1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 5 (UK)
60 minute episodes
This series of programmes from ITV featuring an Inter-City Boy’s Club boxing tournament debuted on 8 April 1983.
Teams of youngsters from eight British cities – Newcastle, Belfast, Birmingham, North London, South London, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow – competed for the titular £1,000 belt.
Former British, Commonwealth and European champion Henry Cooper – who famously knocked down the unstoppable Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, in 1963 – introduced the series and talked to the participants and their parents about the competition. Commentary was by Dave Brenner.
Manchester ultimately beat Birmingham in the finals at Ardwick Lad’s Club on 23 May 1983.
A Trans-World International competition followed in June and a second series of the British inter-city competition debuted in March 1984 with Liverpool also joining the competition.
A special guest from the world of boxing also appeared each week, including former Flyweight World Champion Charlie Magri, former Middleweight Champion Alan Minter, 1980 World Light Middleweight Champion Maurice Hope and Our ‘Enry’s twin brother, George.
The second series final between newcomers Liverpool and defending champions Manchester was held at the Kirkdale Community Centre in Liverpool on 30 April 1984 and saw the Merseyside Youth Association team beat Manchester 7 – 0. Another Trans-World International competition followed.
A third series of Henry Cooper’s Golden Belt aired in September 1985, with Sheffield now also added to the competition and Newcastle and Glasgow represented by a combined team.