Sharman passes away RIP
Sharman passes away RIP
Legend of many generations passes away 24th. April 2006
Victor remembers his mates tempting him to have a go at Jimmy Sharman's
tent boxing shows whom were mainly aboriginal boys that looked mean and
hungry at the Royal Melbourne Show but very rough around the edges.
Victor remembers that Australian Champion George Bracken's career started
at Sharman's tents, he later progressed to professional boxing and went as
far as contender for the British Empire Lightweight title.
peaked his career in boxing when he beat Johnny Van Rensburg Aug 1959
after he had lost the British Empire Welterweight title to Aussie
George Barnes in 1958.
26 April 2006
Irene Scott (online)
We remember travelling boxing legend Jimmy Sharman who died on Monday aged
in Narrandera, the son of the famous boxer Jim Sharman, Jimmy took to the
ring at a young age. Travelling with the touring stadium he was a regular
at country shows from Cairns to Mt Gambia with the well known cry
"Roll up, Roll Up, who'll take a glove?" and "A round or
two for a pound or two".
Midnight Oil recognised cemented the troop’s fame in history with the
song, 'Jimmy Sharman's Boxers' on their 1984 album 'Red Sails in the
Before his life in the ring, Jimmy turned his hand to rugby. As a fullback
he played seven seasons (1934-40) for the Magpies and before he died he
was granted a lifelong membership to the club as the oldest premiership
player in Australia.
The residential rule applied and he was required to front the formidable
NSWRL secretary, Harold Mathews.
Mathews: "State your full name." Answer: "James Michael
Mathews: "Where do you live?" Answer: "I don't know."
Mathews: "Where does your father live?" Answer: "He doesn't
Mathews: "And your mother?" Answer: "She lives with my
Considering his parents lived in a caravan, his seemingly cheeky answers
were entirely correct.
Arthur Tunstall, secretary of the NSW Amateur Boxing Association
and boxing legend in his own right, helps us to remember the legend of
Sharman's travelling boxing troop.
Sharman's boxers travelled the country daring local men to jump in the
ring with one of the troop.
“A lot of the boxers were Aboriginal, it was an easy way of earning
money, and they were travelling around and they loved to travel.” Arthur
Those that fought with his travelling troop worked hard. With six decades
of tours and fights 11 months of the year 'Boss Sharman' made sure his men
could go the distance.
“The boxers he had were able to handle themselves, they were really
professional boxers as we would call them today. And he would sing out and
you’d get a group of young boys from the country that might have had a
couple of drinks with their mates saying “Go on Fred, you’re pretty
good with your fists, get up and have a go.”
lost a great friend with his passing. He was a great gentleman
“And so he’d get up, thinking he could handle himself, and if he could
Jimmy Sharman’s boys always new how to handle these fellows because they
had a lot more experience than the young contenders.”
“But Jimmy made sure that no one ever got hurt.”
“And of course the big talk amongst his mates when he got back to his
country town was ‘Hey Christ, you got in with the blokes from Jimmy
Sharman!’ – You were talk of the town.”
Jimmy took over the travelling troop from his father in 1955, a year
before his father died. In his own words, it was "A bloody good
business and a bloody good life".
where there was a country show, you would find Jimmy Sharman's troup there
Jimmy stopped touring his boxers in 1971. With a son of his own (Also
named James, another theatrical entrepreneur who directed commercial
blockbusters such as Jesus Christ Superstar and The Rocky Horror Show) and
the restrictions surrounding boxing getting stricter, it was time for a
“They thought I was a bit dangerous for fellas to be getting up without
any experience, and you had the situation where the NSW government said
they weren’t going to allow any more travelling boxing shows in NSW.”
Jimmie bought into a Dodgem cars partnership with his best Reg Grundy. A
simpler life, but still with the excitement of the showground. He spent
the remaining years of his life as a Rugby fanatic and never missed a
His wife Christina, died on Melbourne Cup night in 2003 after 65 years of
James Michael Sharman died at St Vincent's Hospice on Monday, aged 94.