Terry Spinks


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The Independent Online

Further to Steve Bunce's obituary (28 April), I hadn't seen Terry Spinks for many years and I was pleasantly surprised when, sometime in the late 1990s he came into my pub, The Woodman, at Stanford Rivers, Essex, writes Eddie Johnson. He was having treatment at a hospital nearby and his devoted cousin Rosemary was taking him home for the weekend and they decided to have a drink (non-alcoholic) before continuing the journey to Chadwell Heath.

I was quite shocked to learn that almost alone among Olympic gold medallists he had no MBE. I suggested that it must be because of association with the Kray twins: as Steve Bunce said, they were big fight fans and Terry was friendly with everyone and he had several photos taken with them.

I had a big charity night for Terry at the Two Puddings in Stratford and made it my mission to get him an MBE. I personally nominated him to the awards committee, wrote to several newspapers, local and national, including the independent. I spoke and wrote to Tony Banks, the MP for Newham. Several sportswriters wrote in their columns about this injustice. While on holiday in France I made the acquaintance of Tony McNulty, then quite a power in the Labour Party, he told me he would look into it. Terry did eventually get his MBE, of which he was very proud.