England international vest, Alan Rudkin

MOL LI 75/2010.14


ID: White tank top vest with a small Union Jack emblem on the centre of the chest. This England International vest was worn by bantamweight boxer Alan Rudkin MBE (1941-2010), who grew up in Dingle, Liverpool. A British and European champion, Alan won the Lonsdale Belt in 1969 and competed for a world title three times. Over an impressive ten-year professional career from 1962 to his retirement in 1972, Alan took part in a total of 50 contests, and won no fewer than 42.(1) At around 6 years old, Alan was diagnosed with Perthes disease, and spent around 18 months at Heswall Hospital, Wirral. Perthes disease, a childhood illness, is a disease of the hip where blood supply cuts off and the bone begins to die. It is most common in boys. His daughter, Rebecca, recalls being told that treatment for Perthes disease at the time was complete bed rest, with one leg up in a stirrup and a weight to pull the leg. Alan said that he had to learn to walk properly again during his recovery. When he eventually went back to school, he was told by the doctors that he could not take part in any strenuous activities or sports. Alan’s father, a keen boxing fan, decided to take him to the local boxing club, the Florence Institute in Dingle, to build him up. Rebecca remembers her dad saying that he was “a winner all the way”, and that spending time in the hospital had taught him patience and made him who he was, determined to excel and be the best in the ring. Going forward, Perthes disease did not affect Alan’s boxing career physically, but she believes it gave him the mental strength to prove to himself that anything was possible. Throughout his career, Alan dedicated himself to raising awareness and visiting children in hospital recovering from similar conditions to his. He was awarded an MBE in 1972 not only for being a great ambassador to his sport, but also for his charity work. Lent by Merseyside Former Boxers Association (1). https://www.theflorriearchive.org/alan-rudkin/