well-represented too, with various officials of the British Boxing Board of Control on hand, including northern area official John Jarrett and director Reg Long, as well as promoter Phil Jeffries, father of Olympic medallist Tony.
The congregation joined in with hymns Abide with Me and The Lord is My Shepherd and there were a number of poems and readings
Fred believed in living life to the full and he tried to make the most of every opportunity. He leaves behind a legacy of respect, loyalty and true sportsmanship.Helen Greenwell
Celebrant Helen Greenwell led the service and urged those present to cherish their memories of Fred, as she paid tribute to a man who had seized every opportunity which came his way.
“Fred believed in living life to the full and he tried to make the most of every opportunity,” she said.
“He leaves behind a legacy of respect, loyalty and true sportsmanship.”
Fred Potter only stepped down as a director of the British Boxing Board of Control last year.
He suffered a heart attack in late June while working as the steward in charge at an event in Newcastle.
Paramedics and doctors revived him and Fred spent weeks at the RVI Hospital in Newcastle but he never fully recovered, undergoing further treatment at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.