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Paddy Donovan

Paddy Donovan
Personal information
Full nameThomas Patrick Donovan
Born(1936-12-23)23 December 1936
Napier, New Zealand
Died11 March 2018(2018-03-11) (aged 81)
Napier, New Zealand
Height1.64 m (5 ft 4 12 in)[1]
Weight59 kg (130 lb)[1]
CountryNew Zealand
SportAmateur boxing
Achievements and titles
National finalsFeatherweight champion (1954)
Lightweight champion (1956, 1957, 1959, 1962)

Thomas Patrick Donovan (23 December 1936 – 11 March 2018) was a New Zealand amateur boxer and rugby union player. He represented his country in boxing at the 1956 and 1964 Olympic Games, and won bronze medals at the 1958 and 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. He also played representative rugby for Hawke's Bay.

Early life and family

Born in Napier on 23 December 1936, Donovan was the son of Tommy Donovan, who won the 1927 New Zealand amateur featherweight boxing title, and then had 46 professional bouts between 1929 and 1935.[2] Paddy Donovan grew up on his family's farm at Meeanee, and was educated at St John's College, Hastings, where he was head boy.[2]


Donovan won his first national amateur boxing title, in the featherweight division, in 1954, while he was still at school.[2] He went on to win the national lightweight title four times—in 1956, 1957, 1959, and 1962—and he was awarded the Jameson Belt for the most scientific boxer in 1956, 1959, and 1962.[2]

Donovan won the bronze medal in the men's 57–60 kg (lightweight) division at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Four years later at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he again won the bronze medal in the same division.[3] He competed at two Olympics, not making it past the first round of the lightweight division in 1956 and 1964,[1] and was controversially omitted from the New Zealand team for the 1960 Olympics.[2]

1956 and 1964 Olympic results

Below is the record of Paddy Donovan, a lightweight boxer from New Zealand, who competed at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics:

  • Round of 32: lost to Toshihito Ishimaru (Japan) on points

Below is the record of Paddy Donovan, a lightweight boxer from New Zealand, who competed at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics:

  • Round of 32: lost to Hector Pace (Argentina) referee stopped contest

Rugby union

A halfback and first five-eighth, Donovan played for the Hawke's Bay rugby union team between 1955 and 1959.[2]

Later life and death

From 1962, Donovan worked as an accountant in Hastings, retiring in 2012 after 50 years.[2] In 2001, he established Ballydooley Cider Ltd on the family orchard.[2] Donovan died in Napier on 11 March 2018.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Paddy Donovan". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Laing, Doug (13 March 2018). "Olympics boxer Paddy Donovan dies in Napier". Hawke's Bay Today. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Paddy Donovan". New Zealand Olympic Committee. 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.