Norwich hairdresser, former boxer and bodybuilder, dies from Covid

Ian Lewis in a red t-shirt smiling at the camera

Popular hairdresser, and former boxer and body-builder, Ian Lewis, has died from Covid aged 71 - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

A popular hairdresser, and former boxer and bodybuilder has died from Covid aged 71. 

Ian Lewis, co-owner of Cut Loose Hair Designs on Reepham Road, in Hellesdon, Norwich, died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on January 14.  

Born in 1949, Mr Lewis grew up in Norwich with his siblings, Rodney and Diane. 

As a teenager, he was introduced to the Norwich Lads Club by his uncle, Peter, and was the beginning of lifelong passion for boxing. He became a successful amateur boxer, and won the light middleweight Eastern Counties Championship in 1969/70 and 1971.  

Ian Lewis during his boxing career.

Ian Lewis during his boxing career. - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Around this time, he travelled to Germany for a boxing tournament with his first wife, Shelia, who he had met when they were teenagers. His claim to fame was that he boxed the great late-Alan Minter and had a couple of teeth knocked out.

Ian Lewis during his boxing career.

Ian Lewis during his boxing career. - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY


In 1969, the couple married and a few years later had their daughter, Sarah. She has gone on to follow in her father’s footsteps, becoming a hairdresser herself.

That was when his trainer and mentor, Teddy Cawdron, introduced him to hairdressing. He went on to train in London and worked at RAF Coltishall and Lakenheath, as a barber at Enzo and Roma, in Norwich, and then became co-owner at Trends in St Augustine’s in the city. 

Ian Lewis holding a trophy and certificate

Ian Lewis holding his trophy after winning first place in the National Hairdressers' Federation Eastern Counties' Area, men's senior championship in Fenbraury 1992 - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

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In 1981, he married his second wife Beverley. Their daughter Samantha was born in 1983, son Ryan in 1985, and son Travis in 1993.  

In 1987, the couple opened Cut Loose and became business partners, before separating later. 

Ms Lewis said: “It had always been Ian’s dream to have his own salon. He entered several hairdressing competitions in the late 80s and has many certificates and trophies to add to his huge collection of boxing ones.” 

After hanging up his boxing gloves, he joined a gym was soon entering and achieving success in bodybuilding competitions. 

His other interests included shooting, archery, ceroc dancing, and karaoke. 

Ian Lewis during his boxing career.

Ian Lewis during his boxing career. - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Ms Lewis added: “He loved to be the centre of attention, whether it was singing, dancing, telling jokes, and generally larking around.  

“His daughter, Sarah, shares his love of singing. He was so proud to listen to her sing and of course couldn't resist getting on stage to join in! 

 “And as his daughter Sam said, ‘dad was our boxing, singing, gym-addict, hairdressing legend’. 

“His son Ryan shares his love of boxing and they trained together. Ian enjoyed helping out at the Norwich Broadside Boxing Club where Ryan trains. He also follows in his dad’s footsteps and loves to sing. They have enjoyed many great nights out at karaoke. 

 “Travis, Ian’s youngest, joined his dad at his archery club and spent many Sunday mornings with him, and also enjoyed holidays abroad.” 

Later in his life, Ian met Joan and they enjoyed a holiday in Iceland and spent six months in Australia visiting her family, having lots of adventures. 

Ms Lewis added: “We know that Joan’s family thought the world of Ian and have said he was a second dad and granddad to them.  

“Ian will be missed by so many people of all ages and walks of life. He was a much loved and popular character who lived life to the full.” 

Mr Lewis died after contracting Covid. He had been diagnosed with liver cancer on Christmas Day 2020.