South London Press
Friday, 05 October 2012
By Kate Gould
A FORMER south London gangster surprised boxers when he visited their gym.
“Mad” Frankie Fraser turned up at the Double Jab gym in New Cross to meet the Cameroonian Olympic boxers who became club members after failing to return home from the Olympic Games.
The 88-year-old who was born in Lambeth and has served a total of 42 years in jail for offences of robbery and gang-related violence, said he had been following the story of the five boxers in the South London Press.
Christian Donfack Adjoufack, 28, Thomas Essomba, 24, Yhyacinthe Mewoli Abdon, 26, Serge Ambombo, 26, and Blaise Yepmou Mendouo, 27, turned up at the club at the Moonshot Centre in Angus Street at the beginning of September after going absent from their team’s Olympic training quarters.
They asked to be trained by head coach Patrick Harris because they had heard he was “first rate” and have since been given life membership.
Mr Fraser was given a tour of the club before meeting the Cameroonians and some of the young boxers who were working out and sparring at the gym.
He said: “The place is terrific, absolutely terrific! A knock-out! The coaches have really made my night.
“It was brilliant to see the youngsters working away and how everyone got on.
The atmosphere was excellent.
“It was a pleasure to meet the Cameroon boys.
“I’ve read all about them in the South London Press and they were very polite.
If only they had places like this when I was young, my life could have taken a different turn. I can’t wait to go back.”
Double Jab head coach Patrick Harris said: “Frank was walking around giving the boys and girls pointers and tips and telling them to keep up with the boxing and not waste their lives running around on the streets. Frank also really enjoyed the sparring and we look forward to his next visit.”
And the end of his visit, Mr Fraser was surprised when he was handed life membership of the Double Jab ABC.
Visit www.facebook.com/doublejabamateurboxingclub for information on the club.