British & Empire Heavyweight Champion

A regular visitor to the Sports Stadium this photograph shows Tommy training for his come back fight and is seen chatting to visiting members of the famous "Brighton Tigers" Ice Hockey Team. Tommy regularly trained at the gym which was behind the "Crown & Anchor" pub in Preston Village. The members of the "Tigers" are; Tommy Durling, Lorne Trottier, Sam Cowan (Trainer) Tommy Jamieson and Bobby Lee with his son Bobby Jr.
Photo by Trevor Chepstow

Tommy (Thomas George Paul) Farr. 1914-1986)
Born in 1914 in Clydach Vale, Wales, Thomas George Paul Farr was the son of an Irish immigrant, and one of eight children. His mother died when he was only eight years old and his father when he was eighteen, after a prolonged illness.

According to the records he won his first fight in December 1926 against Jack Jones at Tonypandy over six rounds, making him incredibly only twelve years old. From thereon he was nicknamed “The Tonypandy Terror”

Lasted 15 rounds with Joe Louis
He went on to win the Welsh Heavyweight Championship in 1936 and the British Heavyweight Championship against Ben Foord in May 1937. His finest moment came when he fought the World Champion Joe Louis in 1937 in front of 37,000 people at the Yankee Stadium, New York. Farr lost out on points, but was one of the very few to have lasted a whole 15 rounds with “The Brown Bomber” and his fame was assured from that day on. Tommy will always be remembered for his famous quote; “every time I hear the name Joe Louis my nose starts to bleed”!

A total of 296 fights
Although Tommy Farr was a wealthy man when he retired in 1940, he was facing bankruptcy when he made a comeback ten years later, at 36 years of age. He regained the Welsh Heavyweight title but finally ended his career, 3 days short of his 39th birthday, when Don Cockell beat him in 7 rounds in Nottingham 1953. After his defeat Tommy took the ring microphone and sang the Welsh national anthem – a fitting finale to his career. Welsh-born Farr had a total of 296 fights, a fantastic number by today’s standards.

Landlord of the Royal Standard in Queen’s Road
He lived in Hove for many years and when he retired finally from the ring, he took over the Royal Standard pub in Queen’s Road, Brighton. Farr took an active part in local affairs, being a prominent member of the Sussex Ex-Boxers Association.

Died in 1986
Tommy Farr died on St. David’s Day 1986 at Shoreham in Sussex. His ashes were interred in the same grave as his parents, at Trealaw cemetery, under the marble monument he himself had erected for them, with the inscription, ‘ In Death reunited’.

Comments about this page

  • Trevor – thanks for this story on Tommy, I had the pleasure of meeting him in the late Sixties when he lived at Goldstone Crescent. My father being a local builder was working on his house and I was helping my Dad with the job. I remember Tommy clowning around with me sparring. He called my Dad one day when we were sparring: ‘Kenny’ he said ‘watch this’ – he aimed a punch to my face and stopped it short. His fist covered my face – my Dad laughed. There was a story that used to go around about Tommy killing a dog with his bare hands for attacking his child. Do you know that story? The other thing I wanted to know was back in the 60s there was a local lad in the pop world a ‘Gary Farr and the T-bones’ – was this the son of the great Tommy Farr – perhaps the child that was attacked by a dog? When I go along Goldstone Crescent, I look at the house and remember the day I sparred with the man who fought the Brown Bomber.

    By Ken McNeil Jnr (02/09/2005)
  • For some amazing reason I had a dream last night that involved Tommy Farr and his family. I have just looked him up on the net and have come to your excellent biography. I am 64 and was friends with Tommy Junior and Gary. I remember the dog incident and I saw Gary in Soho in the 60s, I think he went on to manage bands. I also remember Mrs Farr as being very beautiful. I lived in Valley Drive – at the end of Dyke Road.

    By Tony Lucock (26/09/2005)
  • Tony: thanks for the info about Tommy and the dog incident. I was pleased to find the old story was true. Since my last entry on this page I have found a link from this great website to – Brighton Beat – which shows Brighton groups in the 60s. There is a great feature on Gary Farr and the T-Bones, even a picture of Tommy Farr on stage with the band. It also states that Gary Farr died in the USA in 1994. Thanks Tony for helping to solve my puzzle.

    By Dave (15/10/2005)
  • About my last message – sorry – it was The Upper Drive where Tommy Farr lived when I delivered his newspapers – and I’m pretty sure that it was his young daughter who was savaged by a large Alsatian dog. He told me that the dog was OK, but I left his newspaper at the gate.

    By Dave (15/10/2005)
  • I used to go around with Gary, and met his mother and father when they lived in Goldstone Crescent. I knew Riki and Dodi, his brother and sister, we shared a flat together when he was a lifeguard at Black Rock. I knew them for many years.

    By Michael Polirer (18/10/2005)
  • Great to hear your stories about Tommy and his family. I will be posting other photos of Tommy in the near future so keep looking. In the meantime if you have any photos relating to him or his family why not post them through this site. Best regards.

    By Trevor Chepstow (Sports Stadium Brighton Archive) (09/11/2005)
  • Just read the ‘Comments’ on this site and so sorry to hear that Gary died in 1994. I was at Seaford College with Gary back in 1960 and in the same ‘house’, Corsica. I’d love to know more about his activities after that date and if he has any family. Maybe you can help?

    By Michael Cole (24/11/2005)
  • Take a look at They have lots of info and contacts re Gary Farr.

    By Trevor Duplock (28/12/2005)
  • It has been very interesting reading all of your comments about Tommy Farr. I am a distant relative of Tommy Farr (he was my grandad’s cousin) and I am looking to study his career and life a bit more. I live in the Brighton area and would love to hear from anybody about any stories they may have good, bad or simply quirky. Thanks.

    By Adam Jackson (18/03/2006)
  • It is very interesting the things people remember about my great uncle Tommy Farr (he was my father’s uncle). I never knew or met my great uncle and would love to know more as my father passed away four years ago so I am unable to ask him.

    By Caroline Foxwell (nee Farr) (02/09/2006)
  • That’s the truth about the dog attack, I lived through it. I am the Champion´s daughter.

