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Discussion in 'Staffordshire Bull Terriers' started by F.W.K., Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Dusty Road

    Dusty Road Top Dog

    castle likes this.
  2. castle

    castle Big Dog

    Just mixed the names up !! The family I mention have always lived in Northern Ireland and the daughter was in the military like Harry , Harry was a WW2 vet but also stayed in the military into the fifties , the sons had a few useful dogs ,and one done a bit of breeding even used an old dog of mine to line two different n bitches .
    Harry mentioned in this
    Tommy Dix of Chester is equally well known in the rings of boxing and show dogs, as regular Bugle readers will be well aware.

    He is a great supporter of amateur and professional boxing on Merseyside, in the Black Country, and over the water in Ireland. He is also a Staffordshire Bull Terrier man through and through - and ranking amongst his best buddies in both these sporting spheres is a Wulfrunian of the first water, whom Tommy has been itching to pay a tribute to in our columns, for a good while.
    We let him take up the story, as follows...
    “A few weeks ago I was speaking to the Editor and a name cropped up. The Editor asked me a few questions about the subject of this article, and I told him the man was like his dogs, 100% pure Kosher, a man to walk the line with, and a man that did not know what the word quit meant, it was neither in his vocabulary or dictionary.
    In many ways, life can seem so unfair, some never seem to get the credit they deserve. This happens in all aspects of life. I have been involved in boxing all my life and have taken pleasure in my involvement. It’s been an honour, and still is, to be involved with John and Steven Hyland, Billy Moran and Neil Munro of Munro/Hyland Bros. Promotions.
    The wonderful feeling I had when Tony Dodson won the British title and made arrangements for me to be photographed with him with his Lonsdale belt, knowing Tony and his family had not forgotten me - he never forgot his roots. The moment Shea Neary gave me the gloves he won his world title with and signed a print saying ‘To Tommy Dix, the man who gave me my name’.
    Or when Mike Brodie came to our Staffordshire Bull Terrier club show with his British, Commonwealth & European belts.
    These are young men who achieved so much but they took time out to come and have the craic and mingle with the people at our dog show. I could go on but I am using this as an example. These men in the hardest game of all still had humility and class.
    People remarked what wonderful men they were and what manners they have. I can also add, the above friends have always been dignified and courteous in victory and defeat.
    If one man associated with 'Staffords' can walk the walk and talk the talk with the likes of those mentioned above, it’s the Black Country man supreme, the incomparable Harry Rogers.
    Like myself, Harry was involved in boxing and participated at a very high level. He was born in humble circumstances in Brickiln Street, Wolverhampton, on 13.11.1926, though his army pay book shows an earlier date. Could it be that this stalwart of the breed altered his D.O.B. to heed his country’s call?
    Harry saw action in Burma, Pakistan, India and Korea, plus doing his stint in other trouble spots around the world. He is immensely proud of being a South Staffordshire Regiment man, as well as doing service in the Parachute Regiment. He was due to go to Arnhem but for an injury during training.
    During his time in the army Harry naturally pursued his boxing. He boxed for his regiment and also had many bouts in the Far East. During his stint there he gave a couple of exhibitions with the great Freddie Mills. I had heard of this before I asked Harry, as, during an evening in Liverpool, I was in the company of Merseyside’s Mr Boxing - Jack Tansey. Jack was one of the foremost amateurs during the pre and post war period. Jack had also sparred with Freddie Mills. During a conversation, Jack said, “I never met the man, but Freddie said he’d given an exhibition with a man called Rogers, who would give anyone trouble. He was an awkward southpaw”.
    From people in Northern Ireland, another of Harry’s postings, I found out that on quite a few occasions he supplemented his army pay by taking the odd pro bout.
    We are talking about a different era, an era of the horse hair gloves, of rules being bent a little. Remember the boxing booths were still doing the rounds.
    How many actual bouts Harry took part in I don’t think even Harry would know. Many such as Harry, in any sport, had the best years of youth and manhood taken away from them. How many of the youth of Britain never had the chance of reaching their sporting potential because of what happened between 1939-1945, when they would have been at their peak?
