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The art of coming up smelling of roses

Back in the day when I was a kid at boarding prep school our access to television was restricted to the whim of a bachelor assistant headmaster, who’d previously been in the navy, who used to operate an ‘open house’ on Saturday afternoons in his disorganised study which gave off a ‘twenty [...]

October 25, 2016 // 0 Comments

Still possessing the urge and the protective cup

It wasn’t long after I joined the Rust that I received my first ticking off from the editor during an editorial meeting. He had just delivered a stirring oration upon the principles upon which the website had supposedly been founded, i.e. giving those past the first flush of youth the opportunity [...]

August 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

A boxing treat

Overnight – because these things happen when you’re a senior citizen – I was wide awake (albeit lying on my back in bed) when Carl Frampton, former word super-bantamweight champion, stepped into the ring at Brookyln’s Barclay Center in New York to challenge Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA [...]

July 31, 2016 // 0 Comments

The long-term effects of living life to the full

Beyond the familiar issues of corruption and performance-enhancing drugs (drugs cheats) that bedevil the governing bodies of major world sports, one of the biggest coming up fast on the rail for physical contact sports and games is that of concussion and its long-term effects. Here’s an [...]

July 9, 2016 // 0 Comments


Muhammad Ali touched us all. I was fortunate to be old enough to witness his early career after the Rome Olympiad. His two fights with Henry Cooper and one with Brian London ( “I knew he was fast but I did not  know he was greased lightening”) endeared him to Britian and this feeling [...]

June 5, 2016 // 0 Comments

The Greatest

It had been a long time coming but the news of Muhammad Ali’s passing will rock the world for a while. Like millions of others I shall spend this weekend listening to, reading and watching the tributes to his life and career in a state of numbed fascination and wonder. I shall feel entitled to do [...]

June 4, 2016 // 0 Comments


Last night Ivan Conway kindly invited me to an evening of white collar boxing at the Hilton Brighton. White collar boxers are amateurs who train with accredited coaches to acquire fitness and learn the skills of the Noble Art. The evening was also to celebrate the 50th birthday of Tony Cottey, the [...]

May 15, 2016 // 0 Comments

Danger and responsibility

With boxer Chris Blackwell lying in a hospital and his family hoping that he will be successfully brought out of his induced coma in the next day or so, the world of sport and team games – particularly those involving physical contact – are once again confronting the implications of [...]

April 2, 2016 // 0 Comments

It all comes to this in the end

Yesterday I sent an email to my brother, five and a half years my junior, about our theoretical plans for playing golf this year and was slightly taken aback when he replied saying that he hadn’t been enjoying the game for some time and had decided to stop playing it – well, save for making a [...]

February 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

Howard Cosell

On the Rust we often nostalgically praise the sporting commentators of the seventies. In boxing we had Harry Carpenter – not perhaps up there with Peter ‘O’Sullivan, Bill MacLaren and John Arlott – he famously called Bugner v Cooper and Ali v Frazier wrong in the same week. [...]

December 18, 2015 // 0 Comments

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