    By Dody Farr (25/12/2006)
  • I have a bit of a debate going on with an old friend of mine. I was born at 172 Court Street, Tonypandy, in 1956. I can remember living next door to Ann Farr and her family – a member of her family, Gary Farr, used to babysit me and my brother Wayne. I can remember Gary telling us old stories about the great man and I also vividly remember visiting next door and meeting Dick Farr who was Tommy’s brother. My qeustion is: what was the address where Tommy was actualy born? My research and understanding is that he lived next door to Ann Farr, but was he born there?

    By Stuart Mackenzie (26/01/2007)
  • Though living up in the north-west, I was a big fan of ’60s Southern British R&B and am just listening to a CD collection of T-Bones material. Sounds as good as ever. I remember seeing the band on Ready, Steady Go and still have a rare single and EP ‘Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem T-Bones’. The latter in particular, I played till it was almost transparent!  Is it really true that Gary is no longer with us? Can’t remember an obit. in Mojo mag. or similar. Dody -is that so? I’m saddened to learn that, if it’s the case.

    By Clive Pownceby (03/02/2007)
  • My father was an avid boxing fan, publishing his own magazines etc., and on passing away, he left me his memorabilia. I looked up this site in the hope of contacting Gary Farr, as I used to go out with him in the early 70’s when I lived off Portobello Road and remember him taking me to his dads pub which was full of boxing pics and stuff. It was a shock to read that he has passed away and I am trying to find out more about what happened and who his wife was etc. I have looked on the Brighton Beat site but no information. I feel really sad as he had a massive energy & zest for life. He was always zooming from one place to the next on his mega motorbike and his presence was always felt when he walked into the room! If anyone has any suggestions how to find any more info please it would be appreciated?

    By Lis Jackson (Parish) (04/02/2007)
  • Lis, it looks like Gary’s sister has posted on this site a few entries back. If contact could be made with Dody, she’d have all the details. I too, though I never met the man, am upset if he has indeed died. He and his band made some wonderful music which never got the acclaim it deserved.

    By Clive Pownceby (05/02/2007)
  • As I was walking around town the other day I saw a new bus coming along the road and there it was on the front TOMMY FARR. I closed my eyes and thought of my early boxing lesson with Tommy. The first time I saw it the service was No. 2 bound for Shoreham; strangely the last place where Tommy lived, on this occasion it was No. 46. As for the debate forming on Gary Farr – if you go to ‘Brighton Beat’ on our links, click ‘musicians’ on the left and it takes you to a photo gallery. Click Gary’s photo in the gallery. It says ‘deceased in USA, 1994’. It all seems odd but I can only go by what is on the web site. I would like to think we are wrong. His old mate, Stu Parkes, lives quite near to me and he was not sure.

    By Ken McNeill (27/02/2007)
  • Dody, my sister Devon and I would love to be in touch with you. It is rather unfortunate that for a good while it was rumoured among the Farr family that you were deceased. If this is not the case, we need to know. Please write back as soon as possible.

    By Brandon Farr (27/02/2007)
  • I am Grandson to Tommy Senior. My father Rikki is well and lives in Arizona, US, and the rest of us live in the westside of Los Angeles. Brandon is young man with the handsome inspired look of his father and Devon is nothing less then a stunning young women; they have become nothing less then a brilliant legacy of Gary and his inspired, organic life. They live in the mountains south of Malibu, Topanga Canyon. Dodi please contact me as well. I have known you live on Mallorca with your own family. I understand things with and the family went astray but family is family. We would love to hear from you as well. please. Thank you all for acknowledging Tommy Sr. and my Uncle Gary. Truly two men cut from rare cloth… as all the family Farr. With respect, Dylan Llewellyn Farr

    By Dylan Farr (05/03/2007)
  • Is the Downs Hotel in Woodingdean owned or run by one of Tommy Farr’s relatives/descendants who may be able to add more to this thread?

    By Neil (06/03/2007)
  • Tommy was born at 3 Railway Terrace, Clydach Vale, Tonypandy.

    By Neil Prosser (08/05/2007)
  • Just seen a musical about Tommy Farr – ‘The Contender’ – written by Mal Pope – celebrating the life of a true legend- well worth watching! More info is available on

    By Jones (25/05/2007)
  • Thank you to the Farr Family for their support of the music and entertainmet industry. Special thanks to Mr Rikki Farr for his support.  (DAR) Digital Audio Research in Arizona, USA.

    By Hayley Tamaddon (26/05/2007)
  • Tommy’s World Heavyweight title fight against Joe Louis on ESPN Classic a few weeks ago, took me back to 15 December 1966 in the Royal Hotel Norwich. I was checking in and noticed Tommy at a nearby table on his own. I told him I was a fan and he invited me to join him for coffee, saying he might spill some as his hand was shaky, the only problem he had from his boxing years. Needless to say, he spilt nothing and he was great company as we chatted for half and hour or more. He was a rep for United Paints and was also doing some work for Anglia TV whose studios were opposite the hotel – he was fronting a series of five minute shows called “Knockout”, featuring boxing stars of the past – who better? I still have his autograph from that day on hotel newspaper and his addition to it “Cymru am Byth.” A fine man and a boxer the profession can be proud of.

    By Bill (06/06/2007)
  • I hope Dody will weigh in now and then, as it would be nice to know more about Tommy Farr and his own.

    By Bernie O'Brien (30/06/2007)
  • Gary worked at Black Rock Swimming Pool Brighton in 1961. What happened to him. Is the ‘death’ report true.

    By Chris (30/06/2007)
  • Yes, Gary is indeed dead. I followed up his nephew, Dylan’s post on this board a few months back (backtrack above) and received a gracious reply with some details. I’ll respect the family’s privacy and won’t say any more, but yes, the reports are true. I can’t remember anything in the music press at the time but as we all know, Gary never received the credit due to him as a real cornerstone of British R&B and later as a superb singer/songwriter.

    By Clive Pownceby (25/07/2007)
  • Please could you ask Rikki Farr if he was at the Brave New World Club in Southsea?

    By Tansy (14/08/2007)
  • Was Tommy married, and if so what was his wife’s name? What relation was Doreen Farr to him?

    By Amanda (01/10/2007)
  • Tommy senior was of course married, his wife’s Christian names were Muriel Montgomery, or ‘Monty’. They were married in 1941.

    By Terry (13/10/2007)
  • My name’s David Farr and I live in Clydach Vale in the Rhondda valleys where Tommy was brought up.  I’m one of the few Farrs left around here and it gives me great pride when I go to the pub and see my great uncle’s photos on the walls and see how proud people are of him – as I am.

