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By Black Country Bugle User  |  Posted: January 09, 2003

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Our thanks to the Warley (postmark) reader who sent in the Smethwick boxing-bill (reproduced bottom right) and a press cutting (presumably from the long-defuct 'Oldbury Weekly News' ) which reports an interview with Sam Burgoyne (Snr.) more than fifty years ago, in which he informed the 'Weekly News reporter' about his sons - Sam Jnr. and Wally's 'hearthrug' introduction to The Noble Art, their subsequent progress, and introduced him to their manager and 'stable-mates' at his Langley 'trai

In his younger days, old Sam Burgoyne, had a reputation for being a good man in any sort of scrap. He also believed in teaching his two sons how to defend themselves. During evenings, he used to kneel down on the hearthrug and 'take 'em on - one at a time' - ignoring the pleas of his wife to 'stop it, you'll make them rough'.....
He is still teaching them, but not on the hearthrug. Every Tuesday and Thursday evenings and on Sunday mornings, he accompanies his sons - 25 years old Sam and 20-years-old Walter - to a fair-sized hut at the rear of Langley Baths. There, they meet manager - Mr. Len Perks of Hurst Road, Smethwick - and other 'stablemates' who are contracted to this well-known Midlands manager and trainer. Now - in the place of those two boys never scared to take a knock, Sam sees two young men who, he thinks, will, one day, make him prouder still.....

negotiations !

'They'll be champions', Sam murmurs, as he watches the way in which his sons set about their training. Manager Len Perks thinks so, too. In fact, with Ernie Comley, the well-known Warley cruiserweight, Bob Abbey from Wednesbury, Charlie Peel from West Bromwich, George Moon and Frank Hayes, from Birmingham, Len considers that he has one of the best strings in The Midlands.
He is now busy negotiating for an Area Championship fight for Sam Burgoyne, who spent five and a half years in the the Army as a paratrooper, and decided when he returned to civilian life, to pick up the threads of his pre-War boxing career, in the professional ranks. So far, he is unbeaten in eight postwar 'paid' fights and Mr. Perks has received offers for Sam to fight Bruce Woodcock's brother - Billy Carroll - and the Welshman, Ron Cooper - but wants him to get his Area title first.

Walter also
in fine form !

Walter is a welterweight and has produced three wins and two draws since turning pro., four months ago (October 1948), and has been delighting good judges in his recent contests. He spent two years in the Army, where he was able to carry on with his boxing. Six gleaming trophies on the sideboard at home, bear this out.
'They're grand lads' says manager Perks... ' and they are with other good boys, too. There's Ernie Comley who, since he turned pro., has won a couple of fights in fine stytle. Ernie trains conscientiously and his punching has improved tremendously' ...

High 'Nose
Job' cost to
career &

Another interesting character at the camp is veteran Frank Hayes. He travels from Birmingham to train at Langley because he likes the atmosphere of the 'hut' - and the other lads who work-out, there. Frank has now reached the stage in his career where he knows that 'honour hunting' is an unprofitable game, for him. He'll soon be on the wrong side of thirty. Nose-trouble has cost Frank dear.
Two years ago, he was well-set, when fights with the present middleweight champion of Great Britain - Dick Turpin - and Albert Finch of Croydon - one of Turpin's main challengers - put him right in the forefront of things. Then the nasal problems started, causing breathing difficulties and though he has already spent hundreds of pounds on medical fees, Frank still suffers.....'

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