You have no items in your shopping cart.
Repton BC are proud to announce, we now have 'The Legendary' Boxing Writer and Sun Columnist, writing a monthly blog for The Repton Website...
...Bethnal Green's Finest !
Repton will always have a special place in the heart of every
East Londoner who loves boxing - and I'm no exception.
I have been privileged to have covered the careers of some of
the greatest fighters of all time in the fifty years I've been
writing about the sport.
Muhammad Ali,Larry Holmes, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard,
Marvin Hagler,Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran are just a few
of the giants of the ring who had me travelling the world to
report on their finest triumphs.
But nothing has given me more pleasure than reporting on the
successes of the men who learned to box at Bethnal Green's finest.
Repton has produced so many champions you would need to
produce a book as thick as War and Peace to name them all.
But there's no doubt in my mind that John H.Stracey, will rank as
Repton's most accomplished graduate.
John was a national schoolboy champion,junior and senior ABA
champion and when he turned pro British, European and world
What still hurts me nearly forty years after the event is the fact
I wasn't allowed to go to Mexico City to see Stracey's glorious
world title victory over the peerless Jose Napoles.
My Sports Editor had got it into his head John had no chance
against Napoles. He told me "I'm not sending you on a week's
holiday to Merico to see Stracey knocked out".
Despite a blazing row he wouldn't budge. Instead I listened
to Des Lynam's BBC radio commentary and when Napoles floored Stracey
in the first round I had visions of my Sports Editor gloating "I told you so".
But the rest as they say is history. Stracey picked himself up off the
canvas and was crowned champion of the world after battering Napoles
to a six round defeat.
At least my Sports Editor learned his lesson - he never stopped me going
abroad with a British fighter again.
Being around Stracey was certainly never dull. The night he knocked out
RogerMenetrey in Paris to win the European championship provided a hilarious
finale to a magnificent occasion.
The whole of the East End seemed to be celebrating John's memorable
victory at the Meridien hotel's crowded bar - including some notorious faces from the
Bethnal Green area.
Well after midnight when everyone was extremely happy to say the least
a little fella went round the bar with a hat requesting "Give a bung for the
Cockneys always a generous lot and grateful to the extremely efficient
and hard-working bar tender soon filled the hat with thousands of francs.
When the barman closed up just before dawn someone shouted
"Where's the bung for the barman".
It didn't take long for us to realize the little geezer had scarpered
with the cash.
I was expecting an explosion of rage but nothing could have been
further from the truth.
Sid Cain.one of John's mates and himself a professional fighter, along
with many others, was full of admiration for the tea-leaf
Cain said "B----- me. I didn't realise the geezer was earning".
Till next time …Best wishes Colin Hart