A farewell to Roy “Mickey” Tollis
Wednesday 5th May 2007
A cold windy day it was, to farewell one of the greats of The Golden Era
of Boxing - Mickey Tollis 26/05/1927-23/05/2007 About 200 boxing people
gathered at a Footscray funeral parlour. It was a little more than 55 years
ago Just 150 metres round the corner at a gym above then “Swing Bridge
Taxis” in Barkly Street where we both used train with Ambrose Palmer.
Back at the parlour the obituaries were read with the feeling you would
expect for one of the true greats of this Noblest of all the Arts. I came
to this gathering with my friend young at heart 81 year old Jimmy Hill who
fought Mickey Tollis in a scheduled 12 rounder in 1946, he was put down for
a count 7 times during the fight and it was stopped in round 10 in Mickey’s
favour. Merv Williams wrote about it in the Sporting Globe as “a
sensational fight, both fighters in round 9 went back to their corners on
rubbery legs.” “By comparison the Louis Conn fight seemed like a
schoolgirls squabble”. Said Merv.
these young men later became members of The Masonic Lodge, they always were
great lifelong friends. One of the notable characteristics Mickey Tollis
had a crushing handshake - like the grip of a grizzly bear.... well I
remember reading one of the notices in the newspaper prior to the funeral
which went something like this “MICKEY, SHAKE THE ANGELS HAND GENTLY” that
struck a cord with me…. a lovely touch of humour
funeral parlour and Burial at Altona Memorial Park Cemetery there was quite
a team,-Snowy Coates, Arty Scott, Arnold Thomas, Frank Maher, Frankie Scott,
Mario Magris, Jack Rennie with wife Nita, Brian Young, Sid Ellis, Nick
Farrelly, Long John McCubbin, Mick Fay, Henry Nissen, and Jackie Tucker,
just to name a few who attended.
luck Mickey! we’ve all got wonderful memories of you.
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