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A TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE CRAWFORD OF ISLEWORTH - by Keith Mott

A TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE CRAWFORD OF ISLEWORTH.

I was very sad to receive a text from my friend Suzanne Spratley this week to let me know that the premier Middlesex pigeon racer, Charlie Crawford, had passed away. Charlie was a smashing man and had enjoyed over 40 years of successful pigeon racing to his lofts in Isleworth. I first met Charlie and his son Stephen in 1981 when they came to Claygate to have their SMT Combine winner photographed and sort out an article.

The SMT Combine finished a highly successful 1981 racing season with their young birds event from Plymouth, when the member sent 3,055 birds. The Isleworth club (West Middlesex Federation) had an incredible race recording: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th Combine and four other positions in the first fifty of the Combine result. The race was a fairy tale for novices, Charlie and Stephen Crawford who chalked 1st and 2nd Combine.

The father and son partnership started up in the sport with young birds in 1980, and smashed their novice status by winning 1st and 2nd Combine. Charlie came from a pigeon racing family, as his father had pigeons all his life, and his brothers raced with outstanding success as Crawford Brothers. Charlie had always been keen on the birds, but started up in 1980 because Stephen was taking a bid interest in the brothers birds. Charlie and Stephen’s Combine winner was a nice blue chequer cock bred from a Best & son cock and a Crawford Brothers hen. Charlie named his champion Combine winner, ‘Aubrey’, after his late father and previously had won: 3rd club, 15th West Middlesex Federation Weymouth. The second Combine pigeon was another Best x Crawford blue chequer cock and the partners called him the ‘Combine Cock’. This game cock was lost for three week at the beginning of season from the Blandford smash, which took its toll on a lot of lofts. Crawford Brothers had an outstanding youngster in the 1981 season, which won three races and the brothers won the West Middlesex Federation, the weekend before Charlie and Stephen won the Combine. A brilliant pigeon racing family! Charlie Crawford RIP.

KEITH MOTT (September 2021).

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