Frank O'Sullivan MBE
Frank O’Sullivan MBE - Birmingham City Amatuer Boxing Club
Frank O’Sullivan MBE was born in Cork City Ireland 1937. His Father came over to Ireland during the war and then in 1947 Frank, his mother and brother followed.
Frank’s first memories of boxing in Birmingham are of Sunnyside boxing club which was located in the North side of the city. Frank then joined Bournebrook boxing club up until early 1956. A talented young amateur boxer Frank was urged by his trainers and supporters to turn pro and travel to London. It was in London that Frank unfortunately discovered he had an eye problem which put him permanently out of boxing, as either an amateur or professional. Reluctant to set aside his love of the sport and to succeed in the ring Frank turned his ambitions towards training. Whilst in London Frank trained with a Canadian lightweight named Solly Canter, Solly going on to fight Tommy McGovern – the bout being one of the first ever televised professional fights.
Frank’s career as a trainer is highly decorated and his standing in Birmingham’s boxing community is of the highest regard.
Frank has been involved with training amateur boxers since 1954. A former England coach, he founded Ladywood ABC which eventually became the highly successful Birmingham City ABC. He is something of a legend on the Birmingham boxing scene, having trained boxers at all levels, including Khalid Yafai, former world amateur boxing champion Frankie Gavin and GB Boxing's Performance Director Rob McCracken
Moving from The Bournbrook Club in Selly Oak to Ossel Street School in Ladywood Frank met Pat Benson who joined Ladywood as a boxer for Frank. The school facilities were far from adequate, with neither heating nor electric lighting. In the winter for example they were forced to carry out their training sessions by oil lamps.
As such In 1977 Frank and Pat moved to Ladywood community centre with the help of the Lynch brothers where the facilities were much improved.
Then from 1982 -1987 there were several more moves for Frank around Birmingham’s Inner City - to Fore Street then Meriden Street at the ‘Cauliflower Ear gym’ owned by Al Stevens.
In 1987 Frank again went on to change locations, moving to the Institute in Digbeth
Finally in 2001 Frank moved to his current position at St Agatha’s Church under the name Birmingham City Amateur Boxing Club.
Frank was heavily involved with the ABA at a national level, his main role was in education and in the development of a learning programme for young boxers. Frank O'Sullivan received the MBE after more than half a century of involvement with amateur boxing in Birmingham.
He coached the first ever female ABA national champion from Birmingham Tina O’Dell.