Monday, 22 March 2010

Harry Carpenter - legend

Harry Carpenter. Damn, sometimes you don't realise how much you think of a 'celebrity' until they've departed this world.

Old 'Arry was with me as far back as I can remember, watching FA Cup fourth round fifth replays on Sportsnight in the late 1970s; you know, when footballers were real men, and didn't get too tired at the thought of running around for 90 minutes two or three times in the same week.

He was also on Grandstand and presented Sports Personality, but it was boxing with which he will always be most fondly connected. I loved watching boxing as a kid - I remember seeing Jim Watt win the world lightweight belt in 1979, and even before that, John Conteh was a favourite. For most of those fights I watched back then, Harry would have been in the hot seat. He was a consummate pro, incredibly charismatic and funny as hell when he wanted to be.

And yet, it was only when I read that he had died did I think back and recall those moments - I hadn't realised the impact he'd had on my childhood, much in the same way as Paul Newman's death hit me a couple of years ago; celebrites die, be they authors, actors or TV personalities, and you may think it's a damn shame, but that's as far as it goes. Yet there are some whose demise really shakes you. Harry Carpenter was one.

Thanks for the memories, Harry.

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