Boxing world turns out to pay their respects to Hartlepool legend Fred Potter

editorial image

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.

Fred (right) with Hartlepool boxer Michael Hunter after he beat Esham Pickering to become British, Commonwealth and European super-bantamweight champion at the Borough Hall in 2005. Picture by Tom Collins

Fred (right) with Hartlepool boxer Michael Hunter after he beat Esham Pickering to become British, Commonwealth and European super-bantamweight champion at the Borough Hall in 2005. Picture by Tom Collins

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.

Flowers at the funeral of Fred Potter.

Flowers at the funeral of Fred Potter.

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.

Peter Cope at the funeral of Fred Potter.

Peter Cope at the funeral of Fred Potter.

Michael Hunter at the funeral of Fred Potter.

Michael Hunter at the funeral of Fred Potter.

Georger Feeney and Paul Wainwright(right) at the funeral of Fred Potter.

Georger Feeney and Paul Wainwright(right) at the funeral of Fred Potter.

Keith Fisher at the funeral of Fred Potter

Keith Fisher at the funeral of Fred Potter

Flowers at the funeral of Fred Potter.

Flowers at the funeral of Fred Potter.