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Winfield Herbert Simpson (1933-1992): a champion and ambassador of Bermuda

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Winfield Herbert Simpson, nicknamed “Kid McCormick”, was the son of Horace McCormick Simpson, a Jamaican national, and Doris Trott (née Joell), a Bermudian.

Doris was the granddaughter of William Herbert T. Joell, the first Coloured or Black man elected to the House of Parliament, as well as one of the founding members of the Berkeley Institute.

Doris’s mother was Lillian Irene “Aunt Baby” Joell, and her father was Joseph Egbert Daunty “Dunne” Trott, a White man, who was ostracised by his family during those days when interracial marriages were not common or respected by either race. He was 21 years old and she was 15.

Timing is everything: Kid McCormick, remembered as a classical boxer, gets to work on the speed bag (Photograph supplied)

Kid McCormick married Ainsley Marie “Cecily” Durham, and together they had five children — Chuck, Scott, Karen, Lynne and Doris “Doree”.

Winsy, short for Winfield, along with siblings Betty and Eugene, were raised between Government Gate and Glebe Road, North Shore, and was a member of the Northshore Giants men’s club of that area between the parishes of Pembroke and Devonshire.

Service with a smile: Kid McCormick, second right, out of the ring but dressed to impress with his fellow taxi driver colleagues at a wedding in the 1950s. Also pictured are, from left, Mr Dill, "Wally" and Earlston Young (Photograph courtesy of Scott Simpson/Bermuda: Our People, Our Story Vol II)

Raised without a father figure unfortunately, as a result of his Jamaican father being forced to leave Bermuda, Winsy and his siblings never got to know him outside of the stories told to them, which were most respectful — especially from “Old Man” Adderley, who was in charge of the Bermuda Docks, where Horace McCormick Simpson was employed up until his departure.

However, Winsy and brother Eugene, nicknamed “Tomatoes”, followed in their father’s footsteps as boxers, with Winsy being the natural and becoming Bermuda’s youngest welterweight champion as “Kid McCormick”. He lost only one fight in his career, to the American Jo Jo Moore. Bermuda had boasted two welterweight boxers at that time, and they both represented the country in England — Eric “Eggs” Trott and Leroy “Fats” Harvey — and Kid McCormick had the distinction of beating them both.

Boxing events were very popular in Bermuda during those years, with many venues such as the Sherwood Manor Hotel in Fairylands just off Mills Creek, the Eagle’s Nest on Langton Hill, the Box between St John’s Road and Cemetery Road, No 1 Shed on Front Street and Pearman-Watlington’s King’s Garage on St John’s Road.

Wherever Kid McCormick fought, he was a draw card — pretty to watch, using both hands in combination blows to the head and body of his opponent. Periodically, he sparred with the great Sugar Ray Robinson, with whom he became good friends.

Kid McCormick’s boxing career went from 1948 to 1958. He was a handsome, well-dressed and humble man, who was a credit to Bermuda in many other ways — as a steam presser for drycleaning, security bouncer at public and private clubs, and as a taxi operator.

He was truly one of Bermuda’s dedicated ambassadors from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Submitted by son Chuck Simpson

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Published March 03, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated March 03, 2022 at 1:11 pm)

Winfield Herbert Simpson (1933-1992): a champion and ambassador of Bermuda

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