One of the most popular boxing promoters in Northern Ireland and former Eastwoods Bookmakers owner Barney Eastwood has died at age 87.
Established in 1932, the Eastwoods chain of betting shops was well known for its establishment. Barney and his wife Frances Eastwood founded the retail betting estate in 1954, and it was the most prominent betting company in Northern Ireland. In 2008 54 of the betting shops were sold to Ladbrokes in a £ 135 m contract.
The bookmaker has also been known to work with a number of boxers of the world title, including former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan.
Eastwood’s relationship with the “Clones Cyclone” soured after several years of working together, resulting in an acrimonious legal dispute, which saw Eastwood claim £ 450,000 in damages.
He controlled four other world champion boxers as well as McGuigan, Dave “Boy” McAuley, Paul Hodkinson, Crisanto Espana and Victor Cordoba.
A family spokesperson confirmed the death of Eastwood to the PA news agency: “BJ’s passing has brought great sadness to the family as well as the whole community in Holywood where he was a very visible resident for the past 50 years.
“All who knew him will miss his remarkable charm.”