Former boxer and roofer George Blazeby dies aged 82
- Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY
A former professional boxer described as a “much-loved people’s person” has died at the age of 82.
George Blazeby, of Hall Road, Norwich, was born on May 12, 1938.
At the age of 14, he joined Norwich Lads Club and took part in more than 100 amateur bouts, losing just four.
His wife Joan, whom he met when they were 16, said although he spent three nights a week training, he always made time for her.
"My Georgie was a man who loved people,” she said. “He was very much a people’s person, a people man.
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“When we were courting, he was very loving and kind to me. I loved him very much.
“Even when he had training on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, he would always make time for me.”
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The couple married on May 12, 1956, before Mr Blazeby began his national service in Germany the following year.
Mrs Blazeby added: “I gave up my job at the time and moved to Germany with George, where I worked for a year.
“He boxed throughout his national service time, until 1959, and was a PTI – a physical training instructor - in the army. He also won the BAOR welterweight individual championship for the Army in 1957, a great achievement.”
During their time in Germany, the couple had their son, Richard, in 1959. Later, in 1967, they had their daughter, Karen.
Returning to Norfolk, Mr Blazeby turned professional and trained in Great Yarmouth. He boxed until 1962 and won 12 of 17 professional bouts. On retiring from the sport, he continued to watch and officiate matches. He also gained many friends in the professional boxing world, including Herbie Hide.
He became a self-employed roofer and was known for shouting friendly greetings to passers-by. He was also a talented watercolour artist.
The couple travelled around the world and visited every continent, before he was diagnosed with vascular dementia just over a decade ago, eventually moving to Woodside care home, Norwich.
Mrs Blazeby added: “He was my Georgie, and he was grateful for all the friends he had. We were very happy together.”
He died on January 13 and leaves behind his wife, two children, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
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