    By David Brian Farr (13/11/2007)
  • Perhaps someone has photos they could put up on the site of Gary Farr and the T-Bones etc?

    By Trevor Chepstow, Sports Stadium Brighton Archive (10/12/2007)
  • Hi, could a member of the Farr family please help us. We know Tommy Farr was related to one of my great grandparents – either Samuel Jones or Florence Flye of Dowlais, Glamorgan. He was also present at one of their funerals – we think possibly around 1943. Any ideas?

    By Jenny Horton (01/01/2008)
  • I am very sorry to hear about Gary’s death, I was one of his girlfriends in 1968/69. We were always drinking carrot juice and we used to drive around the countryside on his big motorbike singing and shouting our heads off. I shall never forget the very good times we spent together.

    By Katherine Riordan (04/01/2008)
  • Dody, Brandon Farr here, son to Gary. Listen, if you should come across this page again and see this message I should like you to know that my sister Devon and I would love to be in touch with you and yours. We often wonder about you and feel the need to reach out. Now that Monty has passed no one knows how to get hold of you. It would please us dearly to be in touch. My email address is “”. If there are any other Farr’s out their who would like to be in touch please feel free drop us an email.

    By Brandon Farr (13/02/2008)
  • I lived in Saltdean for 17 years and thought that Jimmy and Johnny Farr were the grandsons of the great Tommy Farr.  Is this all a myth?

    By Paul Hubbard (24/02/2008)
  • My name is Terry Scott, I was the singer with the band, Heaven. I lived with Rikki in 1970 in Curzon Sreet, London. Gary also had his room there. They were like my two older brothers. I have so many fond memories. The Isle of Wight, Rikki & Jeanette, Gary dipping his harmonica in dark rum to make it sound more bluesy. Tales about Tommy. Rikki; I’d love to hear from you, its been such a long time, always your friend, Terry.

    By Terry Scott Jr (11/04/2008)
  • This is a fasinating site of info. I am a descendant of the Farr family and have been listing the family tree on genes reunited, there are so many Farr relatives that all link way back.

    By Tracey Lewis (15/04/2008)
  • I worked for Rikki around 1972. He had a PA hire company in Borough Market, London, called Electrosound. We did the Reading festival, Genesis, 10cc and many big bands’ tours of the day. I was on the road with Chapman and Whitney Streetwalkers and THe Heavy Metal Kids! Gary would often wander into the workshop. I still have a Traffic tour t-shirt, bit tatty now though!

    By Dave Stavely (21/04/2008)
  • I knew Gary in the early 60’s when he would visit our private club called the ‘Den’ in Richardson Road, Hove. Dave Coleman Cohen’s stepfather, Reggie of the Alliance Building Society, let Dave have it as a hangout. Tiny Stannix, whose family ran the Dyke Tavern on Dyke Road, Hove, used to visit with him. Both played excellent guitar players and I still remember their rendition of ‘The Hermit’ (whose hat never fell!). When Gary graduated to the T Bones and played in the Starlight Rooms in Montpelier Road underneath an abandoned Hotel – it was magic. I can’t believe he’s dead! What a loss – a real larger than life character – in his presence you felt anything was possible.
    I wonder what happened to Tiny, and Dave?

    By Baron Clive Boxell (21/04/2008)
  • What an interesting site and good reading. I am interested in the Tommy Farr family as my grandfather, Albert Evans, had told me stories of visiting Tommy Farr a relative at his bar during the war years. I am trying to find out the family link. I would love to hear from a family member that might be able to help me solve my puzzle.    Are there any pictures available of Tommy’s Hotel in Brighton, as I would really be interested in seeing some.  Thanks.

    By Cheryl Wark (20/05/2008)
  • If Rikki reads this he may remember? In 1954/55 Rikki and I were ‘best mates’ at Brighton College Junior School. He played goalie in the 1st XI soccer team with me and also helped me over a bullying issue.  I went to his house many times and met his formidable father and beautiful wife.  Sister Dody probably won’t remember me (a skinny redheaded lad?).  Rikki and I used to climb over his back fence to watch Sussex CC and got up to a number of japes!  If you do remember me Rikki, I’m in Mexico and I believe you’re in USA?  After BC, Rikki then moved on to Seaford College and I to Brighton College Senior School and we lost contact.  But that is where I met another son of a sports legend: Bobby Lee (Jnr). We had a skiffle group together and practiced at the Mile Oak Inn and played (appallingly) at the local Church hall. So if you, Rikki, or Bobby, remember me, I would love to exchange 50 plus years of nostalgia.  Hope you’re both well.  Fond regards.

    By Steve Nedeham Browne (24/05/2008)
  • I am 64 years old. When my brother and I were very young, our father took us to a sports shop in Barry Island, south Wales, to meet the owner. He was a boxer (or ex boxer) and he gave us his autograph. Was this nice, kind gentleman, Tommy?

    By Colin Richards (18/06/2008)
  • I found this site by accident. I hadn’t thought about Gary or Rikki for over twenty years and then something made me put Gary’s name into a search engine and all this came up. My memories are of two people who would help anyone in trouble. I met Gary working on a building site in Haywards Heath in early 1964.Gary came up from Hove every day on a huge old Norton or Matchless and was a real character. I had not long been down from Liverpool and was forever getting into trouble with the local cops, nothing serious, fighting, nicking cars etc. I was convinced I was going to be sent to borstal and so got hold of someone else’s passport and Gary and I changed the photo for mine in the site hut one day after a long session in the local pub. Not a lot of work was done! They both said that Spain was a good place to see so I decided to go there. I stayed a few days with them in, Hove Villas I think, after which they put me on the ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe. I spent the next few months wandering around France, Spain and Morocco and eventually ended back on their doorstep one Sunday morning skint. I was treated to a slap up breakfast and a pound note. I eventually ended up getting probation. That taste of Spain led to a long association with the country. I learnt the language, got into the property business and spend a part of the year in my house there. Had it not been for a chance encounter on a building site my life might have been much different. I also remember the Starlight, I spent Friday nights there for years. If anyone remembers me from those days, particularly from Haywards Heath would they contact me at

    By Terry Fitzpatrick (02/08/2008)
  • From 1946 to 1948, I was at school in Brighton as a border, I was 10-12. We used to have boxing lessons from a local chap known as Tommy Farr. He used to instruct us, set up matches in-house and referee them. Super chap. I had a few light blows in the face from him has he taught us to use the straight right as it was called in those days and the parry.

