Boxer who put out Hitler’s leading light

Arthur Russell (right) with, from left, son David, daughter Gail and wife Joan. Picture taken at Burniston Barracks on April 26, 1968, at the Camerons Darts League finals.
Arthur Russell (right) with, from left, son David, daughter Gail and wife Joan. Picture taken at Burniston Barracks on April 26, 1968, at the Camerons Darts League finals.
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The funeral will take place next week of a Scarborough landlord who embarrassed Adolf Hitler in front of a crowd of 75,000 people.

Arthur Russell, who died on Monday aged 94, ran the Albion pub in Castle Road for 19 years but was a flyweight boxer during the years leading up to the Second World War.

Arthur Russell (centre) and son David (second left) with bar staff from the Albion during the 1970s

Arthur Russell (centre) and son David (second left) with bar staff from the Albion during the 1970s

He was born in South Yorkshire and was the British ABA Flywieght Champion in July 1938 when he represented his country against the German champion Nikolaus Obermauer at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

David Russell, his son, said that the Nazis had been pinning their hopes on their champion to score a victory against England for a propaganda victory. “He was one of their bankers and my dad beat him on points.”

He added that the English team also won the contest by winning most of that night’s bouts and Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, presented his father with his medal. “Hitler was there – all the German Reich were there,” he said.

When war broke out Arthur joined the Army’s Physical Training Corps and helped to train Commandos near Fort William in Scotland before being posted to Nairobi to train Kenyan soldiers.

David said: “He always used to joke that the fast Kenyan runners were as a result of his training.”

After the war Arthur moved to the Scarborough area where he worked in a number of jobs before he took over at the Albion in 1957 – he was involved in organising darts and dominoes leagues in Scarborough.

David said: “We had some of the best players at the Albion and there was a friendly rivalry between us, the Wellington and The Trafalgar.”

One night they were surprised when Brian Clough brought his Nottingham Forest team into the bar as a break from training in Scarborough during the late-1970s – including Trevor Francis who was the first £1 million footballer.

David said: “They’d drawn the League Cup Final at Wembley and Brian Clough and Peter Taylor brought the team to Scarborough to chill out before the replay. They had pints of shandy and beer – they scoffed all the darts team’s sandwiches.”

He added that his father had a great sense of humour and he loved his sport. “He was welcoming, easy to get on with – a true mein host.”

Monday’s funeral will take place at Woodlands Crematorium from 1.20pm – family flowers only are requested with collection for the Alzheimers Society.