Dick McTaggart

Date: 14/03/2014

Dick McTaggart is a Scottish boxer from Dundee who triumphed at the 1958 and 1962 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff and Melbourne. He was also the first British boxer to compete in three Olympiads.

Dick McTaggart says there's nothing like a home crowd to spur you on to Commonwealth Gold.

The boxing legend was crowned Commonwealth champion at the 1958 Games in Cardiff and remembers the effect the cheering crowd had on him as he boxed his way to gold.

He said: "The support at home is a huge factor for a fighter and when I competed in Cardiff it was a home crowd for me. To this day I still remember walking into the arena with everyone cheering my name and our young fighters will have that experience in Glasgow next year. Nothing can match it and it does give you that edge."

Dick was born to box. One of 18 children born in a tough neighbourhood in Dundee, the young fighter had to spar with his brothers. It stood them in good stead. The family had the honour of claiming the national boxing championship titles from all three forces. Dick was RAF champion for five years, his brother Peter Royal Navy champion and another brother was army champion.

At first he wasn't selected to box for Scotland and boxed for England instead, but luckily Team Scotland finally noticed his talent and he brought home two Olympic medals for Team GB as well as two medals for Scotland as a lightweight amateur boxer at the Commonwealth Games.

He credits the discipline and fun boxing offered with keeping him active and out of trouble.

He said: "Amateur boxing instils discipline and keeps kids off the streets. Since my success I've worked with many youngsters and some of my happiest memories are of when I was national coach for 12 years throughout the 80s and 90s.

"It felt like I could give something back and offer the next generation some of the benefits of my success. I saw the world, I travelled everywhere from Los Angeles, New Zealand, Canada, Australia. The opportunities sport offers are amazing, it's not just about the competing but the training itself prepares you for anything in life."

Dick won 610 of his 634 fights throughout his career sealed his place in Scotland's Hall of Fame. He was also awarded a MBE for his dedication to his sport.

His personal legacy will live on and Dick hopes the Games legacy will be inspiring people to get more active and also open up Scotland to the world for business and trade.

He said: "I hope we make money from it. From the hotels, restaurants, businesses involved, to the tourists that will come here at Games time. Hosting an event such as the Commonwealth Games is a huge honour; I want it to inspire more people to get involved in sport."

Now 77-year-old Dick has retired completely but still enjoys watching from the sidelines.

He said: "I travelled to London for the Olympics and I'll be at Glasgow too. I tell all young boxers not to turn pro, it becomes a job then.  Do it for the love of the sport and enjoy every minute of it."