Tributes as former boxer and dowser dies

Dowser Jimmy Longton at Astley Hall
Dowser Jimmy Longton at Astley Hall

A former professional boxer, businessman and dowser has died at the age of 84.

Jimmy Longton, of Woodside, Euxton, certainly led a varied life.

Jimmy Longton made his name as a professional boxer

Jimmy Longton made his name as a professional boxer

He grew up in Euxton and started boxing when he was 12 at Chorley Parish Institute.

When he was 14, he went to boxing booths, where he would take on all-comers and was undefeated.

Before joining the Coldstream Guards when he was 17, Jimmy had taken part in more than 120 contests.

While in the Army, he sparred with Sugar Ray Robinson.

“He was always smiling, he was always having a laugh, he was a jolly nice man.”

Grandson Jason Charnley

Jimmy became a professional boxer and fought at venues around the country.

Throughout his career, including booth bouts, he had more than 550 contests and was only put on the canvas three times.

He then became a wrestler, before moving into business.

He was one of the first people to repair televisions when he opened a factory at Birkacre in the late 1950s.

He then started running pleasure cruises on barges along the canal in Chorley.

Jimmy went on to open a fish shop in Adlington and had three vans selling fish in outlying villages.

He retired in the early 1980s, but did not put up his feet.

Jimmy used a metal detector to go treasure hunting and would travel around the country, then moved to dowsing.

A member of the British Society of Dowsers, he was recognised throughout the country for his skills and was often called on by archeologists to help find historical artefacts.

He helped find historical items of national importance, including Viking silver which is on display at the British Museum in London, and discovered historical sites and things on the sea bed by map dowsing.

Jimmy also appeared in a television series, claiming to have pinpointed the spot at Astley Park where Oliver Cromwell dismounted from his horse.

He was also a keen fisherman and showed budgies.

He died of natural causes on May 2, leaving wife Lillian, five children, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

His grandson Jason Charnley, 43, who runs Powerhouse Gym in Coppull, said: “He was always smiling, he was always having a laugh, he was a jolly nice man.

“He had time for anybody, no matter who they were.

“He was a genuine person.”