Support the Memory to A Champion

October 7, 2014 at 8:44 am Leave a comment

Two weeks ago we featured boxing fan Gary Luscombe on the show talking about the Johnny Famechon Statue Project, and it was pleasing to hear that following that interview Western Australian’s contacted Gary to support the project.

As Gary mentioned on the show it was decided at the unveiling of a Statue to Lionel Rose that a pledge was made to erect one in honour of Johnny Famechon in his hometown of Frankston in Victoria.

Famechon was born in France in 1945, and moved to Frankston in 1970 and has since called the bayside suburb home. He is still actively involved with the local community, including helping police run the Frankston Blue Light Boxing Club for young people.

He became WBC Featherweight World Champion on January 21, 1969 after he defeated Cuban, Jose Legra on points at the Albert Hall in London. He then defended his crown against Fighting Harada of Japan, defeating his famous rival again six months later. He retired with a career record of 56 wins (20 by KO), 6 draws and 5 losses, and was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in Los Angeles in 1997.

Sadly John Famechon was never able to enjoy the rewards of his career to the full as while in Sydney supporting Lionel Rose at the former Bantamweight champion’s book launch, he decided to have a workout and run back to his hotel. It was 4.30 pm on August 24th, 1991, and while crossing the road John was struck by a car and almost lost his life. He was in a coma for a week, doctors said that had he not been as fit as he was he may well have died. John is now partly paralysed down his left side, and his speech is impaired. He was told that he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, but being the fighter that he is, he has again shown the courage and determination that made him a World Champion and he has defied the odds and is now able to get around with only the help a walking frame.

The project to erect a statue in honour of this great fighter had stalled and that was when Gary Luscombe came on board. There project still needs to raise funds to ensure the stature is completed and the goal is to reach the target by the end of 2015. As soon as the money comes in it is passed straight to the sculptor and another phase is completed.

Fans of boxing can by one of Johnny’s fights which will be recorded on the plinth of the statue for $1000 and memorabilia to raise funds is also available (Click here) all proceeds going to the fund to complete the statue.

When completed this will be only the third statue in honour of a boxer in Australia with the other being erected in memory of Les Darcy. TO stay up to date with the project and Gary’s great work like the Facebook page here.

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