Paying tribute to the Golden coach

By Stephen Leonard

THE Echo 2015 Sports Awards Gala was an emotional occasion for the Hyland family who were in attendance to pick up the ‘Sports Hall of Fame’ Award on behalf of the late Paddy Hyland.

The founder of Golden Cobra Boxing Club in Jobstown back in 1990, Paddy coached a huge number of young competitors over the next 25 years during which time his club accounted for more than 50 national titles.

Echo Sports Awardas Hall of the Fame Award 2015

Within a few months of its founding the club was boasting its first All-Ireland champion in Brian Lynch who preceded the golden batch of Darren Hyland, David Sweetman, Thomas O’Shaughnessy and Michael Dillon, all of whom captured national honours under the tutelage of Paddy.

He was a major factor behind the success of his three sons Eddie, Patrick and Paul, particularly in the professional boxing field.

Indeed the three brothers won eight pro belts between them including three Irish titles, two IBF belts as well as the WBF World Featherweight title that was won by Patrick in 2011.

Both Eddie and Patrick were on hand to receive the Hall of Fame award on behalf of their father which was fittingly presented to them on the night by former Olympic boxing silver medallist and friend Kenneth Egan.

“I was honoured to be up there to collect the award on behalf of my dad” said Eddie, who has been following in his father’s footsteps with the setting up of his own club N7 Boxing.

“It was a very emotional night and, as I said, he left us too soon. It should have been him up there to collect the award.

“It was great that The Echo recognised all the work that he did over the past 25 years.

Paddy Hyland Hall of Fame 2015

“He was the best [boxing coach] in Ireland. The reason why he didn’t coach on the High Performance or the top teams was that he was too outspoken.

“I’ve learnt from the best. There was no better person to learn from and if I’m half as successful as a coach as he was, I’ll be very happy.

“We [at N7] haven’t had the start that he had in terms of a national champion in his first year, but we had Carl McDonald winning the National Intermediate Championships this season and hopefully we’ll push on from there” he added.

Patrick, who continues to box professionally and is closing in on a title fight in the United States next year” also spoke poignantly about the influence Paddy senior had on his life.

“Everything I’ve won and everything I ever will win was down to him. The man has taught me everything I know. 
“Still, to this day, it’s hard that he’s gone now six months. But I still train every day in the gym, I still keep my left hand up and I can hear him in the back of my head” he said.

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