Tribute To Tony Theodorou
I had a phone call from Kenny Harrison today telling me that his good friend of many years standing, Tony Theodorou, had passed away on Friday 30th November after two years of ill health. Tony was a great lad and earned his living all his life as a first class hair dresser. I visited his very successful loft in Richmond in the early 1990’s and was very impressed with his pigeons and outstanding performances.
Tony's father kept all types of fancy birds in his home in Cyprus and the pigeon bug hit Tony at the age of 21. A young Indian boy came to the Theodorou restaurant in Knightsbridge with a rung pigeon, and Tony got interested and knocked up a small loft in his back garden. In those days Tony trained his birds in shopping bags, he didn't have any baskets. The first real racers Tony obtained were Kirkpatricks from Mr Adams of Durham. He started racing in 1968, with his wife Hazel clocking in, as he had to work all day on Saturdays. His first club was the very big Richmond & District SR and he told me he had a lot of help from his mates, Kenny Harrison, Mick Honeyball and Couch & Cudmore in the early days.
Tony had two lofts set out very neatly in his massive garden. The main loft was a 30ft Petron, with corridor and the birds are trapped through three Sputniks. Tony had spent a small fortune on his stock birds and breeding loft contained many birds obtained direct from the Belgium masters. The main families raced were Peter van de Eijnden, Denys Bros, Staf van Reet, A H Bennett, Van Bruaene, Janssen and Kirkpatrick. The stock loft housed several direct children of champions, including a Kirkpatrick from 'Virgo' the 1st Open YB National winner. Although Tony was a 100% Channel racer he said he won a few of the short inland races with the Staf van Reets.
The Theodorou loft flew in the very strong Richmond club (Three Borders Federation) and National Flying Club. To say Tony had a good season in 1993 would be an understatement. He won major trophies in the club, including O.B. Average, Continental Average, First Three Water Races Average, First Combine Race Trophy, Second Combine Race Trophy, Niort Cup, Longest O.B. Race Cup and Longest Y.B. Race Trophy. In Combine racing in the 1993 season the Theodorou loft swept the board, and won many top positions including: 1st Club, 21st Federation Rennes (1); 1st, 3rd Club, 1st & 20th Federation, 6th SMT Combine (6,976 birds) Nantes (1); 1st Club, 11th Federation Nantes (2); 2nd & 3rd Club, 12th, 13th Federation, 72nd, 76th SMT Combine (6,594 birds) Rennes (2); 1st Club, 3rd Federation, 17th SMT Combine (5,389 birds) Bordeaux; 1st Club, 14th Federation (1,316 birds) Wincanton; 1st, 2nd & 4th Club, 5th, 9th, 18th Federation, 21st, 37th & 61st SMT Combine Wadebridge (young bird), with 7,594 birds competing in the Combine.
Although Tony liked the Widowhood system, his main interest was the Natural birds in the Channel events and he liked birds sitting ten day old eggs or feeding a small youngster. He raced with outstanding success to his lofts in Richmond right up to nearly the end of his life.
There you have it, the late Tony Theodorou of Richmond.
KEITH MOTT (December 2018).