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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 to cast a weary eye upon the world as it flashed by, and I had murmured something under my breath.

Perhaps not quite far enough under – as it soon appeared – because he then paused before moving on and invited me to share my bon mot, or indeed nugget of wisdom, with those assembled around our table in the pub window.

With my tail therefore somewhat between my legs, I admitted that my ‘connection’ with his stated vision was but weak. My own interest in blogging was simply with reference to what was going on around me in my middle-aged-and-beyond life. I didn’t care much for what anyone else was doing, still less the young. There was quasi-harumph from the far end of the table as my superior took issue, pointing out that in his view the key to a full and contented existence was an interest in ‘keeping up’ with the latest things and in the lives of others generally, irrespective of age.

At the time I stood corrected. Almost.

Anyway, today, let us now praise famous (old) men.

Fresh on the heels of 2016 Rio gold medal glory for both six-time Olympian and cancer survivor 54-year-old Argentinian Santiago Lange – with his crew member Cecilia Carranza Saroli – in the inaugural Nacra 17 catamaran mixed crew class, and for seven-time Olympian 58-year-old Nick Skelton, with his nag Big Star, in the solo show-jumping after returning from retirement and a broken neck, let us move on to the sport of boxing.

Here’s a heart-warming tale of another 54-year-old, Father Dave Smith of Sydney, Australia, who came out of ring retirement in order to raise money for church charities – as reported today by Jonathan Drennan upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN


About James Westacott

James Westacott, a former City investment banker, acquired his love of the Noble Art as a schoolboy in the 1970s. For many years he attended boxing events in and around London and more recently became a subscriber to the Box Nation satellite/cable channel. His all-time favourite boxer is Carlos Monzon. More Posts