Tributes have been paid to a Caerphilly town boxing legend who died recently.
Don Braithwaite, who was awarded a British Empire Medal in 2015, passed away aged 81 on Thursday, March 16 after a battle with Alzheimer’s.
Don, a keen boxer, won a bronze medal at the 1958 Empire Games before turning professional and winning his first bout in January 1959.
He had 40 professional fights before being forced to retire after an accident at work, but turned his attention to training youngsters. In 1964 Don opened an amateur boxing club at the Wingfield Pub in Llanbradach – which was owned by his mother – before settling at Virginia Park and becoming All Saints ABC.
He could still be found at the club well into his 70s, and had a had a special ale brewed in his honour by Brains for his 80th birthday last year, which was also remade for his funeral held on Friday April 7.
Don’s son, Wayne, was one of seven children, said: “He was an excellent father, quiet and unassuming. He loved boxing, it was his life outside of his family.
“He got a thrill from seeing kids train. He wanted to give them focus and direction and keep them out of trouble.
“He was even credited with reducing crime statistics when he was awarded his BEM.
“Other people always came first with my dad. We knew he was well-liked and that he had made a huge impact on the local area, but there has been a phenomenal reaction on social media to his death.
“I’ve not heard one bad word said about him my entire life. He was a great man and will be sorely missed.”