Box Clever honours Len Johnson

Posted 31 Oct 2021

We've been working with the Box Clever MCR project to transform some utility boxes in Clayton.

As part of the art trail created in the area One Manchester have commissioned a special portrait of Clayton boxer Len Johnson. The box has been created by artist Emily D’Andrea and is a short walk from Northside Amateur Boxing Club.

Len Johnson was born in Clayton

Born in Manchester in 1902, Len's professional boxing career lasted from 1922 to 1933.

He was a middleweight boxer with great talent, who, despite winning 93 of his fights was never allowed to fight for British titles because of his colour. 

The British Board of Boxing Control barred black boxers - even though born in Britain - for fighting for British titles due to the colour bar.

His final fight was in 1933. After retiring from boxing he focused on making positive change in the city by working on events that promoted the need to end racial discrimination. 

Len's special portrait is part of an art trail based in Clayton by Box Clever MCR. The aim of the art trail is to get people walking around the area and give people something new and vibrant to look at.

Local children have taken part in the project by colouring in designs and suggesting colour schemes. Thanks to children from the Clayton Scouts, One Manchester Art Club and local residents for taking part in the project.

You can find more about the project here – Box Clever MCR.