Sendoff for Leonard Neill

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Acclaimed boxing writer, commentator, agent and matchmaker, Leonard Robert Anderson Neill, was given an appropriate funeral service at Nasrec Auditorium yesterday.

Thanks to Hannes Joubert, who assembled a boxing ring where Neill's coffin lay throughout the service that was aptly conducted by pastor Masibulele "Hawk" Makepula, before the cortege left for West Park cemetery.

Credit should also go to Shona MacTaggart who made all the arrangements so that Neill "The Pen", who served boxing with aplomb for 60 years, was given a perfect sendoff.

Neill, 75, carved his niche in boxing writing. He started writing about the age of 14 and remained as a correspondent for several newspapers here and websites overseas.

Neill died of natural causes last Thursday. The bespectacled gentle giant of the noble art of boxing is survived by his wife and seven children.

Peter Ngatane was master of ceremonies. Boxers Silence Mabuza, Vincent Vuma, Isaac Hlatswayo, Jeffrey Mathebula, Moruti Mthalane, their trainer Kenny Mabunda and Jan Bergman gave Neill a guard of honour.

It was disappointing to see only trainers Nick Durandt, Norman Hlabane, Warren Hulley; Stan Christodoulou, Terry Pettifer, Shona MacTaggart and Reuben Rasodi from Golden Glove; writer and friend Ron Jackson; retired referee Len Hunt and businessman Butyiki Konki of Mpepho Holdings at the funeral service.