The boxing programme, shared by Frank Gilfeather, himself a champion boxer, which appeared on November 21, brought a response from another well-known local sportsman.
Chris Farrell, who played ice hockey for Dundee Rockets from 1951 to 1972, shares with BwB readers some quite astonishing facts about two of the boxers mentioned.
Said Chris: “Regarding the boxing programme that Frank Gilfeather sent you, this was the opening of Premierland in 1951.
“The photo on the programme is George Grant Jr, who was actually a very good all-round sportsman.
“He played football in junior and senior grades for Elmwood, Lochee Harp, Arbroath and Dundee United.
“Indeed, when United wanted him to sign for them, Arbroath said they wanted a fee.
“United were not prepared to pay for him, so George paid the transfer fee himself in order to sign.”
Triumph and tragedy
Kirkton resident Chris, aged 88, went on: “George was also one handicap golfer at Carnoustie, in addition to being a top-class snooker player.
“Also, along with his dad, brother and sister, they reached the quarter-finals of the Curling World Cup.
“Sadly, George was just 59 when he died.”
Chris, who “worked for the Grants for many years”, turned his attention to another of the boxers, continuing: “Also part of that fight programme was Jackie Paterson.
“I remember Jackie was overweight at the weigh-in and old George told me to take Jackie and his manager Pat Collins to Alec Smith’s gym in Park Place.
“Jackie stripped down to his underwear and we had a laugh when he had prints and motifs of palm trees on his vest and underpants.
“Remember this was 1951 when things where still rationed. The colour of underwear was usually just a dull grey.
Jackie Paterson (5 September 1920 – 19 November 1966)
World Flyweight Champion from June 19, 1943 to July 31, 1947
— The Boxing Bulletin (@BoxingBulletin) February 18, 2020
“He skipped for a short time, but, unfortunately, he still didn’t make the weight.
“He then had to pay a forfeit for the fight to go ahead.”
Chris, who was kit man for Dundee FC around the Ron Dixon era, went further back a few years to reveal: “In 1946, George Grant Sr staged a boxing show at Hampden Park in Glasgow involving Jackie Paterson v Joe Curran for the bantamweight world title.
“A crowd 50,000 turned up to see it – a UK record for a boxing bout at that time. Jackie successfully defended his title, winning on points, and was paid £4,300 for the fight.”
In later years, Jackie Paterson emigrated to the USA (Detroit), then South Africa.
Tragically, he was stabbed to death with a broken bottle in Durban when he was just 46.
Chris also responded to a BwB boxing query about one of the sport’s greatest ever fights.
Our December 12 edition carried a poster for the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ – world heavyweight title bout between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali – in Kinshasa, Zaire.
I pointed out the poster said the bout was due on October 29, 1974, but records reveal it was fought a day later (30th).
Said Chris: “It was all down to time zone differences.
“When it took place in Zaire at around 3am or 4am, it was actually a different day in the USA.”
Ali and Foreman square off in “The Rumble in the Jungle” right now on ESPN2 🥊
— ESPN (@espn) April 7, 2020
Pat Morrison, of Invergowrie, describing himself as a ‘boxing memorabilia collector” produced a similarly-styled poster, but which gives the date as the 30th in Zaire and printed in French, the official language of the country which is now known as the Democratic Country of Congo.
BwB recently published Graeme Strachan’s story about Dumbarton offering to sign Dutch superstar Johan Cruyff in 1980.
However, as Graeme again reveals, he could have played in the red shirt of Aberdeen a year earlier, along with other football legends
Said Graeme: “The Dutch master was playing for Los Angeles Aztecs when he agreed to be a guest player in a four-team tourney in Malta involving Aberdeen, Stoke City, Leicester and the Maltese national team.
“England World Cup-winning heroes Gordon Banks and Jimmy Greaves also agreed to take part as guests in the three-day Paro International Cup, which was due to take place in December 1979.
“Sir Stanley Matthews, who still lived on the island after moving to coach the Maltese side Hibernians in the early 1970s, was also set to pull on a shirt and play for Malta.
“The tournament was being staged by the Maltese FA to officially open a new pitch and Aberdeen fans also booked a seven-day holiday package to watch the tournament.
“At the time, Aberdeen manager Alex Ferguson said: ‘Cruyff will pull on an Aberdeen shirt and line up in the Dons attack.
“He will be one of three guest players who will take part in a four-team tournament in Malta from December 8-13.
“The other two are Gordon Banks and Jimmy Greaves, and each one will play for the Dons at some time during the tournament’.”
But, it never materialised as, just 10 days before they were due to fly out to the Mediterranean, the tournament was cancelled.
Graeme explained: “The Maltese government and the Maltese FA were involved in a squabble as to who should pick their international side.”
Football players, managers and staff are always sought for quotes by the media. I’m continuing to share some of them with you.
Legendary Dundee United boss Jim McLean, in April 2004, speaking about his dedication to the Tannadice club.
Jim, who passed away recently, said: “I was only interested in one thing – the success of Dundee United Football Club.
“Not one of the players was damaged by anything I did. There is no doubt, in my opinion, that I would do the same again if I could.”
Kenny Dick has featured a number of times in BwB.
Kenny was, perhaps, better known for playing, among others, with Dundee United and Forfar Athletic, and also managing the Station Park side.
He was also a referee at local level after he hung up his boots and, indeed, was still officiating until just recently.
And the Loons were the subject of a recent conversation I had with him.
After he stopped playing, Kenny became a scout and coach under Forfar manager Jerry Kerr.
He recently came across copies of reports which he compiled on potential signing targets – one of which is Alec Brash, who went on to become a Forfar legend, playing well over 400 games for the Angus outfit.
This photo, featuring Kenny Dick, is from August 1968 and shows the players who took part in a Forfar Athletic trial game at Station Park.
Back row (from left) – Carrie, Grimshaw, Phillips, S Dick, Fyffe, Hamilton.
Second-top row – Junior, T Davis, Wyles, Junior, Junior.
Third-top row – McKenzie, Junior, Junior, Knox, Milne, Mackle.
Front – Harvey, K Dick, J Young, R Davis, May, Gordon.