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Pat McAteer - a boxing legend

We look at the life and times of Patmac the Liverpool legend

Posted Mar 16, 2011 by Legends


When Pat sadly passed away in 2009, the city of Liverpool mourned the loss of a boxing legend and sporting great.

Christened Edward Patrick McAteer, Pat was a world-class boxer who dominated the ring throughout the 1950s. Patmac as he was affectionately known came from a sporting family – his brother Billy was another top professional boxer, his cousin Les was also a boxer and his nephew was Jason McAteer, the former Liverpool midfielder.

Born in Birkenhead on the 17th March 1932 he eventually went professional in 1952 after a 3 year period spent at an amateur level. It wasn’t until 1956 that Patmac experienced losing a fight and it was this 40 fight winning streak which lasted four whole years that saw McAteer propelled to fame on the world boxing stage.

A run which saw him collect the British and Empire middleweight title. It was the South African, Jimmy Elliot that ended this 40 fight winning spree with a points win at Earls Court. Pat was eventually given the chance to prove himself against the South African when in 1957 the two met again, this time on Elliot’s home turf in Johannesburg – Patmac defeated Elliot by knockout. Sadly Elliot died not long after being knocked out by Patmac and this tragic event certainly haunted McAteer for some time after.

Pat recovered from the loss and faced his next two fights on home ground at the Stadium in Liverpool (a venue which during its life played host to some of the greatest fights on British soil). Pat, much to the delight of local supports, won his next two fights in succession before heading out to Lazio, Italy in 1956 to face Tiberio Mitri who defeated Pat on points.

Pat won or drew nine out of his final 13 matches to retire from the sport in 1958 at the age of 26 with his head held high.

Patmac took the British and commonwealth title in 1955 and then successfully defended it twice, once in 1956 and again in 1957 in order to secure the prized Lonsdale Belt which he had insured by Lloyds of London.

He lost the empire title in 1958 when he was beaten by Nigerian Dick Tiger again at the Stadium in Liverpool. Patmac missed out on the chance to be European middleweight champion as well when in 1957 he was defeated by total knockout at the hands of Charles Humez in Paris.

Pat was managed his entire career by a fellow Birkenhead born and raised Johnny Campbell. Campbell helped Patmac secure some of the biggest purses ever heard of in the sport during that era including £3,500 (around £60k in today’s money) for the fight that ended in tragedy against Jimmy Elliot.

In Patmac’s life after boxing, he left Merseyside and the UK and moved to Fairfax near Washington DC in the USA. By the mid ‘80s McAteer was a successful businessman with several of his own properties which included a large mansion for him and his then wife, Mary Hughes, whom he later divorced.

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