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Happy 60TH Birthday to our Founder

Our founder Alfie has hit 60 joining a club I personally became part of back in April and he got the surprise of his life on his Birthday when he turned up at Paul Ramsey’s Club in Blackburn thinking he was doing some judging only to be welcomed by 150 odd people to his Birthday Party. He did not have any idea at all and bemoaned the fact that up to then he had a lousy 60th birthday because hardly anyone had been to see him. Mind you it did not take him long to start to make up for the lousy day he had, that man does know how to enjoy himself. It was great to see so many of his friends from over the years including Joe Tierney, Ian Hollet, Kurt Wikberg and Luke Burks along with former and current students come and join him on what was a special night for a truly very special person.

Born into a family of seven brothers Alf’s upbringing was tough, there were no such privileges that are afforded to the kids of today, who appear to have or get everything. In stark contrast there was nothing at all for Alf and his brothers because his parents simply could not afford it. Those early years growing up in such a large family had a huge bearing in shaping the person we know and love today.

Alf became involved in martial arts in his late teens and after deciding to start his own club over twenty five years ago has pretty much dedicated his adult life to the sport which he loves with a passion, as a competitor Alf never hit the heights so many of his students have but in those early days there were no weight divisions you pretty much fought everyone big or small, quick or fast, skilled or unskilled.

Although Alf had limited success as a competitor he certainly did not as a coach, mentoring numerous students to success at World Championship’s over a twenty year period and bringing many students through our syllabus to become black belts, some of whom have gone on to open their own clubs. In terms of success the numbers speak for themselves and as a result our academy has become renown amongst the worldwide kickboxing fraternity.

It takes a truly special person to devote so much time and effort into so many people for such a sustained period of time, the appearance everyone sees of a hard task master, berating his students when they do not perform to the required high standards hides a man who is kind, caring, dedicated and generous; to be honest to a fault. A man who has given so many the opportunity to realise a dream by subsidising expensive trips to World Championships over the years, whilst remaining passionate despite all the knock backs you get in this game in setting the highest of standards of his students..

Those sixty years have taken their toll and Alf’s body is understandably feeling the effects of all that sparring and holding pads he has done for what seems an eternity, there are aches and pains yes but then there’s the gout and the issues he has with his shoulder which is making it extremely difficult for him to hold pads. He is on medication and recently even started taking tablets I give to our American Bulldog who suffers from hip dysplasia, at least now he will be able to get all that for free, he will just have to wait a few more years before he gets his bus pass.

Well done to Chloe and Lesley for organising what was a terrific surprise, how the secret was kept with so many people knowing is incredible, I am sure with it being planned for so many months there must have been some close calls in giving the game away.

Picture to go with Alfs Birthday Article