Today saw the sad announcement that one of the voices of Boxing, Harry Carpenter passed away on Saturday aged 84. Along with his contemporary, Reg Gutteridge, who passed away last year, they were the voices of Boxing as I grew up as a kid, and that is how I will remember them both.
Carpenter was one of the old school of commentators, with the ‘less is more’ approach to his commentary, not one of the attention seeking screamers we hear more and more of these days.
There is not too many commentators around who have famous quotes attributed to them, Carpenter had many, my personal favourite was “Go on… get in there, Frank” when Carpenter was commentating on Frank Bruno’s fight against Mike Tyson in 1989, always the consummate professional, Carpenter briefly let his guard down revealing his passion and partiality for Frank Bruno.
The comment is up there with all the great ones for me. Like Brian Moore’s “It’s up for grabs now”, or Jack Karnehm’s “Good luck, mate”, the legendary Kenneth Wolstenholme etc.
Along with the above mentioned, Carpenter will be remembered as one of the greats with the likes of Richie Benuad, Brian Johnston, Bill McLaren, Peter O’Sullivan, Dan Maskell and Peter Alliss, all names that are synonymous with their particular sports.
Harry passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, one of his closest friends in Boxing was Frank Bruno, with whom the pair became famous for the catchphrase “Know wot I mean, Harry.”
Bruno was said to be devastated at the news, a spokesman on behalf of Bruno said “Frank has many acquaintances but not many real friends. Harry Carpenter was a friend.” A fitting tribute.