Our grandfather Willy “Uppercut” O’Shea was born in 1915 in Dublin, Ireland. His father was a carriage maker who died tragically due to a factory accident. Willy was placed into the care of his Uncle, a sea merchant who travelled the world and was employed by many freight companies to skipper their ships. Willy jumped ship at the tender age of 15 in Sydney and made his way out west to the coal mines. Willy worked in the mines for 3 years before joining the Jimmy Sharman boxing tent in 1933 where he toured Australia fighting week after week for close to a decade.
It was during this time that he earned his nickname “Uppercut O’Shea.” These years were tough for Willy as it was the time of the Great Depression, cash and clothing was scarce however Willy always made an effort to look sharp and always had a clean tie in his bag as well as a tub of home-made hair grease.
After the Great Depression ended Willy settled in Sydney where he met the love of his life, a widower called Alice Jane who had 2 young children that Willy took as his own.
They had 2 more children together and managed to buy a modest house in the suburbs with a small shed in the backyard that Willy retreated to with his AM radio to listen to the occasional fight.
Willy spent the rest of his life working at the Fortune of War Hotel in Circular Quay and being a family man who enjoyed the occasional ferry ride on the harbour with a cold ginger beer. Grandpa Willy was often overheard whispering to Alice Jane; “A hard beginning maketh a good ending.”
Today Willy’s legacy lives on through Uppercut Deluxe, a family owned and operated company committed to creating products that will go the distance and keep you looking sharp.
R.I.P our grandfather Willy “Uppercut” O’Shea. Born in Ireland; made in Australia.
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