    Towards the end of my time at the school, Tommy’s son joined us and got seriously teased about his handmade boxing gloves. We only used surnames, so he was just Farr as I was just Webb (one of three actually; we were Webbs 1, 2 and 3). Was this Gary? I thought the lad (for he would have been about 10 I think in the year that I left for a grammar school in London; my parents having moved up there from Wiltshire) was called Robin. Clearly not.

    The school was Hollingbury Court Preparatory School for Boys. Brighton 6, I recall from my letter writing days at the time. I have tried to find the School on Friends Reunited, but only come up with a similarly named one (Hollingbury Court) in Bolney; not the one; where there was a Allan Farr from 1948! This chap is now living in Australia according to the Reunited site.

    My Hollingbury Court was walking distance and across the road from Devil’s Dyke and a longish run up to Ditchling Beacon (hated that!). The area now is a housing estate.Can anyone throw any light on the matter? I would love to get my facts right on this. Thanks in anticipation.

    By David Webb (07/08/2008)
  • Surprise, surprise. He must have got the vibes. Allan Farr has just e-mailed me and confirmed that he was at the School with Tommy Junior (didn’t pick up on that earlier) also known as Rikki. (Rikki not Robin) so he was the lad with the made-to-measure gloves. And the school seems to have been given a new address. There is a photo of the place on Friends Reunited that I don’t recognise. You can all relax now but I hope my little bit was of some interest.

    By David Webb (08/08/2008)
  • A true legend.

    By David Farr (12/10/2008)
  • As a pupil at Hollingburt Court School in the 1960s I believe I am right in advising David Webb (7/8/2008) that the school he remembers relocated from Brighton to Bolney some time between 1950 and 1960.

    By Paul Davies (25/11/2008)
  • I too was at Hollingbury Court Boys preparatory school, however this was in around early 60s. I was one of three who set fire to the old coal building next to the boiler room as I remember, having a smoke, got cold so lit a fire in the corner.
    And wow does anyone remember the French Matron!

    By Alan Kennett (01/12/2008)
  • I was at Hollingbury Court from 1955 to 1959 and loved being part of it. Being a day boy one was treated as a second class citizen by the headmaster who always favoured the boarders. Does anyone remember the school dances and the christmas feast? I loved the sport football and cricket. It was great going to away matches to other prep schools. Alas, practically all of those schools have gone the same way as Hollingbury Court and are no longer.

    By Michael Robinson (02/12/2008)
  • The location of Hollingbury Court was in Ditchling Road where the road meets Surrenden Road opposite the Hollingbury golf course. I remember a number 26 trolley bus stopped just by the main gates. In that time, aged between 12 and 14, I would walk a mile to school and return in the dark of winter, alone. Those were the days when parents we not aware of bogeymen waiting to pounce on little boys. How free! How time have changed.
    The beautiful castle like house was demolished and the wonderful grounds sold off to developers soon after I left and the school relocated to just north of Bolney in West Sussex.

    By Michael Robinson (02/12/2008)
  • re Amanda’s enquiry re Doreen Farr (02.10.2007) Doreen Farr (my mother) was married to Tommy Farr’s youngest brother William Douglas Farr (Dougie). She died in August of this year aged 88 years.

    By Rita Marshall (nee Farr) (28/12/2008)
  • I noticed David Farr’s comments on the pub in Rhondda that he’s so proud of. David, what’s the name of the pub? I know a Jack Farr from the Rhondda who is related to Tommy Farr, and was wondering who your dad was.

    By Amanda (19/01/2009)
  • Hi Brandon, Devon and Dylon. Really nice to meet you. You probably don’t know who l am so I’ll start by saying that l’m also a granddaughter to Tommy Farr (so that makes us cousins). Rikki will probably remember me if you ask him about Dody, Valerie and your father, Gary. l was also very upset to learn of Gary’s death in 1994 because l had such beautiful memories of this person, his stories and the fun we used to have with him on some Sunday afternoons long before he moved to the States.  This is …no sé que decir!  How can we get in touch?

    By Serena Farr (14/02/2009)
  • Hello everybody. I’m Dody Farr, daughter of the champion Tommy Farr. I’m living in Mallorca,Spain and  I’ll keep on writing on this site. Some comments on this site spoke about my death, just to say to everybody that I am still alive, to the surprise of some people.

    By Dody Farr (16/02/2009)
  • I’ve posted on this thread before about Gary, as an admirer of his music and talent. This is just to flag up that there’s an imminent double album CD release “Take Something With You” which should be a fitting tribute with detailed booklet, extra tracks and demos and the full 1969 solo album.

    By Clive Pownceby (18/02/2009)
  • PS to my last note: other solo albums are out there too of course, ‘Strange Fruit’ for example and there’s a T-Bones collection that covers everything they ever recorded.

    By Clive Pownceby (18/02/2009)
  • I heard that Tommy had a quite a good singing voice and had actually made a record. If so I would love to hear it, don’t know if it’s a rumour. People in Tonypandy are still very proud of him, he is still remembered here with great pride and affection.

    By D Jenkins (15/03/2009)
  • I’m trying to get hold of Rikki Farr, son of Tommy, for a documentary about the 1970 Isle of Wight Pop Festival. Would be grateful if any of his relatives or friends could help. Thanks very much.

    By Barbara (07/04/2009)
  • I was at prep school at Hollingbury 1947-49 and Tommy Farr’s twin sons were there… I remember them… red headed kids… I was merely trying to find some trace of Hollingbury when I ended up on this site. When I was visiting the UK in 1979 I could find no trace of the school at all just rows of ‘stockbrokers’ Tudor houses which looked as if they had been there since Tudor times!

    By Jas A. C. Derham-Reid (24/04/2009)
  • Jas, just to put the record straight, Tommy Farr didn’t have twin sons, his first child was daughter Rosalind A. (Dody) followed by two sons, Thomas R. (Rikki) born in 1942 and Gary A. was born in 1944.

    By Terry Smithers (01/05/2009)
  • Sorry if I’m being a pain, but there has been no mention. Are the Farr’s of Saltdean, Johnny and Jimmy any relation to the late, great Tommy?

