On 27 February 1948, Terence (Terry) O’Neill, one of the best karateka ever produced in Britain, was born in Liverpool, England.
O’Neill began his Karate training in 1963 when as a 16-year-old he lied about his age, on his application to join the British Karate Federation (BKF). Under Keinosuke Enoeda and the JKA, he earned his 1st Dan in 1966.
O’Neill had a very successful competitive career, competing for over twenty years until retiring through injury. As a member of the famed Liverpool Red Triangle team, he was KUGB individual kumite champion four times and individual kata champion seven times. He was KUGB grand champion on three occasions. He was a member of the Red Triangle team that won the team kumite on numerous occasions.
O’Neill also had a successful international career, representing Britain numerous times. He was part of the British Karate team that won the World Championship in 1975. He was also joint third at the 1974 World Champions.
O’Neill was the founder and publisher of the well respected Fighting Arts International magazine, first published in 1972. He has also carved out a successful acting career.
On 27 February 2004, Vernon Bell, the Father of British Karate, died.
Bell held the first-ever Karate class at 12 Maybush Road, Hornchurch, Essex in 1956.