Soldier who taught Henry Cooper to box dies

A LONG-SERVING soldier, who taught Sir Henry Cooper to box, and broadcast for the BBC, has died aged 93. Fred Verlander led an amazing life and was a competitor until the end. Even aged 89, he achieved a hole-in-one, while playing golf with his youngest

A LONG-SERVING soldier, who taught Sir Henry Cooper to box, and broadcast for the BBC, has died aged 93.

Fred Verlander led an amazing life and was a competitor until the end.

Even aged 89, he achieved a hole-in-one, while playing golf with his youngest son, Neil.

Destined to be in the Army, Fred was sent to military school in Dunblane, Scotland aged nine.


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He became a warrant officer with the Royal Corps of Signals before taking up a post as head boxing coach for the British Army.

Mr Verlander trained Henry Cooper, Joe Erksin, Jack Gardener and Brian London among others.

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His sporting skills were picked up by the BBC and ITV and he commentated on two Olympic Games.

He also became a VIP around WGC, after moving to By The Mount in 1940.

Son Neil told the WHT: "He was quite a celebrity in the town.

"People would sit around the radio to listen to him.

"His sporting career was fantastic and he was dedicated to whatever he did.

"He really did live an amazing life."

Fred, who was father to five sons and had eleven grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, was married to his late wife Doris.

Fred died of a chest infection, while fighting leukaemia, on July 1, aged 93 years and 11 months.

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