Welcome to my mini Home Page. I am Ray Long...Here is some added information for all you Lancashire Ex Pats..
As you probably all know, I am an avid reader of the Ex-Lancs Pages. I was born in Oldham a very loooooooong time ago. I volunteered for the Royal Navy at the age of 17. I was a successful Pro Boxer during my younger years.
During the war, I could not wait to go and serve my country. I did so on the 25th Oct 1945 being the first date of eligibility. I was assigned to my port Division at Devonport and given a number that I have never forgot. Due to my tender age, still classed as a boy, I was not allowed the daily tot of rum as other sailor's were. I was however allowed lemonade. This did not stop me from 'tying one on' occasionally. The older sailors would roll their free ration of leaf tobacco in brown paper.They would soak the tobacco in their rum ration for the day. They used to make good cigars. I tried one, but gosh, did I wake up with a fat head.
I first started boxing in the Royal Navy but after being discharged on the 13th Sept 1948 I quit. It wasn't until 1950 when I needed extra cash, that I made a decision to join the Ashton-under-Lyne Boxing Supporters Club. The Club was run by Mr Len Steele who later became my first Manager after I turned professional. My trainer at that time was a Mr Jack Bates, second from the left in the picture above. Blood, sweat and tears flowed, as I trained hard for many hours at the Club which was situated behind the Gardeners Arms Hotel (Pub) on Taunton Rd Ashton-under Lyne. Jack later became my full time Manager. Having got that out of the way, you may ask, if I was a good boxer? My reply to that question will remain the same. "I never considered myself to be a good one, but have beat a few that thought they were". Thats me on the left in 1952.
Now on the lighter side of my boxing memories, I was recently reminded on the LOL page, of the time I fought Albert Price at Blackpool Tower on10/11/1950. This lad was known to have an exceptional long reach and boy, did I find out just how long that reach was on the night of the fight. In the very first round he just peppered my nose until it streamed with blood. I bled profusely but I can't honestly say that I was hurt, my pride, maybe, but thats all. Anyway, when I came back to my corner after the first round, my manager Jack got my dandruff up by saying " Ray, he thinks he has you beat, go and give him shit" and that I did and knocked him out in the second round.
The comical part of that episode was, when I was leaving the ring, the resident organist at that time, (maybe Reginal Dixon) played me back to the dressing room with the tune 'Rudolph the red nose reindeer'. I shook my gloved fist at him much to the amusement of the crowd of spectators. A final triumphant wave as I proudly made my way to the dressing room, was the end to that night.
I could go on and on, but I know enough is enough. I am beginning to sound like Carman Miranda I I I I . I will part with the remembrance of my dear deceased boxing friend from Manchester, Frank Johnson (the boxing window cleaner). Frank bacame British Lightweight Champion 1952-53 and again in 1955-56. He first introduced me to the traveling boxing booths on the fair grounds, God bless him. I know he will be saying, "go get um Ray" as he always did. Frank was one of the nicest people I ever met. The best pound for pound fighter that I ever knew. Well my cyber friends, I will bring my page to a close. I trust that you did not get to bored. Who knows, we may at some time, cross paths. I did just that, this week with Hartlepool George. Remember who ever you are or wherever you are, some one loves you.
Prior to my retirement, I served my last 27 and a half years as a Correctional Officer in a Maximum security Jail. I made Cpl. then Sgt. and then Lt. having been i/c Security/ Shift Scheduler/ and retired as Institutional Staff Training Officer. I have no regrets (now Ray remain being honest as Frank Sinatra sang the words to few to mention but I did it my way) Now that I am retired, I do as little as possible. I have been Married to the best wife anyone could have for 51 years. We have two great boys and one beautiful daughter, four grandchildren, three girls and one boy. Two of the girls are in University.
The following is a poem which was wrote by George from Hartlepool in England. I bumped into George via another notice board. The real big suprise to me was that he lived in Canada and that we live in the same City. Small world to say the least. We made arrangements to meet the other night and here is a picture taken during or night together in August 98. I am the handsome fellow on the right..
.. You know the
bloke who`s on the board, goes by the name Ray Long?
We arranged to
meet, on a certain street, at seven on the dot.
Thats it for now folks but keep coming back. I will have to get my ass in gear so Mike can update this page.. Take care yawl.. Sugar Ray Long (The Oldun from Oldham)
If you want to go back to the List Page, click UP at the top of this page. From there you can return to the Ex Pats Page..If you wish, you can email me from the list page...I will have to give up now as my one finger is getting tired. The keyboard keeps needing a bucket of water to cool down. Boy how I miss the secretary Debbie at work, The only thing I had to do was give her a very rough copy including mistakes and Bingo the work was corrected and done for me. God Bless you and (Sue Bond the Office Manager) you were both worth your weight in gold to me, and the Institution.
I light this torch in memory of my Father-in-Law and all boxers who now grace the big ring in the sky...Sugar Ray Long (The Oldun from Oldham) if you want to see me and our Jack when we were kids together in Oldham, click th spot