    By Paul Hubbard (02/05/2009)
  • Ok, I know this isn’t about Hollingbury but is there anyone else out there who was at the school in my time, 47-8? HM was Mr Morgan (gold-medalist with canes) his vice was his son-in-law Mr Roberts. We also had a home on Valley Drive (138 on the corner of V.Drive and Redhill?). We raised Dalmatians. We left the UK in 54. David Webb…can’t recall your name. Self, my cousin Geoff Nicholson, David Small, the Arnold bros, Maj and Min., Etheridge, Garment… Griffiths… (I thought the Farr boys were twins and it was said they were Tommy’s sons, but Good God! it was 60 years ago!)

    By Jas A.C. Derham-Reid (03/05/2009)
  • On an old TV recording that I have Tommy says that he made six records. I am not certain but I think the one on the TV recording was called “Remember Me” some of the lyrics – “…If you’re feeling lonely whenever we two are apart just remember all the while, you are in my heart, please remember that you’re the one that I adore….If I could take the stars above….that I would give them all to you…” etc. Another (not on the recording) was “Maybe I’ll find somebody else”. Some recordings, I believe, also featured George Formby but I have no more info other than Tommy had been a Chapel chorister and possessed, from what I heard, a very pleasant singing voice.

    By Terry Smithers (04/05/2009)
  • Hollingbury Court School was originally called Hollingbury Copse and was lived in by James Halliwell-Phillips from c 1880 until the early 1900s when Sigmund Witting bought the original one storey building. He demolished the building and built a much grander establishment which was sold in 1926 (I have the sale details) to Osborne Morgan who opened a prep school, as mentioned. It was sold for redevelopment in c1962 and Surrenden Park now stands in its place. I believe Tommy Farr also lived in Grove Lodge in Preston Road (now part of St. Bernadette’s School) and he trained at the Crown and Anchor in Preston Village.

    By Jacqueline Pollard (14/05/2009)
  • I suppose Jimmy Farr would be mid fifties now with Johnny a couple of years younger. Is there some kind of a family stigma here? Few people seem to want to talk about them as a part of the Farr family. Hope I’m not breaking any taboos?

    By Paul Hubbard (17/05/2009)
  • Hello Paul. Sorry but I think the reason there has been no comment about Johnny and Jimmy Farr is because they are not Tommy’s grandchildren and are quite probably not related in any other way either! Tommy’s own two sons were born in 1942 and 1944. If Johnny Farr is now in his mid fifties he was born around 1954 when Tommy’s eldest son was 12 years old ! As a surname, Farr is not uncommon and not all Farrs are related. I believe your Jimmy, or James S. was born in 1952 and Johnny, or John H. was born in 1954, their father was Robert Farr and he was married in 1949.

    By Terry Smithers (20/05/2009)
  • Thank you for that Terry. A Saltdean urban myth bites the dust. I think the pair of them dined out on that particular myth for many years.

    By Paul Hubbard (23/05/2009)
  • I attended Hollingbury in the late 60s. It is still there in Haywards Heath but is now split into private homes. If you are an ex-student, you can join us and share your stories, pictures etc on Face Book. The Robertsons were the heads of school in my time. Look forward to seeing some of you on the site. Thanks Face Book. Hopefully you will find some friends and stories to share. Look forward to seeing you there.

    By Mat Baroudi (12/08/2009)
  • I worked for Rikki Farr at TFA Electrosound in Hollywood in the late 70s. It was one of the high points in my working career, touring with the likes of Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, the Cars and many others. I didn’t know Gary, but had heard about him, and I’m sorry for your loss, I too have lost a few friends who I worked with over the years. I thank Rikki for the opportunity to work in the industry. I was born and raised in England and lived and worked in California for 12 years, and now live in Australia. If anyone remembers me from those days and would like to get in touch, please feel free to email me at  Cheers and all the best.

    By John Peacock (20/08/2009)
  • I was at Hollingbury Court school between 1953 and 1962, and remember when it moved to Warninglid. I also remember when Morgan died and when Robbie and Rabbie took over. I recall practicing for the christmas carol services, marching on sports days, and lots of other nostalgic things. However, I don’t remember a Farr being there.

    By Peter Venis (30/08/2009)
  • I worked with Rikki and the Foulk brothers at both the 1969 and 1970 IOW Festivals, and later during Rikki’s Curzon Street days as well. I have lots of great memories as well as many pictures of Rikki taken on stage and behind the scenes at both those events, as well as a few pictures of Gary performing. Rikki, if you are following this thread, contact me at and I’ll send you copies. Or if any of his descendents or other relatives can draw this to his attention, thanks. Barbara, I don’t know how your doco about IOW70 is going, or what your angle is, but I have a large and unique collection of behind the scenes stills documenting the build up to this festival, as well as onstage and arena pictures of the actual event. If you are interested, contact me.

    By Peter Bull (28/10/2009)
  • I knew Rikki from the days of the teenotel in Bognor where they had great bands. I worked there for a while and then they closed it down. Went to live in Hampton Court with Carol and Mike Read(DJ) and a couple of others with a promise of a job at Brave New World to be opening in Potsmouth, however I did not get the job so went back to Yorkshire. There was a guy called Errol too I rememebr being invoved in the club. Those were the days.

    By Linda (10/02/2010)
  • This may help your search for rikki Rikki Farr. Is this you? Edit 3045 N Colorado St Chandler, AZ 85225-1164 (480) 813-6200 Job: Diamond Audio Technology, Chief Executive Officer

    By Linda (10/02/2010)
  • In the late 50s I started taking judo classes, and Gary was one of the class. It was in a basement opposite the Post Office (just off Duke St), and Gary was one of the better students – he got his yellow belt before the rest of us! I still have a photo of us somewhere that appeared in the Argus, who wrote up an article on the club. I’d heard that Gary was in a band, and then lost track of him. How sad that he isn’t with us any more.

    By Allan Clark (07/03/2010)
  • I was at Hollingbury Court in Ditchling Road from 1950 to 1959 and remember it perfectly, even Mr Morgan. The matron, his wife, just sat me down and hand stitched up my bloody face with a needle and gut when I was pushed through a window pane. The boxing matches were quite amusing as none of us were strong enough to hold our gloves up and fight for three whole rounds.

