British Sports Hall of Fame 1950: Charlie Elliott, Rinty Monaghan, Graham Sharpe and Haydn Tanner

  • My choices for the British Sports Hall of Fame for 1950 are:

Charlie Elliott (Horse Racing) – winner of fourteen English classics and one of the most stylish jockeys of his era. He tied for the jockeys championship in 1923 before winning it outright in 1924. He had a long career with his first Classic win in 1923 and his last in 1949. He also had great success in French racing, riding the winners of four Derbys and three Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Rinty Monaghan (Boxing) – one of Northern Ireland’s finest boxers.  He had his first fight aged fifteen but didn’t really get the chance to prove himself at the highest level for another twelve years.  He produced a series of impressive perforrdmances which earned him a shot at the NBA world flyweight title in 1947.  He won the title on points and then defended it by knocking out Jackie Paterson.  That win gave him the British and Empire titles before adding the European title in his next world defence.  His third world defence was a draw after which he retired as the undefeated champion.

Graham Sharpe (Figure Skating) – the first Briton to win the men’s world figure skating title.  He won the first of his eight British titles in 1934 when he placed sixth in the world championships.  From 1936 to 1938 he was second in both the European and World championships each year.  In 1939 he stepped up to win gold medals in both championships.  He would have been a contender for Olympic gold in 1940 and 1944 but those Games never took place and he served with distinction in the War.  By the time of the 1948 Games he was still competing and he came seventh.

Haydn Tanner (Rugby Union) – he burst onto the scene as an eighteen year old with  a brilliant performance for Swansea against the touring All Blacks in 1935.  After that win he was called up to play scrum-half for Wales and helped them defeat the All Blacks as well.  He played a further twelve times for Wales before the War and also for the British Lions in 1938.  After the War he joined Cardiff and earned twelve more caps until 1949.  His fourteen year international career remained the longest of any Welsh player for decades.  A fine runner with the ball and able to produce quick, good quality ball for his colleagues.

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