Nottingham City Transport unveiled its latest named bus, “Wally Swift”, at a special ceremony in Beechdale, just around the corner from where Wally was born and his siblings grew up.
Nottingham born Wally Swift, took up boxing at the age of 10 and won three schoolboy titles, before beginning his professional career at Nottingham Ice Stadium on 7th October 1957 and winning his first nine fights whilst also working at Raleigh.
In 1960, Wally won the British Welterweight title and twice fought for the Commonwealth title before moving up to Middleweight. He was British Champion between 1964 and 1965 and went on to fight for the European Super Welterweight and Middleweight titles and the British and Commonwealth Middleweight titles.
After hanging up his boxing gloves following 88 professional fights, Wally went on to train, manage and promote other fighters, including former British champions Del Bryan and Roy Smith, as well as his own sons Wally Jr. and Tony Swift.
Speaking on behalf of the Swift family, Jamie Swift said, “The Swift family are absolutely delighted that Wally is being remembered in this way. He was such a big part of Nottingham when people packed the ice stadium to see him fight and having his name on a bus that goes through the area where he grew up is fantastic”.
Anthony Carver-Smith, NCT Marketing Manager commented, “Wally Swift was a remarkable boxer and Nottingham City Transport is proud to honour his legacy by adding his name to an exclusive list of named buses, which includes local heroes, Olympians, Paralympians and an award winning musician.”
The “Wally Swift” bus will operate on Turquoise Line 77 which runs between Strelley, Aspley and City.
The unveiling was attended by many friends, family and former boxers Wally managed and trained:
Wally’s siblings and immediate family were very proud to attend the unveiling of the bus:
Wally’s wife of 55 years, Sheila, with the NCT bus named after her husband, Wally Swift: