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Tony Byrne

Full name: Anthony "Tony" Byrne
Nickname(s): Socks
Gender: Male
Born: July 6, 1930 in Drogheda, Louth, Ireland
Died: April 27, 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Affiliations: Tredagh BC, Drogheda (IRL)
Country: IRL Ireland
Sport: Boxing

Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)


Tony Byrne was born into a poor family and got interested in boxing at a young age. His hard-working mother, who kept the family of eight kids together on meager earnings from cleaning a church in the 1930s, couldn’t afford the proper boots, so Byrne fought in his socks during his junior years, thus earning the nickname Socks. And there were big doubts whether Byrne could compete at the 1956 Olympics, as in those days, athletes had to pay their own way to the Olympics. Byrne worked as the town bread man making deliveries with a horse and cart at that time and did not have the funds to travel Australia, so a fundraising campaign under the banner of "Send Byrne to Melbourne" was created, and it raised £653 from local businesses in Drogheda to send him to the Olympics. Captain of the Irish boxing team, Byrne carried the Irish flag at the Opening Ceremony and won a bronze medal after losing his semifinal to German [Harry Kurschat] on a split decision. But Byrne’s best fight came a couple of weeks after the Olympics, when in January 1957 he beat the Melbourne gold medalist [Dick McTaggart], in an Ireland-England dual meet. Byrne never turned professional and during his career won 201 of 208 amateur bouts. In 1962, Byrne emigrated to Canada with his family and settled in Edmonton, where he worked at a local meat packing plant and later on a city maintenance crew. He also coached kids at the North Edmonton Boxing Club.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1956 Summer 26 Melbourne Boxing Men's Lightweight Ireland IRL 3T Bronze

Men's Lightweight

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result MR R
1956 Summer 26 Melbourne Boxing Ireland IRL Semi-Finals Match #1 2 1956-11-30 Kurschat (GER) , Byrne (IRL)
1956 Summer 26 Melbourne Boxing Ireland IRL Quarter-Finals Match #2 1 1956-11-29 Byrne (IRL) , Molina (USA) decision
1956 Summer 26 Melbourne Boxing Ireland IRL Round Two Match #4 1 1956-11-27 Byrne (IRL) , Chovanec (TCH) disqualified 3
1956 Summer 26 Melbourne Boxing Ireland IRL Round One Match #7 1 1956-11-23 Byrne (IRL) bye
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