    By Roger Khanna (24/03/2010)
  • I met Tommy when he used to come into the Boys’ Club in Shoreham and taught a few of us how to box.  He was a perfect gentleman.  Also, working over at the beach. I used to see him quite often on his daily walk.  He always stopped for a chat.  I’ll never forget him.  My dad boxed for the Navy so they spent a while chatting.

    By Paul Collins (06/04/2010)
  • I would like to get in touch with Rita Marshall (nee Farr) if possible as I am researching High Duty Alloys in 1940 and understand that her father William Douglas Farr worked there and wondered if she has any memories of his time there. Many Thanks

    By Lisa Edwards (16/04/2010)
  • I cannot understand why throughout all the comments about Tommy Farr, there is no talk about the time he spent in the RAF?

    By Peter Sandgrove (04/05/2010)
  • Does anyone know if Louisa Farr was Tommy Farr’s sister or cousin? She was my great grandmother who lived in Canada. Any help would be appreciated.

    By Beth N Humble (06/05/2010)
  • Only Tommy’s family have access to his service record and can confirm this but I believe Tommy was in the RAF for around eighteen months between September 1939 and mid 1941. It seems that he was ruled unfit for active service, possibly the result of various injuries sustained from boxing and was eventually invalided out some time before he married in October 1941. Whilst in the RAF he was employed touring the country giving boxing exhibitions.

    By Terry Smithers (06/05/2010)
  • My father has told many stories about Rikki and Tommy. From what he tells me, he and Rikki were pretty close in the 60’s and my dad helped Rikki with The Birdcage Club in Portsmouth. He also had an input into the IOW festivals. I would really love to hear from anyone who knew him (he was known as Pompey Jock then I beleive!) and I would love to hear any stories that anyone had to tell. When I told him about Tommy he was gutted and wanted to send his best to all the family. He told me that Tommy was one of the best boxers he’d ever seen and will never forget him.

    By Ryan Stagg (28/07/2010)
  • I saw Gary Farr & the T’Bones at Chelsea Art College about 1967 – an excellent R&B group, sad to hear of Gary’s demise.

    By Dennis Glover (26/08/2010)
  • Gary Farr and Kevin Westlake feature fleetingly in the ‘lost’ 1968 film “Popdown”. A screenshot of their appearance can be viewed here:

    By Peter Prentice (20/09/2010)
  • Tommy Farr was the best boxer I have ever known. He was dead nine years before I was born but he will be the best grandad I have ever known.

    By Thomas John Farr (20/09/2010)
  • My father, Ossie Farr, was born in the same valley but I have no details at all.

    By Godfrey Charles Farr (06/10/2010)
  • Not sure if anyone already posted this but I found it just the other day – it’s a video clip of Gary Farr and T-Bones in 1966

    By Graham Rowley (10/10/2010)
  • My mother who was born in 1916 in Treforest, S Wales (gateway to Rhondda Valley) once told me when I was young that she “Embroidered Tommy Farr’s boxing shorts” of course at that time there was no interest from me – but years later I wonder if it was true. I suppose it was as my mother wouldn’t lie, but now I wonder why it was her who was ‘chosen’ to do it. Maybe she did it at school in sewing classes or perhaps knew someone in Tonypandy, a friend of his perhaps. Don’t suppose I’ll ever find out now and it’ll be her ‘Claim to Fame’

    By Mary Wheeler (26/10/2010)
  • I am Tom Durling’s stepdaughter and would like to say that he is still going strong and totally lucid at the tender age of 94! And he still talks about his time the Brighton Tigers… Take care Maria Elena

    By Elena Pires (16/11/2010)
  • I was at Hollingbury Court from 1940 to 1947 from their evacuation to Wiltshire, their partial return to Haywards Heath, Sussex and final arrival back at Hollingbury Court, Brighton 6. The first boy I met was Benedict Perkins. Initially we were the only two boys at the Wiltshire address from early August to school opening in September 1940 due to our parents’ concerns over the war. Anybody still around from those days? I’m alive and well and living in Canada (since 1966).

    By Chris Dunning (30/12/2010)
  • I am so very sorry to learn of Gary’s death – back in the 60’s we used to all hang about together. My friend Bernadette used to go about with Gary and I used to date Rikki. Bernie and I were both dancers in the West End and they were magical times! Lost touch with everyone when I left England and moved to NYC in 68. Happy days. RIP Gary and I hope Rikki is well!

    By Annette Lee (07/02/2011)
  • I was wondering if there is a sister, cousin of Tommy’s family, called Sara? My father recently died aged 89 and he always said his mother was Tommy Farr’s sister, but I have just found out that he was adopted to a couple in Bridgnorth at the age of 3 after his father David died in a motor accident. He told me he was once living at a house in Upper Park Street in Llannelli. He also said that the Farr family originated from southern Ireland. Apparently Sara married a welshman called David but I am not sure about the surname as Davies could have been an adopted name. I also have the name of Gwladys given to me as a his mother’s name. I am very confused. My father’s name was Cyril Dennis Idris Davies (this is the name I grew up with). He had a sister (Violet) and 2 brothers (Fredrick and Horace). Apparently my grandmother ended up living in Wembley, London. I remember visiting her just once when around 6 years old so I am thinking it was a reunion between mother and estranged son as I never saw her again and she was never talked about even though I asked. My father once had a book called ‘Tommy Farr in his own words’ that my father treasured and I read this book a number of years ago. I seem to remember it was compiled by Gary Farr. My father told me then that Tommy was his cousin so he had an interest and talked a lot about Tommy. My father when young and two nephews have a very strong resemblance to pictures I have seen of Tommy Farr. Also please can you tell me the names of Tommy Farr’s brothers and sisters. If Dody, Riki or other family read this and make any sense of the ramblings and are able to make any connection please could you reply. Thank you very much. The information about Tommy’s family and life so far have been very interesting.

    By Pat Candlin (Patricia Margaret Candlin (nee Davies)) (07/03/2011)
  • Tommy did have a sister named Sarah, born in 1915. I’m sorry but too young to have been your father’s mother if he was born in 1922! It is also a myth that Tommy’s family came from Ireland. You might like to see my research into Tommy’s lineage (verified by a researcher at the Rhondda Cynon Taf Library Service) – here is a shortened version on this site or you can see the full version at  I don’t know that it will help you a great deal, but it might help to prevent you from researching along the wrong path. I can find no record of a Sarah Farr anywhere ever marrying a Davies or a Davis, in fact I can find no record that Sarah ever got married at all, this of course doesn’t mean that she didn’t, just that I cannot find a record of it.

