For a once illegal sport boxing has come a long way and few bodies can have done as much to aid that progress as London's National Sporting Club.
GV Piccadilly Circus with Eros statue in fore-ground (NIGHT SCENE)
GV & CU EXT "Cafe Royal" (2 shots)
SV PAN INT Guests chatting
MCU Sir Stanley Rouse talking to guest
CU Henry Cooper talking to Gareth Edwards
MCU Douglas Bader
CU Master of Ceremonies announcing the Duke of Gloucester (2 shots)
CU Sir Alf Ramsey talking to Richard Meades
MCU Denis Compton talking to Sir Len Hutton
SV John Owen in boxing ring PULL BACK TO GV ring and officials
SV PAN Guests seated at ringside
GV Boxers in action Paddy Maguire (white trunks) v John Owen (dark trunks)
CU Spectator pouring drink at ringside table
SV Boxers - bell rings at end of round, boxers and seconds in corners
SV Spectators and wine waiter
GV Boxers fighting
BV Spectators with bottles on table
CU M.C. announces result of fight -- won by Owen who is congratulated by Maguire
MV Audience applauds as Duke of Gloucester presents belt to winner
MV PAN Spectators
SV PULL OUT TO GV Owen and Maguire in ring posing for press photos
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: For a once illegal sport boxing has come a long way and few bodies can have done as much to aid that progress as London's National Sporting Club.
SYNOPSIS: For any visitor to the capital of England the heart of London is Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square -- theatre land. And it's here in the West End that one of the world's most famous sporting venues resides at one of the world's best known restaurants -- the Cafe Royal.
A visit to any sporting occasion here at the National Sporting Club is certain to bring you face to face with ??? of the most famous names in sport. Like former FIFA President, Sir Stanley Rouse; former boxing star Henry Cooper and Rugby Union scrum-half Gareth Edwards.
Some personalities from outside sport -- like World War Two hero Douglas Bader.
And Britain's Royal family is well represented by the Duke of Gloucester.
They came from all walks of sport. Former England soccer manager Sir Alf Ramsey is a keen visitor, so are Test cricket stars Dennis Compton and Sir Len Hutton.
Since Lord Lonsdale became the first President of the newly-formed National Sporting Club in 1891, it has been almost a second home for the richer boxing enthusiasts. And it was these fans of the fight game that turned it from back-street brawling into the art it is today.
Illegal in the eyes of the law vulgar in the opinion of the aristocracy, boxing certainly needed cleaning up at the turn of the century. The club, then situated at Covent Garden, introduced very strict rules and attracted boxers like Bob Fitzsimmons, Jem Mace, Bombardier Billy Wells and George Carpentier into its ring. Consequently gambling on the result of fights became less important than the bout itself.
In the 1920's the club struggled financially and was forced to sell its Covent Garden home. But by the end of the decade it had re-opened in Soho Square. A series of moves followed as the fortunes of the Club, boxing and, indeed, Britain rose and fell.
But whenever the club has staged fights traditions have been kept intact. The black tie, silenced during bouts and of course 'nobbins', the custom of throwing coins into the ring after a particularly good fight. Lord Lonsdale is remembered by the magnificent Lonsdale belts, presented to title-fight winners. Defend a title twice and the belt is yours to keep.
The National Sporting Club has been through many ups and downs in its 86-year history. Now it finally seems settled at the Cafe Royal and boxing still has one very special home.