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Past Olympian to be honoured with Green Plaque

Jack Gardner being presented to the then Princess Elizabet
Jack Gardner being presented to the then Princess Elizabeth

A legendary boxer, who fought his way to British and European titles, is to be honoured by Leicestershire County Council with a Green Plaque later this week (Thursday, 29th July)

Jack Gardner, who also represented Great Britain at the London Olympics in 1948, was raised in Market Harborough and it was where he died too. He had retired from the fight game to become a farmer.

He was nominated for the award by John Tillotson, the chairman of Market Harborough Civic Society. He said: "Jack's already honoured with a bench outside the old Grammar School and at the leisure centre - but we didn't think that sufficiently recognised his achievements.

"People remember Jack - I certainly knew him in his role as a gentleman farmer. He was a grand chap and certainly a worthy recipient of the award."

Jack began an amateur boxing career while in the Grenadier Guards, winning a heavyweight title as well as titles in the same weight for both the Army and the Imperial Services.

He turned professional in December 1948 - in his first novice tournament he won all his fights with first round KOs. He was crowned British champion in November 1950, as European champion 12 months later before quitting the ring in 1952 after a number of defeats.

He made a short comeback in 1953 with five straight victories, but injury meant he wasn't able to regain his British title. He finally retired aged 29 with a record of 28 wins - 23 by KO - and six losses.

Jack retired to his farm in Market Harborough and died in 1978 at the age of 52. 

His daughter, Jackalyn Bradford-Turner, who also lives in Market Harborough, said she is  extremely proud and delighted to see her dad being honoured in his home town.

She said: “My father would take it as a huge compliment that more than 70 years after he was boxing, and more than 40 years after he died, that he's still remembered and that people wanted to honour him in this way.

“I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make this honour possible, particularly Market Harborough Civic Society and Leicestershire County Council. It is a wonderful tribute to my father.”

On Thursday (29th July), a Green Plaque is being unveiled on the side wall of the Market Harborough Building Society, which overlooks the Memorial Gardens, formerly a working men's club where Jack sparred.

Jack was a hugely talented boxer, who won some of the biggest titles available in his sport.

As a former British judo nternational, I know very well the rigours he would have gone through - and the training he must have done -  to achieve such an outstanding professional career. To have achieved what he did was phenomenal. I am proud and delighted to be able to unveil this Green Plaque in his honour

More information on the Green Plaque scheme can be found by visiting

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