Bob Shamrock, father to Ken and
Shamrock, died Thursday from longtime complications of
Diabetes. Shamrock was 68 years old.
Shamrock was a guiding light in the lives of the future mixed
martial arts legends, and welcomed both Ken and Frank into his
“Shamrock Boys Home” in Susanville, Calif., a haven for delinquent
Ken Wayne Nance came to Shamrock’s home at the age of 13.
"I just watched Ken's eyes when he first arrived, because this was
my home,” Bob Shamrock was quoted in a press release. “It wasn't
some business place where I came on from 8 till 5 -- it was my
home, and the house was really big, we ate well, we had a swimming
pool, and all those kinds of things. It was a lot different than
the other group homes he had been in."
Ken flourished at the Shamrock home, which encouraged the boys to
compete in a variety of sports. Shamrock settled disputes between
the teenagers in backyard boxing matches under his supervision.
In February 1982, Bob legally adopted Ken, who changed his last
name to Shamrock. Later, Frank also assumed the surname to
recognize Bob’s positive influence in his life.
Bob attended multiple MMA events to support Ken and Frank’s
burgeoning careers in the U.S. and Japan in the 1990s. Shamrock
assisted other fighters as well. Future UFC lightweight champion
Pulver traveled from Iowa to Lockeford, Calif., to join the
patriarch’s “Shamrock 2000” team.
Shamrock said his father had a way with all who crossed his
“My dad had an unbelievable light with these kids -- I’ve never
seen anybody able to take a defiant kid into their home, and handle
them like my father could -- willing to get into a fight with them
if he had to because of disrespect and then turn around and hug
them and let them know, the minute you give me respect -- I’ll give
you respect,” said Shamrock. “Everyone that came in contact with my
dad --you could tell he made a difference in their life. I’ve never
seen anyone have that much success with kids. I’ll miss him and I’m
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