Tributes have been paid to a well-known South Tyneside boxing coach whose talents earned him the respect of his peers.
Frank Deans, known as Frankie, was a family renowned for their skills in the ring and coaching abilities.
He has been described as one of the “best boxing coaches of his generation” after helping to lead countless fighters through schoolboy, junior and senior amateur boxing championships.
The 69-year-old, who had been ill for some time, died of heart failure at his home in Simonside on November 29, with family and close friends at his side.
Speaking on behalf of Perth Green Boxing Club, which was set up by Frank and his late brother Brian, coach Steve Lamb said: “Frank changed so many people’s lives, not just by guiding them to countless schoolboy, junior and senior ABA championships, he guided lads of all ages to become better human beings.
“Frank and Brian would put on boxing shows at the Neon Social Club and would pack the old Tavern nightclub in South Shields to the rafters in the late ‘70s.
Frank changed so many people’s lives, not just by guiding them to countless school boy, junior and senior aba championships, he guided lads of all ages to become better human beings.Steve Lamb
“Taking team matches home and away against the famous London-based Repton boxing club and beating them, which was unheard of at the time.”
Alongside Brian, he formed Deans and Deans Promotions in the early 8’0s to promote Graham and Barry Ahmed, Dave ‘Rocky’ Rylance and Colin and Paul Deans.
Other professionals would also come to him to improve their boxing ability, which saw him taking John Westgarth to the verge of a heavyweight world title fight and Billy Hardy to two world title fights.
Following his retirement from the professional scene, he spent time in Rhodes with friend Paul Usher, where he met Babis Statius.
Together, with Babis he opened a gym in Faliraki, mentoring the new gym owner by passing on his years of experience in the game.
His funeral will be held next Monday at 9.45am at South Shields Crematorium.