“I’m 6ft 3in, God made me too big to take orders from little b*stards! That’s not me. I’ve never done it. In the nick I never did it and I don’t do it outside. I make my own rules and live by them” Paul Sykes ...
Paul Sykes, from Lupset, near Wakefield, died aged 60 in Pinderfields Hospital from Pneumonia & Cirrhosis of the Liver. He was a man whose life might have been changed by success in the boxing ring, but despite contending for the British & Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles, he sank back into old habits, heralding a return to the self-destructive course of his life, by 1990 he had spent 21 out of 26 years in 18 prisons and as recently as 2006 was still coming to the attention of the law. His years in prison were not entirely wasted, earning an Open University degree in Physical Sciences, and his book Sweet Agony received an Arthur Koestler prize for prison literature.
Unfinished Agony is the journey of what happened to Paul in the years between the 1990 TV Documentary ‘Paul Sykes at Large’ and his eventual demise in 2007. Interviews with people who knew Paul, both personally and professionally, and piecing together his last 17 years. Along with some tales from Paul’s younger days the book gives a balanced view of the man Sykes, who he was and what he was about. With a little controversy along the way Unfinished Agony doesn’t shy away from the truth, for sure it hasn’t always been easy to hear people’s views on Paul, but it does without doubt bring across his huge, and one-off, personality, good and bad. It’s been a Roller-Coaster to say the least! RIP Paul Sykes (23.05.1946 – 07.03.2007)
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