Mail stalwart was a champ in boxing circles

Oxford Mail: Roy Walton, left, with head coach Mel Corrigan at the opening of a new extension at Berinsfield Boxing Club in 2011 Roy Walton, left, with head coach Mel Corrigan at the opening of a new extension at Berinsfield Boxing Club in 2011

ROY Walton, who has died aged 77, was well known in boxing, darts and Aunt Sally circles in Oxfordshire.

He worked for the Oxford Mail, Times and Herald series for more than 40 years delivering newspapers to all parts of the county and beyond.

Mr Walton, of Colwell Road, Berinsfield, was a boxer in his youth and went on to become a coach for Oxford YMCA and Berinsfield Boxing Clubs.

Oxford Mail:

As a young boxer

He was one of a small team of volunteers who re-established Berinsfield Boxing Club after it folded and helped it to become one of the most successful in Oxfordshire.

One of his proudest moments came in 2011 when the club opened a £200,000 extension to double the size of its base in Fane Drive.

He was also skilled at Aunt Sally and darts and played for a number of local pubs and clubs. An Aunt Sally trophy is to be named in his memory.

Mr Walton was born in Oxford on June 8, 1936, spent his early childhood in Reading, and then moved back to Oxfordshire.

He completed two years’ National Service with the Somerset Light Infantry in Malaya and Malta before embarking on his career as a driver.

He worked for several firms, including Corona drinks and Morris Radiators, before joining the Oxford Mail and associated newspapers.

He had had early experience with the Mail, helping his father, Bill, sell papers at his stands in Gloucester Green and George Street and working as an errand boy at Newspaper House.

He once recalled how, on the day King George VI died in 1952, he was given 120 copies of a special edition of the Mail to take to King Edward Street and was besieged by readers as he stepped out of the Mail offices into New Inn Hall Street. “I got only a few yards and all the papers had gone,” he said.

He was paid £3 a week as an errand boy and earned an extra shilling (5p) for every dozen newspapers he sold himself. His windfall on the day the king died was 10 shillings (50p).

One of his duties was to deliver the Saturday evening sports paper, known as the ‘Green ‘Un’ as it was printed on green paper. He once said: “I had to take the papers to Newbury and the big challenge was always to be there before the rival paper, the Swindon Pink, arrived.”

After retiring from the Mail, he drove a minibus for the Cheshire home at Burcot.

Mr Walton met his future wife Sylvia (née Walker) at a dance at Bretts in Broad Street, Oxford. Neither had intended to go there – he went to another dance and found the hall full, while she was persuaded to go by a friend.

Oxford Mail:

With wife Sylvia on their golden wedding anniversary in 2008

That day proved to be hectic for Mr Walton. He worked in the morning, played football and after saying goodnight to his future bride, had to walk home to Stonesfield, finally getting to bed at 3am on Sunday.

Mr Walton died at the John Radcliffe Hospital on December 18 surrounded by his family.

SS Mary and Berin Church, Berinsfield was packed for his January 8 funeral as family, friends, fellow sportsmen and women and work colleagues paid tribute.

He leaves his wife Sylvia, to whom he was married for 55 years, sons John and Derek and three grandchildren.

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