THE CAMPAIGN to erect a statue in honour of Scots world boxing champion Benny Lynch is growing momentum.

Already, high profile Scots such as actor Robert Carlyle and writer Irvine Welsh leant their weight to the plans.

Carlyle, currently starring in the film The Legend of Barney Thomson, tweeted; ‘This is long overdue. The man should be remembered and honoured with a statue in Central Station.’

The Glasgow train station reference is apt; more than 20,000 people crowded into the station in September 1935 after Gorbals-born Lynch won the World, European and British fly-weight boxing championships after beating Jackie Brown at Belle Vue, Manchester in two rounds. And more than a 100,000 lined the streets to see Lynch parade his trophy.

However, despite being Scotland’s first world boxing champion, Lynch’s success was never commemorated with a lasting tribute.

Lynne Lees is behind the crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a statute, which is being supported by Trainspotting writer, Irvine Welsh.

“He fought his way from the streets to the ring and in turn conquered the world,” she said of the fighter who honed his skills in fairground boxing booths.

“He was known all over the world and some would say he is the best fighter they ever saw in the ring.”

Following his world championship win the Herald said; “The Scot fought like a human tornado from the first bell, and completely out-punched Brown, who was down ten times in all during the short time the bout lasted.

“Lynch’s performance must rank as one of the most spectacular ever recorded in a World’s Champion fight, and the Glasgow lad had to be protected by police from the rush of Scottish enthusiasts who wanted to carry him shoulder high from the ring.”

The initial defence of his title was the first world championship to be held in Scotland. Lynch won comfortably and the bout attracted 40,000 people to Clyde Football Club’s ground.

But while he was a battler in the ring, Benny Lynch lost out to the pressures of fame and the lure of alcohol. In June 1938 he was stripped of his title because he was six pounds over the eight stone limit for fly-weight boxers.

The boxer died of a cardiac arrest and chronic alcoholism in 1946 at the age of 33. Two thousand people attended his funeral.

In 1976 a television film starring Taggart’s Mark McManus, documented his rise to world champion and his untimely death.

However, subsequent attempts to make warts and all biopics of the life of Benny Lynch hit the canvas.

Film legend Norman Wisdom, who once lived in Scotland, was desperately keen to play Lynch. Wisdom had been a professional boxer before going into acting.

Actors Robert Carlyle and Iain Robertson had both hoped to play Lynch in hoped-for films, but attempts to develop productions were knocked out amidst legal challenges from Benny Lynch’s surviving relatives.

Glasgow City Council said it would consider any project put to it.