Tommy Farr was one of eight children, growing up in abject poverty in the Valleys.
He travelled to New York to fight the American Boxer Joe Louis in August 1937. This was the first major sporting event to be broadcast on the radio and it captured the imagination of people across Wales. So many people turned up at Tonypandy Town Hall in the middle of the night to listen to the fight that extra speakers had to be put outside whilst at his former colliery the score was chalked up on coal drams as they were sent underground! Tommy lost on a narrow points decision, but his brave fighting won the nation’s heart.
When he finally retired in 1953 after losing to Don Cockell he took the MC’s microphone and led the crowd in singing 'Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau'.
Railway Terrace, Clydach Vale
12 March 1913
01 March 1986