ADAPT AND SUR­VIVE

Croy­don EBA’S Oc­to­ber 28 func­tion goes down a treat

Boxing News - - Yesterday’s Heroes - Si­mon Euan-smith EBA cor­re­spon­dent

TO sur­vive, one needs to adapt, and that’s as true of EBAS as any other group, or species. For years, Croy­don EBA would hold a Sum­mer Buf­fet – an in­for­mal lunch – and a for­mal evening Din­ner around Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber. But in re­cent times there have been prob­lems with the Buf­fet – find­ing a suit­able venue free on a date when an­other EBA wasn’t stag­ing an event – and the num­bers at the Din­ner have been fall­ing off, be­cause mem­bers of other EBAS find it dif­fi­cult to travel long dis­tances late at night.

Croy­don’s so­lu­tion was to com­bine the two – hold a for­mal meal, but make it a lunch, to en­able peo­ple to get home more eas­ily. Re­sult – a very suc­cess­ful func­tion at the Ma­sonic Hall on Oc­to­ber 28, with over 50 in at­ten­dance, good food and a great at­mos­phere.

Twenty-five pound per head for a three-course meal was a real bar­gain, with the main course be­ing a carvery and a se­lec­tion of starters and desserts. Or­gan­is­ing it all was Croy­don’s ir­re­press­ible Chair­man, Barry Penny, still not fully re­cov­ered from his health prob­lems but keep­ing busy nonethe­less. With Barry were part­ner Irene and son Steven, and Barry paid a mov­ing trib­ute to Irene for the way she has taken care of him over the past months.

The meal be­gan with 10 bells in hon­our of the late Mick Smith, whom Barry de­scribed as “a leg­end in the EBA move­ment – a one-off, dif­fi­cult to re­place. He’s sorely missed.”

There was a party from Brighton EBA, who have al­ways sup­ported Croy­don. I took the op­por­tu­nity of ask­ing Chair­man Ernie Price about Brighton’s new venue – The Ro­mans, Manor Hall Road, Southwick. The first meet­ing took place there a fort­night pre­vi­ously. “Marvel­lous,” Ernie said. “Best venue we’ve ever had. Park­ing’s great, ev­ery­thing about it’s good.” I’m very pleased. Mov­ing is al­ways rather a leap in the dark, but this is one move that’s clearly suc­cess­ful. Jane Dav­i­son was there from Brighton, pass­ing round the pe­ti­tion to get an hon­our for for­mer undis­puted world mid­dleweight cham­pion Alan Min­ter.

From Croy­don I saw Pres­i­dent Bill Caswell, for­mer Com­mon­wealth light­weight cham­pion Pat Do­herty, Mick Lock, Mick Hin­ton, Terry Jenk­ins, Terry Pook, Ray Pake­man, Tony Chap­man, Eric Pud­ney, Dave Mccarthy and Dave Cow­land. One ab­sen­tee was for­mer pro Mick Hussey, a reg­u­lar at CEBA meet­ings – sadly he’s cur­rently suf­fer­ing from a slipped disc. Get well soon, Mick.

The raf­fle raised £270, and the event made a profit over­all. Most peo­ple were en­thu­si­as­tic about the lunch-time for­mat. One dis­sent­ing voice sug­gested peo­ple were more likely to get up and dance in the evening than in the af­ter­noon. Singer Barry Stevens worked hard to get peo­ple to dance – there was some re­luc­tance at first, but new mem­ber Shan­non O’brien (in­tro­duced in Au­gust by her fa­ther, Paul Tay­lor) took the lead, and her en­thu­si­asm was catch­ing. Sev­eral peo­ple had had to leave di­rectly af­ter lunch, but soon most of those left were on the dance­floor.

All in all, a great af­ter­noon. Moral – if the old for­mat doesn’t work any longer, adapt and find one that does. I’m sure there’ll be an­other lunch next year, and I hope more EBAS come along in sup­port.

Novem­ber’s Mug’s Al­ley, news­let­ter of the Mersey­side For­mer Box­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, opens with the sad news of the death of Frank Hope, Mersey­side and Liver­pool’s first-ever ABA cham­pion (mid­dleweight, 1955). Mersey­side didn’t have to wait long for their sec­ond cham­pion – in the next bout, Boo­tle’s Dave Rent won the light-heavy­weight ti­tle! Frank boxed for St Teresa’s ABC and rep­re­sented Eng­land against Wales, Ire­land and West Ger­many – and, most mem­o­rably, the USA (in Lon­don in 1955). Af­ter eight bouts the teams were level – four wins each – and it all de­pended on Frank’s bout with Ed­die Jenk­ins. And Frank won on points to clinch the tour­na­ment. Frank’s son, Gary, also boxed, win­ning the 1983 NY Golden Gloves 178lb Open Cham­pi­onship.

PE­TI­TION: Dav­i­son is de­ter­mined to get an hon­our for Min­ter

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