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Summary

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 70s 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 gist! 

Sykes had also been billed to fight Lenny Mclean at London's Rainbow Theatre on November 20, 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. May 23, 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 and Commonwealth Heavyweight 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, 11 prisons and three special wings. Educ: Snapethorpe Secondary Modern, Wakefield Technical College. City and Guilds Bricklaying 1966 and 1975. BA (physical sciences) OPen University (1982). His novel Sweet Agony won an Arthur Koestler Literary Award in 1988.

©2015 WarCry Publishing (P)2020 Gadfly Press

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Big head

Not to bad bit of a big head but we'll worth a listen thought it would of been more bout prison then boxing

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all over the place

struggled to flow it and some pretty trivial content. wouldn't recommend, you can tell ges written it himself because it makes little sense. There are some funny one liners though.

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cure for insomnia

didn't finish,but fell asleep...over and over.
not the book I thought it was and am stuck with it .

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  • GW
  • 25-02-21

Outsider art with real punch

Strong regional working class dialects, witty turn of phrase, sports training, sex, and moments of poignant and brutal honesty. More than just a prisoner's manifesto or self congratulatory bluster. Sweet Agony is an entertaining account, a slice of life with airs of those kitchen sink dramas. For those familiar with Paul Sykes from the documentary made and it’s cult following,this book is further insight into this fascinating personage. Who famously had an intensely active brain as well as body. Whether the reader views him as an unaware villain or a tragic flawed hero trying to do the right thing, the agenda is never pushed. It holds up as unique novel in it’s own right.