TRIBUTES have been lavished on local boxing legend Ted Peate who has died aged 84 after battling Alzheimers for the last five years.
Ted helped train former world champion Ricky Hatton when he was a schoolboy and others like Steve Strong, Alan Page and Stevie Bell who went on to land national titles.
And Ted’s eldest daughter Debbie revealed how her dad spotted Hatton’s potential.
She explained: “Ricky came to the gym aged 10 – he couldn’t box until he was 11.
“He couldn’t decide which route to take, boxing or football, but dad said he could work with Ricky who was going to be a ‘good un’.”
A former Amateur Boxing Association champion for five consecutive years, Ted was an accomplished fighter before becoming a hugely successful trainer with Mottram and Hattersley Boxing Club and later Louvolite Boxing Club and Hyde and District Boxing Club.
Strong, who became Ted’s first champion in 1982 when he won the National Amateur Boys’ Club title, described him as a huge influence on his life.
He said: “Ted had five daughters and often referred me as the son he never had.
“I was trained by Ted from the age of 11 and am now aged 57 so he has been a massive part of my life for 46 years and he leaves a massive hole in my life.”
Strong, who took over the running of Hyde and District Boxing Club from Ted, still took him to the gym in Hyde town centre until 12 months ago.
He said: “I lived half a dozen doors from Ted and was part and parcel of everything that happened in their house. I think I spent more time there than he did.
“I had my own parents, but Ted was a huge influence on my life. Apart from being in my corner when I won my title, he taught me to drive and got me my first job.”
Strong and Ted were inseparable and even had neighbouring caravans on a site in Wales.
Ted was also renowned for his wicked sense of humour.
Strong explained: “When I was working out on the pads in the gym, Ted would tell me his budgie hits harder than me, but he never had one.
“He used to keep everyone on the caravan park entertained with his stories which were all boxing related.
“Ted said he would hand over his gym to his first champion. I only hope I can be half as good as Ted was.”
Page, who also became an ABA champion before turning professional, also described him like a second father.
He said: “Ted instilled respect for other people and hated bullying.
“He was hard in the gym, but a fair man who would do anything for anyone. He was a generous guy.
“Ted would always tell me if I trained hard and was dedicated, I would get my rewards.
“It was a proud night when I pulled on the England vest for the first time against Scotland in Motherwell and he was there to see my winning debut.”
In an illustrious amateur career, Page defeated Mikkel Kessler and Felix Sturm who later became multiple world champions.
After Page turned professional, he still sought advice from Ted as he enjoyed nine wins in 10 pro bouts, the legendary Carl Froch inflicting the one loss before retiring to concentrate on his own building business.
Debbie, the eldest of Ted’s five daughters, recalled her father telling her he took up boxing after always scrapping at school and his headmaster suggested he joined Ardwick Lads to ‘sort himself out’.
Ted had his own security business, often giving a fresh start for former criminals because of the intimate knowledge they possessed.
Debbie also recalled an amusing story about his five appearances in the ABA finals where cash prizes were forbidden.
She said: “They asked dad what he wanted and he replied a cot as mum was expecting me.
“The next two years he was asked again and again wanted a cot for my two sisters. Then the year after he was asked again and asked for two cots as mum was expecting twins.”
Debbie added: “He was our dad, protector and provider who gave us safety and security.
“There was his life outside in boxing but, even there, everyone knew he had five girls.”
Ted leaves Trish, his wife of 61 years, daughters Debbie, Diane, Joan and twins Amanda and Annette, eight grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
His funeral is on Tuesday, September 7. The cortege will leave Hyde and District Boxing Club, Union Street, Hyde, at 11.15am for committal at Dukinfield Crematorium at noon.