    By Terry Smithers (08/03/2011)
  • Pat, I omitted to add the names of Tommy’s siblings which you asked for, they are not all mentioned in my research notes. In order of birth and including Tommy, they were: Phyllis 1904, Elizabeth Ellen 1906, Richard George 1907, Phoebe 1909, John 1911, Thomas George 1913, Sarah Ann (Sally) 1915 and William Douglas 1917.

    By Terry Smithers (09/03/2011)
  • Thank you for the reply, I am sorry that you received the first letter, as they were just notes. My granddaughter is trying to trace her family tree, she is 13, she forwarded my ramblings before I edited them and I was not aware until I had edited the letter and forwarded this to you. I should have been asking about the siblings of Tommy’s father and not Tommy’s. I have also found a copy of the book I mentioned (‘Tommy Farr in his own words’). I understand Gary Farr did put this together. There seems to be a copy in the library at Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Again thank you very much for your help and understanding. 

    By Pat Candlin (18/03/2011)
  • Ryan Stagg, you are correct, I worked at the Birdcage when Rikki owned it, I was working for Brian Jones, and we also worked there when it changed to the Brave New World. Rikki either got the club or bought it from Nick Hoogstraten – or now known as Nick van Hoogstraten. 

    By bill (10/06/2011)
  • With compliments to all. I am trying to find a recording of TOMMY and GEORGE FORMBY together singing / playing REMEMBER ME – “Do you remember one September afternoon”…. can anyone help? Thank you, Freddie.

    By Freddie Watson (02/11/2011)
  • By Terry Smithers (04/11/2011)
  • I remember meeting Tommy Farr coming off a train at Bournemouth Central Station in 1966 or 1967. I worked summers at the station while I was a student. I took his bag off the train and was told, after he thanked me, by one of the other staff that he was the great Tommy Farr. I also remember seeing Gary Farr and the T Bones at the old Marquee Club in Wardour St a few times in the late ’60s. RIP Gary.

    By Mick D. (21/11/2011)
  • Would have anyone met my dad “Pat” Campbell? He lived in Kimberley Road, Brighton, and was good friends with Tommy Farr. My dad was an Irishman and I am trying to trace his roots in Ireland. I did meet Tommy Farr once but I was only about 10 yrs old. He and my dad used to listen to boxing on a old brown radio we used to have. Along with a few pints I should imagine.

    By Alan Campbell (22/11/2011)
  • Hi all, I am related to Tommy Farr along the line, he was my Nan’s cousin Elizabeth Farr. I love reading about his life, he sounds a wonderful man. So sad of him passing - wish I could have met him.

    By Michaela Tolcher-James (24/01/2012)
  • I was speaking to my dad the other day and he told me that Tommy was an ancestor of mine, he was my great grandfathers uncle. He told me and thought he was lying until I asked my great gran and she told me it was true.

    By Aidan Farr (26/02/2012)
  • I don’t know if any of you can help me, but I’m trying to trace my father, “Jack Farr”, he was working at The Pavilion Bournemouth in 1950/54. My mother told me he was connected to boxing and that I really look like him, whereas my slightly older sister, doesn’t. It’s ironic that he saw me dance at the Pavilion as a child, but never realised I was his daughter (nor I) and that we both where musical and artistic – apparently! That’s all the details I have sadly. I did wonder if there was a connection to this family somehow? Any help would be gratefully received. It would be so nice to see any photos too. All my love.

    By Jackie Grimmett (11/03/2012)
  • I am also related to Tommy Farr. Apparently he was my great uncle. I’m trying to find a family tree or someone else who may know more.

    By Jesse Bowley (16/03/2012)
  • Beth N Humble- I live in Canada and I’m realted to Tommy Farr, if you email me I can give you more details of my family tree if that might help you.

    By Jesse (16/03/2012)
  • Hello, I might be to some help with some questions as Tommy Farr is my great uncle by marriage. My Grandfather’s Sister Muriel Montgomery Germon married Tommy Farr in the 1940s. She was a fashion model and also did some work in films. I have photos of Tommy with Muriel and our family untill they passed away. Muriel passed away only on Nov 11, 2002. They were both incredible people and so through our family in Australia, UK and USA we are putting a family tree together. I don’t have anything specific to say so if you would like to ask me anything I will try my best to get the information for you from my grandad:

    By Claire Slapp (07/07/2012)
  • Was Tommy Farr a Labour party supporter? I recall meeting him at my junior school in 1962/3 when it was used as a polling station. Tommy came round with the local Labour Party crew. I was too young to know who he was but my father was well impressed when I told him who I had met! My dad’s cousin (Horace ‘Lofty’ Gwynne) won the gold olympic boxing medal for Canada in the 1920s. My dad said Tommy was one of our best ever boxers.

    By Jan jones (23/10/2012)
  • Forgot to mention that it was in Manchester where Tommy visited my junior school on voting day in either 1962 or 1963. I guess he always clung to his socialist views from his early upbringing. Good bloke!

    By Jan Jones (24/10/2012)
  • Tommy Farr was my granddad’s cousin. Tommy Farr is an inspiration to me and although I do not train in boxing, I train in MMA and I feel so proud to say that I’m related to him. I’m from Manchester and I’m on holiday in Tenby and I’m hoping to go and visit Tommy’s grave tomorrow (that’s if I don’t get lost!). Does anyone have the postcode to Tommy’s grave?

    By Elizabeth Crowley (03/09/2013)
  • Hello. In reply to Elizabeth’s comment, I visit Tommy’s grave at Trealaw and leave flowers when I visit the graves of my family. On a recent visit I found a note left by Elizabeth, although the end had been damaged by the rain I was able read the name. I am not a relative of Tommy’s but he has always been a hero of mine. My first memory was of his fight against Joe Louis in 1937 when I was a young boy living in Kent, I later returned to the Rhondda because of the War. During my life I have had great pleasure in following Tommy’s  career , and now feel very honoured  at being able to visit his grave. On March 1st, as a special remembrance, I leave daffodils in respect of a very special Welshman for all the pleasure he has given to myself and many others. Diolch yn fawr iawn, Tommy. 