    One thing I do know about the people of that era is this - they were true sportsmen and women. I went to football matches as a boy and saw them cheer the opposition’s good moves. I was taken to boxing shows and the opposition would give a great ovation to the visiting boxer. Those people also liked fair play and would voice their opinion.
    A big aspect of Harry’s life of course is his Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Harry’s in the unique position of knowing Staffords pre war and today, 78 years later. It was said when he was born, the Stafford bitch in the house had a litter of pups, and Harry, at a day or two old, was put with the bitch and pups to see what her reaction was! So if anyone was a born Stafford man it is Harry Rogers.
    During my time in Staffords I have met and conversed with many great men of the past, my great friend Len Pearce, Ken Bailey, Alf Tittle, George Walton, Arthur Baxter, George Ahern, Bill Hodkinson and the great Nap Cairns. If you asked me how Harry stood alongside such a galaxy I would say, “No problem, he’s like a cross between the homespun philosophy of Bill Hodkinson and Nap Cairns”.
    For all his involvement in the breed he loves, Harry has done very little judging. He has only judged one breed show and that was in Cork in Eire where he drew a great entry and people wrote of his knowledge and expertise. Harry has never bred a champion who gained a title in England, though he’s bred Staffords that have gained the honour overseas. Yet I and others believe this could be so different. Showing a dog can be an expensive pastime. Maybe that’s why bad sportsmanship comes to the fore. Take Crufts this year, when the judge Harry Coble was subjected to some verbal abuse. Situations like that are uncalled for, especially when you know the man to be as honest as the day is long. There is a similarity between Harry Coble and Harry Rogers. Both are real Stafford men and gentlemen also. Both have given excellent puppies to people to give them a good start in the breed.
    Maybe that’s one of the reasons why Harry has never bred a champion under English K.C. rules, he has given some of his finest stock away. Harry must have given as many pups away as he’s sold. With Harry it’s always this - it’s the dog’s home that matters. Harry’s old adage is this, “I can’t promise a champ but I can promise you a true Stafford”.
    You won’t find Harry Rogers’ name up in lights, you won’t find Harry Rogers creeping and conniving for judging jobs like some so-called experts. What you will find is one honest man, one great pal and a man whose knowledge of the breed would take some beating. A man who is greatly respected in the travelling community in Ireland. This man has no peers.
    This was brought home to me when Peter Delany and his sister, whose father was the late, greatly esteemed Willie Delany, asked me if I had ever come across a man called Rogers. I had with me some photos. One was of Harry, and Peter recognised him and said that his father said the man Rogers knew his dogs. I then showed Peter a photo of Jimmy Coughlin who had won 5 All Ireland titles and Peter had boxed him twice and won once. We laughed when I told him that Jimmy went for his 6th, and was beaten by Barry McGuigan.
    Yes, it’s always worth some young starter in the breed to take time out at a show, they might just bump into Harry Rogers. He is still as sharp as a tack and has an I.Q. of 148, and is a member of Mensa.
    Maybe some of the bad sportsmen and poor losers could do well by taking a leaf out of Harry Rogers’ book. Here is a man of knowledge and integrity who will accept a judge’s decision with dignity and grace. A man who most probably has forgotten more than they’ll ever know. A man who is one of our true gentlemen, a man who is respected not just in boxing circles and dog circles but also people of his community.
    Many times when I have visited Harry I have been present when neighbours of different creeds have found their way to his house for advice.
    It’s been an honour and pleasure to have him as a friend and what a friend. This article from my humble pen can never do justice to the magnitude of the man.
    I enclose a poem from Mr Steve Coyne from County Kildare. Steve is a very well respected gentleman in the sporting fraternity. Harry heard Steve’s daughter Michelle wanted a Stafford bitch and promptly sent one over, hence the poem.

    stedz likes this.
  3. castle

    castle Big Dog

    yes and legitimately allowed KC reg like a few more in that era and later periods !!!
    Dusty Road likes this.
  4. stedz

    stedz Big Dog

    The first time i ever met Harry was in Tommys house.
    castle likes this.

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