Galaxy of former champions for the final show at the famous Harringay Arena on a night where Randolph Turpin also announced his ring retirement original 1958 black & white photo. Measures 16" x 19 1/2"
Kneeling front (left to right) Phil Edwards, Terry Downes, Henry Armstrong, Gus Lesnevich, Sammy McCarthy, Peter Waterman, Johnny Williams. Standing (left to right) Randolph Turpin, Jack Petersen, Dave Crowley, Harry Mizler, Bruce Woodcock, Peter Kane, Rinty Monaghan, Ernie Roderick, Max Baer, Ronnie Clayton, Jack Solomons, Arthur Danahar, Johnny Best, Eric Boon, Tommy Farr, Len Harvey, Eddie Phillips, Don Cockell. This was the parade of the champions on October the 28th 1958.
The arena hosted its final event on Tuesday, 28 October 1958. It was a sentimental occasion and promoter Jack Solomons headlined with a World-class lightweight fight between Dave Charnley and Carlos Ortiz (who was to go on to become World champion). This is how The Times reported it:
After 22 years Harringay Arena is closing. This evening we shall hear this great hall echo to cheers and see cigarette smoke swirl around the ring for the last time. The most important chapter in the history of British professional boxing is over.
The Tragedy Of Randolph Turpin / Parade Of Champions
And what a glorious and nostalgic moment he chose. 28th October 1958 - the final show at the famous Harringay Arena, Turpin's favourite venue. Since 1936 Harringay had been Britain's top boxing venue and now promoter Jack Solomons was moving to Wembley Stadium, and had planned a bumper finale for the Harringay farewell.
Top-liner was a World lightweight championship final eliminator between British title holder Dave Charnley and Carlos Ortiz of Puerto Rico. But Solomons had invited a galaxy of former champions to make personal appearances, which threatened to completely overshadow the promotion itself. Gwen Turpin took her seat that night, one of the few people to know that Randolph would shortly close the record book of one of our greatest middleweights of the post-war era, and a boxer argued by many as our finest pound-for-pound fighter in any era.
Preceding the Charnley-Ortiz fight, in typical Solomons' tradition, four young trumpeters blasted out a moving and inspiring fanfare to introduce master of ceremonies Johnny Best, whose father had made many of the pre-war matches at Harringay. The camera flashes illuminated the sacred rope square, and the cheers shook the famous building to its foundations as Mr Best introduced Solomons. Boxing had been generous to Jolly Jack, but without him the sport would have so much poorer. And lined up outside of the ring to prove it, was one of the most impressive collections of fighting power ever assembled under one roof.
As Best took over the introductions, it was like turning back the history book of professional fighting. In chronological order the old warriors climbed into the ring with all their old zest, each to receive a standing ovation.
Harry Mizler and Dave Crowley, who had boxed each other on that very first Harringay promotion almost 25 years before when Walter Neusal of Germany had out-pointed South African heavyweight Ben Foord. Then Jack Petersen took a bow with Tommy Farr and the indefatigable Max Baer. Others came trooping in like ghosts from boxing's cemetery. Peter Kane and Len Harvey; Eric Boon and Eddie Phillips; Arthur Danahar, Ernie Roderick, and the great Henry Armstrong. Guz Lesnevitch and Bruce Woodcock, the man who had carried the hopes of British heavyweight boxing only nine years before, kept the cheers going until the voice of the crowd became choked and weak with emotion.
Still the old fighters ducked under the ropes, with every figure bringing the history book nearer to the present day. Rinty Monaghan, the perky little Irishman who had led the crowds into song after so many of his thrilling battles; Ronnie Clayton, Don Cockell, Joe Erskine, Johnny Williams, Peter Waterman, and so to the last pair to contest a British championship at Harringay - Terry Downes and Phil Edwards. But the most touching moment was when Turpin, immaculate in an expensive cut evening suit, climbed into the ring to receive his accolade. There was a slight pause from the cheering throng as Johnny Best held up his hand. Gwen Turpin, proud and erect, looked sadly at her husband as Mr Best boomed. "Randy Turpin has asked me to announce that he is retiring from the ring. He retires as the undefeated British light heavyweight champion - but let us pay tribute to his magnificent contribution to British boxing which gave us our first middleweight champion for over 60 years..."
Condition good - given it's age. Never been folded (wear & tear/staining & creasing)
Price: £ SOLD