STAN SKINKISS, A Manchester Ex-Boxer
Stan was born in Bury in 1931 and lived there up to the age of two. In 1933 Stan’s father Fred, who was a regular soldier in the Lancashire Fusiliers, was posted to Malta. He travelled there on a Troop ship with his wife Coral and his two sons, Fred (the eldest) and Stan. Whilst living in Malta an addition to the family arrived, a baby girl called Pearl.
In 1939 World War 2 started and during the war years Malta was an important British base. Heavily damaged by air raids it was awarded the George Cross in 1942 in recognition of the courage of its inhabitants.
In 1943, Stan, along with his Mum brother and sister were evacuated. Along with other civilians on board the ship, they set sail down the Suez canal, passing by Aden and Egypt and finally the ship docked at South Africa.
They stayed in South Africa for a couple of years then once more they were on the move, this time their destination was England.
The family arrived back in England in 1945 and settled in Manchester. Stan was 14 years of age at this time, school days were over and employment time had arrived so Stan got a job as an apprentice tool maker at “T. C. Thompson” in Ardwick. He also started night school to study for his City and Guilds in mechanical engineering.
Around this time Stan was playing football in the Blackley Amateur League and wanting to get himself fit he joined the boxing section at the Lilly Lane youth club in Moston (with no thoughts of taking up boxing) That turned out to be a move that changed his whole life. Little did he know that his boxing career and his roll as a Trainer / Manager (to come later on in life) had just began.
Stan boxed for the Lilly Lane ABC for 5 years and it was during this period that he met a young girl there called Pat Gorman, who would later become his wife.
He also changed his employer and went to work at the Gorton Tank in Openshaw. (still as an apprentice tool maker and still attending night school.) The main reason for this particular move was that it would enable him to enter the British Railway Boxing Championships.
His amateur career consisted of 101 bouts and he won the vast majority of them. He won the ABA Northern Counties featherweight title and also reached the final, at featherweight, of the British Railway championships.
When Stan turned pro at 19 he signed up with Jack Bates, a well known Manager / Trainer in the Manchester area whose gym was in Collyhurst. Two of Stan’s stable mates were Tommy Proffit and Tommy Higgins, two very good lads both well known to all boxing fans up and down the country. (**Tommy Proffitt was a former ABA champion and Olympic representative**) During his 6 year career from 1951 to 1957, Stan had 50 contests(W24 L22 D4) against some good class lightweights including Leo Molloy, Johnny Mann, Willie Lloyd, Freddie King, Albi Tisong, Johnny Butterworth, Teddy Peckham and Sammy Bonnici. He also boxed Hogan “Kid” Bassey who went on to win the World’s feather-weight title and Dave Charnley who twice challenged Joe Brown for the World’s light-weight crown.
** Stan fought 151 amateur and professional bouts at featherweight and lightweight – A record to be rightly proud of ! **
When he retired in 1957 Stan stayed in the game first of all assisting Jack Bates (training the lads) and later on took out his Manager’s
license. Some of the boxer’s who Stan either trained or managed were Frank Nightingale, Tony Barlow, Gerry McBride, Nat Jacobs, Barry Calderwood, Terry Mann, Obe Hepburn, Micky Flynn, Ronnie Pye, Freddie Dobson, John McNally and Derek Clark.
Stan had always had a keen interest in the Trade Union movement and Politics so it was then into those two areas that he next moved.
His political career was impressive, he was first selected to fight Chadderton South in 1979 and was elected with a 3,000 majority.
He held this position until the late 1990s.
As well as being district organizer for the Union of Communiction Workers, he became chairman of the North-West Association of Social Services Authority, non-executive chairman of Oldham Social Services
Committee, and chairman of the policy committee for the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority.
Stan lost his fight for his Chadderton South seat in 1998 after former education committee chairman David Jones was selected.
Stan, who’d had both legs amputated below the knee following a medical condition, officially retired in 1999.
In 2006 he lobbied Parliament in a drive to get better pensions.
In March 2009 Stan passed away suddenly in London whilst on a business trip.
Stan had been a MEBA member for many years and had attended the monthly meetings regularly up to the time of his death. — He was a very popular and highly respected man.
Eddie Sinclair. (MEBA member / Eddie2220@live.com)