Richard ‘Dick’ McTaggart had a boxing career of the highest calibre, punching his way to glory as the first British boxer to compete in three Olympic Games.

The Dundee-born pugilist was the third youngest of 18 children and one of five boxing brothers. Rising through the ranks, his ABA lightweight title at the age of 21 earned him a place on the 1956 British Olympic team, and he headed to Melbourne with high hopes.

After three easy victories, the man with the distinctive crewcut and white boots had a difficult time in the final against the German Harry Kurschat, but persevered to win both the gold medal and the Val Barker Trophy as the most stylish boxer of the Games. 

Having completed his National Service in the RAF, Dick declined offers to turn professional and continued in the amateur ring. In 1958 he won his second ABA title and took gold medal at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.

Two years later, after another ABA title, he again packed his bags for the Olympics, this time in Rome. In the semi-final he lost to eventual winner Kazimierz Pazdzior, returning home with a bronze medal. 

By 1962, he’d moved up a division, winning silver as a light welterweight at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth. After another ABA title in 1963, he competed in his third Olympics, losing to the eventual winner in his third bout in Tokyo.

Dick managed a fifth and final ABA title in 1965 at the age of 30, before stepping out of the ring for the last time, having won 610 of his 634 amateur fights.

After retirement, McTaggart continued to serve the sport and was the coach of the Scottish team at the 1990 Commonwealth Games. He was awarded the MBE in 2012.


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