RESEARCHERS are hoping to immortalise the Tommy Speirs story in an archive on Scottish boxing and are looking to speak to family and friends.

The University of Stirling's archives, with National Lottery Heritage Fund support, has kickstarted its Tales from the Ring project and staff are hoping to feature the famous Alloa champion.

Project officer Ian Mackintosh has been travelling around the country, speaking to people connected to the sport and collecting many stories.

Recently, he was spotted at the Speirs Centre, named after Tommy, as he was researching the career of one of the Wee County's most famous sons.

Tommy Speirs or Spiers – the spelling of his name being an age-old debate – won the Scottish Amateur Lightweight Championship in 1929 and the Scottish Lightweight Championship in 1933 after going pro.

There were many other fascinating highlights in his career, indeed some will claim he deserved more titles if it wasn't for the judges - mind the bout versus Johnny Cuthbert of Sheffield for the title of British Lightweight Champion.

That, and many other stories, can be read in the 1986 Clackmannan District Libraries book Tommy Spiers – The Story of a Boxing Champion from Alloa.

The legendary boxer, who critics at the time branded the "Kid from Nowhere", is perhaps even better known in the Wee County for his work with young people after he hung up the gloves.

He launched a club on Park Lane with the aim of taking young people off the streets and he would even let disadvantaged children in if they had no money to take lessons in boxing, gymnastics or wrestling.

And despite all of his achievements, Tommy always remained a humble man; the former baths and gym where he often frequented as a youngster now bearing his name, as it was spelt on his death certificate.

Project officer Ian is hoping to speak to any Speirs/Spiers family or friends still living in the area as well as anyone who may have been coached by Tommy at the Park Lane Boxing Club.

He already interviewed the likes of Dick McTaggart, Charlie Kane and Frank Gilfeather.

Ian said: "Scotland has a rich history of boxing, especially at the lighter weights, and has produced many great champions.

"We want to establish a Scottish Boxing Archive at the University of Stirling in order to provide a research repository for future social and sports historians."

Ian hopes to host an exhibition at the university's library from mid-January until the end of March and is keen to feature local legends like Tommy.

Anyone who can help Ian with information or stories about Tommy is asked to email and get in touch.