Ex-boxer 'Kid Bassey' proud of his 30-year job

Stanley Campbell has no qualms about serving as a sanitary facility caretaker

By RENAE DIXON Sunday Observer staff reporter dixonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 01, 2014

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IN his early years, Stanley Campbell was a well-known boxer, contesting several fights in Jamaica and overseas.

Although his youthful years looked bright, as he aged, Campbell, more popularly known as 'Kid Bassey', had to make a big switch, so for the last 30 years the former sportsman has been caretaker of the Port Maria sanitary convenience facility managed by the St Mary Parish Council.

For this reason, many people look down on him, but Kid Bassey, who is from the parish, does not have a problem doing a job which puts food on his table and keeps him out of trouble.

"It's no problem because I know what I have to do," he told the Sunday Observer.

At age 75, he has no pension benefits and so he continues to work hard in order to survive.

"People discriminate against me but I don't pay them no mind," he said, stressing that many have criticised him for moving from boxing to becoming a caretaker of a sanitary facility.

He pointed out that what he does is not illegal and that it allowed him to take care of his immediate needs.

While he enjoys doing what he does, Kid Bassey has not been having things easy over the last few years.

Although he has been out of the ring for a long time, he is still involved in another fight -- that of survival.

One of his main setbacks was the destruction of his home by a fire several years ago. He said that he was assisted by the parish council in securing a temporary home until he is able to get back on his feet, but he has not been able to put himself back on solid ground so far.

As he reflects on his days as a sportsman, Kid Bassey now hopes for the best. And although he holds no major titles, he was often a top contender, fighting several champions like George Leslie 'Bunny' Grant and Kid Banga, and apart from his exploits in Jamaica, he plied his trade in Paris, France; New York, USA; and San Juan, Puerto Rico, fighting in the lightweight and welterweight divisions.

He lamented the fact that as he got older, there were no benefits in place to protect people like him.

However, he did not become despondent, but sought employment and ended up in his present job.

While he is no longer in the sports arena even as an administrator, Campbell still has big dreams for the youth of his parish and said he would love for them to have the right facilities to help with their development.

One of the former boxer's dreams is to see the return of a gym in Port Maria where boxers can train.

"We would like to get back a gym in the town here. We used to have a gym here," he told the Sunday Observer.

Campbell, who also enjoys watching football and track and field, believes that a sports facility would be of great benefit to the parish, although he would not necessarily be heavily involved in its running because of his age, despite his love for the sport.

"Tru I am a old man now, I leave that to young people," he said.

Campbell adopted the ring name Kid Bassey from African boxer Okun Asuguo Bassey, who styled himself 'Hogan Kid' Bassey when he turned professional in the early 1950s.

Bassey, a Nigerian, was that country's first world boxing champion, winning the world featherweight title over Frenchman Cherif Hamia in Paris, France in 1957, before losing it two years later to American Davey Moore.




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