Boxing great painting packs a punch

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A PORTRAIT of legendary South Yorkshire boxer James William “Iron” Hague is to return permanently to the area thanks to a successful local fund-raising drive.

Two months ago a campaign was launched to buy a painting of the Mexborough born champ to hang in Cusworth Hall. And thanks to generous donations from the public, as well as a substantial grant from the Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund and a donation from the Friends of Doncaster Museum – the painting will return.

Councillor Bob Johnson, Doncaster Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said: “Iron Hague is firmly etched in the boxing folklore of Doncaster. “He was a real local legend and we were determined to that this painting would not leave the town to a private buyer.”

The painting is thought to have been painted in 1909 to celebrate Hague’s victory over Gunner Jim Moir to claim the British heavyweight boxing title.