Sweet Agony by Paul Sykes (Paperback)
Not heard of Paul Sykes?
Mentioned in the book, "Legends" by Charles Bronson, an A to Z guide of the men Bronson had regarded to be the toughest in Britain. Referring to 'Sykesy', Bronson describes him as "a Legend, Born and Bred" and writing: "I first met Sykes in Liverpool in the early 70's and at that time he was probably the fittest Con in Britain. A notorious hard man from Yorkshire, a fighting man in every sense. A lot of people never liked him, perhaps they even feared him but I respected the man for what he stood for". Bronson goes on to relate an incident said to have taken place in HMP Liverpool, where Sykes 'allegedly' killed the prison's cat and fashioned it into a "Davey Crocket" style hat, I think you get the jist!
Sykes had also been billed to fight Lenny Mclean at London's Rainbow Theatre on 20 November 1979, but this fight never materialized. Lenny Mclean, in his autobiography 'The Guv'nor', later explained: "A week before the off, Sykes went into a club in Wakefield where he lives, got well p*ssed and had a ruck with four doormen. He did them all but one of them got lucky and put a cut above his eye that took eight stitches to pull together". and the fight was off.
SYKES, Paul; b. 23 May 1946, only son of Walter Sykes and Betty Barlow, market and shop retailers, Wakefield, Yorkshire. Represented England and County at every amateur boxing level. Contested the British & Commonwealth Heavyweigt title as a professional. Holder of Distinction and bar, Royal Life-Saving Society. Qualified football referee. Holder of the British Amateur Weightlifting Record, Deep Knee Bend 5001/2lb. Much travelled in the UK Prison System: 25 transfers in 20 years to three prison regions, eleven prisons and three special wings. Educ: Snapethorpe Seconday Modern, Wakefield Technical College. City & Guilds Bricklaying 1966 and 1975. BA (Physical Sciences) Open University (1982). HIS novel SWEET AGONY won an Arthur Koestler Literary Award in 1988.