John Conteh was born in Kirkby in 1951.
He started boxing at the Kirkby club at the age of 10. Aged just 19 he won the middleweight gold medal at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, adding the European light-heavyweight title three years later by beating the German Rudiger Schmidtke. In May 1973 he fought fellow Britain, Chris Finnegan to become the British Champion, beating Finnegan again in the return match to much acclaim.
In October 1974, he fought the Argentinian, Jorge Ahumada, for the vacant WBC World title. He won the fight at Wembley Pool on points after fifteen hard and very intensive rounds. In the next three years he successfully defended his title against Lonnie Bennett, Yaqui Lopez and Len Hutchins although this did not satisfy the boxing authorities who stripped him of his crown.
He did try and make a comeback, but was the victim of a very poor decision against Parlov in a fight in Belgrade. His career was ended when his licence was revoked on medical grounds.
(figures in brackets are reference numbers of photos in the main site)