By JACK COLLINS
Bethlehem Globe Times
WE ARE AMONG THE MANY mourning the death within the past week of one of the nice guys of the sports fraternity. Last Tuesday one of the greatest amateur fighters ever to come out of Pennsylvania -- Billy Speary -- died at the too early age of 49 of a heart attack.
Billy was anything but the type of person that the average sports fan would associate with the rough and tumble world of boxing. He fought in every rinky gym in the East before reaching the top -- Madison Square Garden. He also fought a lot of rinky dinks but also fought some of the real greats--guys like Willie Pep and lke Williams. World War II interrupted his short pro career but his national amateur titles attested to his ability.
Yet, we know people who knew Bally for several year without ever knowing he was a fighter. Bragging wasn't in his makeup. He always spoke politely and softly and it was almost impossible to provoke him into an argument. He remained cheerful and possessed a good sense of humor even after developing the heart condition which eventually claimed his life. In short, Billy Speary was a man.