THE NEPHEW of boxing hero David ‘Bomber’ Pearce says he is determined to continue building on the legacy of his uncle, to inspire others.

Luke Pearce led a fundraising campaign to raise more than £60,000 for a bronze statue of “Newport’s Rocky”, which was unveiled in the city last year.

Since then, the David Bomber Pearce Legacy charity has been established and has given out £15,000 in grants to help clubs, teams, disability charities and remembrance charities.

The legendary boxer’s life has recently been celebrated in a documentary on BBC One Wales, and a book paying tribute is due to be launched in December.

South Wales Argus:

Newport Saints football team wearing the Rocky logo

A bid for the late Welsh and British heavyweight champion to be awarded the Spirit of Newport Award is now gaining momentum, with the backing of Newport’s mayor, Councillor William Routley.

Cllr Routley said the boxing hero had an “overwhelming case behind him” for the award at a full meeting of the council last week.

The Spirit of Newport awards were created by Newport City Council to recognise figures who put Newport on the map through sporting excellence, charitable work, business, the arts, learning or showing courage in the face of adversity.

“I was compelled last week to call for the Spirit of Newport Award to be applied to David Pearce because this is a modern day hero, a people’s champ that embraces Newport,” Cllr Routley said.

“Everything that is good and positive about Newport is embraced there.”

South Wales Argus:

Mayor of Newport, Cllr William Routley, with Luke Pearce

The Newport boxer was a friend of Cllr Routley’s and helped him at a fundraising event, something Newport’s mayor is now keen to repay.

He has chosen the David “Bomber” Pearce Legacy as the mayor’s charity for this year, already raising thousands of pounds.

Newport County AFC manager Michael Flynn, Newport-born Paralympic swimmer Liz Johnson and war veteran Ron Jones, who recently died aged 102, were recognised in the Spirit of Newport awards last year.


Luke Pearce says now is the “perfect time” for his late uncle to be honoured.

“What I did for David, in terms of the statue and everything else, that was my personal tribute to David, to be recognised alongside the boxing greats of Wales and the UK because I felt he did not get the recognition at the time.

“But one thing that stands out for me is he said “I did it for Newport.”

“I just think this is the perfect opportunity for Newport City Council to do something for David in an honourary capacity.”

And Mr Pearce said he is determined the David “Bomber” Pearce Legacy charity will continue to offer inspiration to others.

Helping people in sport is one element of the legacy, but Mr Pearce also hopes Newport’s Rocky can offer inspiration to people across the city.

The statue, and the Newport Rocky logo, “stands for more than just sporting achievement”, Mr Pearce says.

“It doesn’t matter if you are going for a job interview, or if you are just going to the gym for the first time,” Mr Pearce said.

“It gives you confidence and belief in yourself.”

Newport’s boxing hero has gained international recognition in the press in recent months, something Mr Pearce says was once “just a pipe dream.”

But he insists he is  “not finished yet” and hopes to help others through the charity.

“I just think why stop now when we can help others,” Mr Pearce added.

A spokeswoman for Newport council said nominations for the Spirit of Newport Award will be considered by a panel of cross-party and community representatives later this year.