An open letter to Bradley Welsh from one of the many people whose lives he changed
Dear Bradley John,
You embodied what it meant to make a difference and be a good person. You helped us grow when we needed to grow, you were a shoulder to cry on when we needed to cry, you were our motivator when we needed motivating, you taught us when we needed to be taught, you were much more than a brother to us, we were your children and you were our father.
You were merely more than one of Scotland's greatest amateur fighters and the biggest advocate for amateur boxing you will ever meet, you were a father to the people of Edinburgh, to the young kids in underprivileged communities who you helped feed, put presents under their Christmas trees and taught them the sweet science and more importantly all the life skills that you learn through boxing.
You taught the youth respect, honesty, kindness, brotherhood, morality as well as creating kids who will embody your morals and beliefs and take continue your legacy and grow it in a way you would always have wanted. You made Holyrood Boxing Gym a sanctuary to many, it was bigger than boxing, it was a real community hub.
You were the shoulder to cry on for adults, you used boxing to help people fight back in their own lives, to make a change in a positive way and you encouraged wide-eyed people like myself to follow my dreams. You helped facilitate peoples' dreams, you gave us the chance and the belief to dream of a better life.
Boxing was your channel, but you were always our council, the person at the end of the phone we could talk to for hours and hours and would talk sense into us when needed and a lot of the time make us laugh and educate us on the path we were going on. You had time for us all and defined what it meant to be a community leader, not just through the unbelievable charity work done in Edinburgh, but by how you treated us all. You were more than a brother.
You helped me change my life, you pulled me away from negative situations that could have ended in far worse ways. You counselled me almost daily, you were my biggest supporter, and I looked up to you like nobody else. You were there for me when I was fighting depression, fighting a partying addiction, fighting back from being stabbed, getting away from toxic people I had in my life. You were there always for me to educate me, to motivate me, to guide me and always put a smile on my face. Our last conversation you gave me your blessing about the path I was following in life, I will never divert from that.
Boxing was your tool to change others lives, and it changed mine and many others, not just in your beloved Edinburgh, but the world over. We are your children Bradley John Welsh, you were our father, we were your children and we will continue your legacy, grow your legacy, achieve our dreams in your memory. Thank you for being the beautiful human being you were. We will never stop missing you.
While I'm worth my room on this earth, I will be with you.