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JIMMY CLEGG 31/5/1926 - 5/2017

Posted by Paul Fairweather on 29th May 2017
From Stephen Powell

Jim takes his ‘Final Bow’.
Such sad news, Jimmy Clegg well known at LEBA as the man that handed out the ‘Seconds Out’ news sheet each month for over 30 years has passed away. Born May 31st 1926 he died just short of his 91st birthday. What a great character he was, a real dapper dresser, nice suit, collar and tie, with slicked down side hair, and small moustache, he always cut a dash.
Jim was a close friend of Charlie Webster, mine host of the Tollington Pub, in Hornsey Road, where LEBA was formed in 1971. Around that time Jim joined LEBA and volunteered to help out as a favour to Charlie, which he continued to do up to a couple of years ago.
It is thought that Charlie got Jimmy to make the first posters inviting ex-boxers to attend and join the new Association.
Apart from Jim’s familiar chore of handing out the “Seconds Out”, there was so much more that he did for LEBA over the years. For instance, whenever LEBA put on a fundraising night, with music and dancing Jim was in attendance. He would insist in getting up to give a number of songs to make the night go with a swing. In fact wherever LEBA travelled, near or far, he would attend to help out where needed and of course if music was available he would perform his party piece. He particularly liked the trips to the Leicester EBA annual reunions, and enthused about it for weeks after.
Singing came easy to Jim, for many years he was a popular and renowned vocalist performing at many of the big ‘music pubs’ in North and East London. For some years he held a residency at the Duke of York, Downham Road, Hackney, where, back in the ‘Old Days’ of the Association some LEBA members, who lived in that area, would adjourn after the monthly meetings. Really it’s fair to say that any place there was live music, you would find Jimmy.
Jimmy never missed a LEBA meeting for over 40 years, handing out the ‘Seconds Out’ was so important to him, it was a task that he took seriously, he just would not let the members down. Singing and entertaining for visiting EBAs was another of his ‘must be done’ tasks.
Jim’s voluntary work for our association was recognised in 2013 when LEBA presented him with the Alf Paolozzi Award for services to ‘LEBA Members’. Following the presentation, Jimmy received a standing ovation, after which he made a short ‘thank you’ speech, as he was too surprised and emotional to say much. He was so proud of his award.
When age and infirmity made it difficult for Jim to drive down from his Palmers Green home to the LEBA meetings in Old Street, Jim would travel by local transport, until even this eventually became too difficult. Member Jeff Coletta, then brought Jim along by car, and Peter Cragg assisted with the distribution of the newsletter.
Jim’s attendance at meetings came to an end a couple of years back when he suffered a broken hip and was confined to hospital for awhile. He got over the initial operation but was not left able to travel much. He stayed in touch with periodic telephone calls to myself and various members.
He was constantly cheery and full of beans, and always enthusiastic about what was going on at LEBA.
“Let all my friends know I’m alright, and I hope they are all keeping well too” was his usual opening line.
Always when finishing a singing interlude, just has the last bars of music died away, over the mic he would call “TAXI”, then leave the stage. Now Jim has left the stage for the last time, yet he will always be remembered as great character, and will be greatly missed by those he entertained over the years, especially those of us at LEBA.
LEBA sends condolences to son Gary, family and friends, “The song has ended but the memory lingers on”. RIP Jim.

Please note
Jim’s funeral takes place at 11:15am this Thursday 1st June at
ENFIELD CEMORTORIUM, Great Cambridge Road (A10), Enfield EN1 4DS
(020 8363 8324)


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