SR’s editor compiled many thousands of notes for his books 'The Invisible Spirit' and 'The Broken Journey' on the life of Scotland between 1945 and 1999. Many of minor interest never found their way into print. For this daily series, he has rescued some of these abandoned scraps from the dustbin of history.
Chic Calderwood, the boxer, died in a car accident near Carluke. He was described in one obituary as a mixture of light and shade. As light heavyweight champion of Britain, he was virtually without a real challenger, but in international bouts he was often disappointing. Four weeks before his death, he travelled to Puerto Rico to meet Jose Torres for the world light heavyweight title. After a dispute at the weigh-in as to whether Torres had made the weight limit, the Scot was knocked out in the second round. One American reporter wrote: 'Calderwood, personally and artistically, could not sell tickets to a free beer party in a Glasgow pub'. After winning the vacant British title in 1960, he lost it when he was sent to prison for three months
in 1963, but came back to regain it in 1964. 'On occasion', said a boxing authority, 'he could score points with his hard left jab like a fencing master. But there were other nights when this tall, somewhat grim-faced man seemed to be overcome by tension and lack of confidence'. It was widely noted how, outside the ring, Calderwood seemed a confused young man.