National Sporting Club - Origins

Origins

The club was founded on 5 March 1891 as a private club. Its premises were at 43 King Street, Covent Garden, London. The founders were John Fleming and A.F. “Peggy” Bettinson, and Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale was its first president.

The club was run under very strict rules regarding both the boxers and the members. Bouts would take place after dinner, before about 1,300 members and guests. The bouts would be fought in silence as no talking was permitted during the rounds. The club built up a great tradition of sportsmanship and fair play.

In 1909, the club’s president introduced the Lonsdale Belt as a prize to be awarded to the British champion at each weight. The belts were made from porcelain and twenty-two carat gold.

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