Tom McClusky (1924-2012)

  • Type: Athlete and Builder
  • Sport(s): Boxing
  • Year: 2017

Tom McCluskey was a top-notch amateur boxer, winning all 35 amateur and professional fights, in an 11 year career interrupted by WWII, where he suffered a double-skull fracture serving in the Navy, an injury which eventually ended his career in 1948. At age 18 he also won the Maritime Command Fleet Boxing title, and held both lightweight and welterweight crowns in PEI. The majority of his wins were by knockout, although he was a very skilled boxer. After his untimely injury, he became a trainer to dozens of top Canadian professional boxers and a corner man/‘cut man’ to many world boxers and champions. Considered one of the best in the business as a trainer and later as “corner/cut man”, where his skill, according to many experts, was unmatched.

Tom was involved in the sport of boxing for some 55 years: he is considered as an athlete and trainer (builder). His first training assignment was a club of fighters in Charlottetown before moving to Dartmouth. He was the husband of former Dartmouth Mayor/ HRM councilor, Gloria McCluskey. Some of the boxers trained included: Kid Howard, David Downey, Lennie Sparks, Buddy Daye, Les Sprague, Blair Richardson, Les Gillis and kick-boxer Ralph Hollett, as well as Trevor Berbick and Wilf Greaves. He also “trained” Voyageurs players in the art of self-defense on the ice. Many international fighters used his services in the corner as a “cut man’ where his skills were regarded as being unequaled.

Tom McCluskey: This script was an intentionally brief summary compared to most, as Pat McCluskey, Tom’s son will give a longer response on behalf of his mother Gloria (former HRM councilor and former Mayor of the City of Dartmouth) and the McCluskey family.