Charity legend’s mission to help struggling ex boxers

Jock McInnes’ latest mission will be in honour of his friend, Ken Buchanan (right), and a charity supporting struggling boxers.

By Lucy Ashton

Jock McInnes MBE is taking on an ambassador role previously treasured by his good friend Ken Buchanan, who died earlier this year following a battle with dementia.

Jock McInnes MBE, who has raised millions over the past two decades, is taking on an ambassador role previously treasured by his good friend Ken, who died earlier this year following a battle with dementia.

The 67-year-old adventurer said it was an “honour and a privilege” to represent the Ringside Charitable Trust, a cause close to the boxer’s heart until the end.

Jock said: “Ken spent all his years around boxers and saw others that were falling by the wayside.

“This charity was really important to him so when they asked me to take up Ken’s role I was almost greeting.

“Ken couldn’t do enough for folk. I’m just over the moon to be following in his footsteps and carrying on his work helping others.”

Ex-military man Jock, who has scaled mountains and crossed deserts, had a 40-year friendship with Ken and visited him regularly until he died in April, aged 77.

Leith-born Ken, who won two world titles in the 70s and had spoken about his past issues with alcohol, dedicated much of his time to supporting the Ringside Trust, which provides aftercare to fighters struggling mentally, financially or with addiction or health issues.

Jock told the Daily Record: “Right until the end I would take Ken photographs and gloves to sign for the charity. We did that right up until his signature was getting really bad.

“I look at other sports and nearly all of them have aftercare in place. I plan to sit down with both disciplines of the sport, professional boxing promoters and Boxing Scotland to discuss how we can all work together and support this remarkable charity.

“This is boxing’s opportunity to look after their own.”

Grandfather-of-two Jock has taken on some of the most treacherous terrains in the world including walking through the Sahara and Gobi Desert and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Elbrus in Russia.

He has dedicated his next mission to Ken and the charity as he prepares to take on the Thai jungle in November.

On his gruelling trek, Jock will explore the Tham Loda a 1666-metre deep cave all while wearing his trademark kilt.

He said: “I’m just so proud that I’m doing it for him. I’ll have a photo of Ken in my sporran. He’ll be with me.

“I do miss him. I’m letting a lot of his memorabilia go now and auctioning it off so all the money goes towards my trek and the charity.

“It’s what he would want and I’ve got a head full of memories. I’ll take our memories on every step and mile I go.”

Boxing was always big time in West Dunbartonshire and this is a group of boxers pictured with Scottish variety legend Sir Harry Lauder at an event in Holm Park, Yoker. The top of the page picture is of Dumbarton and Vale boxers including Donald McQueen, Wattie Glover (Frankie Narrow),  John Poker Law and another legendary champion, Peter Keenan.

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