    By Ieuan Owen (12/11/2013)
  • Hello! I have in my possession a signed photograph given to my step-grandfather Jimmy Jones in 1942 signed to my pal Jimmy. Jim as we knew him, used to tell us that he was a good friend of Tommy Farr when they were boys together in Tonypandy. Jimmy went on to be come a fireman and then an ambulance driver in Newport South Wales. He married my grandmother. I just wanted to share this information and to ask if anybody can remember Jimmy and Tommy being friends.

    By Maggie Sweeney (23/02/2014)
  • Tommy Farr was friends with Jack Turner. I am connected to Jack, does anybody remember him, or know anything about him. I believe besides his interest in boxing he also played in a band. Can anybody help me with anything on Jack Turner PLEASE. Thanks, Jenny.

    By Jenny Watson (14/05/2014)
  • I live in Mallorca and have been best friends with Dody for 13 years. I am very saddened to say she has now passed on from this world and will be missed deeply. She will shine on forever in my heart.
    You can find me on Facebook under Marisa Pennett-Harris Mallorca.

    By Marisa Pennett-Harris (19/05/2014)
  • Just want to say how interesting it has been reading through everyone’s comments. My parents ran “The Mitre” pub in the 1940’s and after that “The Queens Head” both in Queens Road. Mum and Dad knew Tommy Farr and his family very well and told me many stories about him. She never forgot the “Dog attack” …. He was naturally devastated and evidently killed the dog with his bare hands. Mum also had memories of “after closing” spending time with him and Max Miller … In her words “Happy Days”. My sister was born in 1945 and has fond recollections of Tommy’s sons (being of a similar age) and playing around the local area with them, in and out of all the shops on that parade where everyone knew them. As a baby, Tommy once held her and she got her little fist up and hit him on the face. He smiled and in his words said” That’s the one and only time I’ll let a woman hit me”. My dad loved boxing…..that he passed onto me but both parents always said he was a lovely man and a true gentleman albeit with BIG hands !!! How lovely that all these years on. He is fondly remembered and not forgotten.

    By Karen Bryant (31/07/2014)
  • Hi there, I came across this thread and found it incredibly interesting. My name is Shannon and my grandfather is Jimmy Farr (my mother’s dad). This is an interesting discovery for me as I had no idea I had any relation to the great Tommy Farr!

    By Shannon McCarthy-Franklin (31/08/2014)
  • I know his nephew Luke Farr, who was a great boxer in his teens. I also knew his son, I think he was anyway, Granville who has sadly passed away now. The family still live in Tonypandy, Rhondda, South Wales.

    By Lee Millard (16/10/2014)
  • I would like to get in contact with Ann Farr as we went to the same school and we were in the same class at Wiston’s School for Girls, Dyke Road. Hove. I went to her home for tea on several occasions, and then I met her in a jazz club in London in the sixties briefly, before I left the country. I am now living near Shoreham where her parents lived.

    By Jackie Harding-Dobbs (26/04/2015)
  • Tommy Farr went to school with my late father Thomas Llewellyn. Dad’s sister lived in the 1950s at the station house Black Mill, Bridgend, Wales. We are doing the family tree trying to find his past and not sure of Tommy’s school if anyone can help. Thanks

    By Gerry Llewellyn (10/07/2015)
  • For Dody Farr. I was just wondering if your mother’s name was Violet Farr (Keto)?

    By Ron Landry (20/09/2015)
  • My nan was a cousin to Tommy Farr. She was Elizabeth Farr.

    By Michaela (29/06/2017)
  • When I was about 5 or 6, (1951/52), my younger brother was sent to a NHS run establishment in Hove for 1 month, to help recover from a severe chest condition. Because he was so young, I was sent with him so that he had a familiar figure to relate to. There was a particularly nice nurse there, who spent much time with us, and I’m sure I remember her taking me to an upstairs window, and pointing to a figure running around a grassed expanse saying “that’s Tommy Farr the boxer”. Could anyone confirm if my recollection could be true?

    By Terry Auty (07/10/2017)
  • Tommy Farr was my grandad’s cousin, apparently. 

    By Michelle Jones (12/01/2018)
  • Sunday afternoons in 63 and 64 were spent hanging around the Palace Pier and Gary was often seen frightening everybody dressed up in a gorilla suit!

    By Jenny Shaw (17/07/2018)
  • My dad and mum tell me they met at (Tommy) Farrs, which was a boxing club come dance hall in Marylebone around 1950. However, I can’t seem to find anything online relating to this gym/hall/club in Marylebone, which, according to dad, had a basement…..can anyone confirm this for me please?

    By Sue Pick (12/08/2018)
  • My father was friends with Gary and Ricky and used to swim at Black Rock swimming pool on the front at Brighton with Tommy Farr. It’s amazing how people still remember the Farrs all this time later. My dad says Tommy had lots of gold teeth and was a fabulous guy to know. My father also knew Mr Nick Hoogstraten well in the 60s.

    By Richard William Brewster (27/09/2019)
  • Tommy was my grandfather and a wonderful human being. I got to grow up with that gentle giant singing to me on his piano. Monty lived with me in Venice Ca till she passed away. Thank you for the great comments. X

    By Amber care (26/11/2020)
  • In response to comments by Allan Clark (07-03-2010) I also attended that judo club in a basement just off Duke street in about 1956. I will post a copy of the photo that Allan mentioned. Gary Farr is on the right of the four kneeling observers and I am on the left. I can’t recall any other names of boys in the picture.

    By Vernon J Stunt (05/01/2021)
  • My father Thomas llewellyn, my mother told me my dad went to school with tommy Farr, my dad lived in Bridgend blackmill with my auntie Florence at the station house where he died in 1958. He was married in 1937 they had 3 children (David b 1939 Gerald b 1940 and Gywneth b 1942) to Winifred Doris Mortimer, they lived in Abson nr Pucklechurch just outside of Bristol dad worked at ministry ornaments underground factory Corsham at the time 1940 approx.

    By Gerald llewellyn (04/04/2021)
  • I forgot to add recent contact imformation that I just posted I am on United kingdom face book as is my family in the city of Bristol and can be contacted there along with my daughter Hollee Marie, that is her ancestry member name all, are welcome to contact us from Gerry llewellyn in UK 2021.

    By Gerry llewellyn (04/04/2021)

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