D Is For Dad

My Dad was, is, and always will be my true hero!

Dad, born Donald Coutts Finnie in 1929 sadly died in 1984 (I was just 18) after a long battle against MS. 

I won't bore you with the long story, but in a nutshell... when I was 2 (my two brothers were 4 & newborn) we were taken in to local authority care after my Dad was imprisoned for beating up our mother's boyfriend. Sadly, due to health issues which were complicated by his MS, we never got to live with Dad again, but he used to regularly visit us in the children's home and later I would cycle to see him most weekends.

Anyway, my Dad instilled a love of boxing in me and I used to love looking at his trophies and hearing his stories, though he was most proud of his brothers, particularly Dave who was a notable professional middleweight contender in Scotland.

My Dad got called up to do his National Service and somehow ended up at RAF Biggin Hill in the very early 1950s. 

He was crowned Boxing Champion of Biggin Hill in 1952, and in the following year when he was serving in the Kent Police Force he became Boxing Champion of Maidstone Police. Dad fought in the Light Heavyweight weight class and in 1952 weighed in at 12st 4lbs.

Despite his failing health over the years, Dad never lost his love for the sport and would pay attention to any boxing results that might be available as we watched Grandstand or World of Sport on a Saturday afternoon.

Sadly as his health declined and he was less able to take care of himself he lost most of his trophies, some were sold, most were stolen from him.

By the time he was living in full time hospice care he just had his memories and a few photographs left of his exploits in the ring. Thankfully his mind was sharp to the end and I loved hearing his boxing stories about himself and his brothers.

Dad weighing in at 12st 4 lbs in 1952 at RAF Biggin Hill

Dad with his trophy, resplendent in his RAF uniform, 1952

Dad circa 1950/1 His mate in the window is hilarious

Dad with his boxing class circa late 1940s, he's first on the left in the top row

Dad's boxing trophies and medals outside his family home in Hawick in 1954.
Sadly it's a terrible photo and quite damaged, but it's the only reminder we have of how well he did in his amateur career.

This post is part of a series in the Blogging From A To Z Challenge, April 2022.


  1. Wow
    Thanks for taking me in to past. Your dad's glory can alwyas be remembered through the awards and rewards...however damaged photos are so heart warming to see. Good luck

    Dropping by from a to z http://afshan-shaik.blogspot.com/

  2. What great photos and memories. Our histories can often be quite complicated, but the love endures.
    Visiting from A to Z https://fromcavewalls.Wordpress.com

  3. Wow. I can sense pure nostalgia through this post. Loved reading about you dad's victory days and journey. Randomly came through the #AtoZChallenge
    Master List. #vigorousreads

  4. You were fortunate to have the time with your father that you did. Too bad about the circumstances. I consider myself fortunate that my dad was always around and we worked together in a family enterprise. I was 39 when my dad passed at age 67 from pancreatic cancer. We had some great times together.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  5. What a treasure those photos are! It makes my heart hurt for you that you had to live in a children's home, though

  6. I'm visiting from A to Z roadtrip. Such an interesting post about your dad.


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