Charlie’s interest in boxing began at the age of 16 when he joined the local boxing club at the Drill Hall, Hemel Hempstead.
By the 1940’s, Charlie Collett was rated one of the best five heavyweights in the country. He weighed in at 14 stone 7 pounds (92kg) and was dubbed “Britain’s hardest hitting heavy-weight”. He fought over 200 times, drawing large crowds of over one thousand spectators at local venues, such as Watford Town Hall. Some of his notable opponents included the Heavyweight Champion Don Cockell. The famous fight between Londoner Don Cockell (1928-1983) and Rocky Marciano on 16 May 1955 can be seen on YouTube. Cockell fought Randolph Turpin at the White City Stadium in 1952, but lost in the 11th round.
Charlie also had fights with ex-ABA Heavyweight Champion George Preston and George James, the Heavyweight Champion of Wales, whom he knocked out in the 4th round.
After retiring from the sport, he continued to train youngsters at a boys’ club and, in 1980, he and his wife Vera attended a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his 30 years’ service to the Association of Boys’ Clubs.
By The Dacorum Heritage Trust Ltd
20th July 2011