Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Michael 'Butty' Sugrue

Goodness gracious ! When I first watched the St Patrick's/Gary Glitter, Clunk Click, I didn't take too much notice of the strongman guest. Too much notice of his surname that is. Because, thanks to Moor Larkin, a thirty year old memory has been jogged. I won't go into details but I do know that Butty Sugrue was a legend in London in the 1970's. 
Butty was certainly a great character, a showman and I can see many similarities between him and Savile. These men were a product of their age and a working class culture that has all but disappeared thanks to the pathetically political correct mob, who've managed to make all our lives, that little bit more miserable.
This is the building that was one of  Butty's pubs. The Wellington Arms, Uxbridge Rd, Shepherds Bush just a short walk from the BBC theater.

You may have little interest in Butty as a showman strongman. But there's one thing he did that has his name enshrined forever in sporting history. Bringing Muhammad Ali to Ireland ! 

  HOW Butty got Ali's manager to bring him to Dublin, is a story in itself. This is how we used to bank when a man's word was his bond 
 And, so it was that Muhammad Ali came to Croke Park in 1972 and the grateful Irish sang their hearts out
 Here's the whole fight

I have to admit that far more interesting to me is the story of the barman persuaded by Butty to be buried underground in a coffin for 61 days. I recall a few people tried this when I was a kid. You have to laugh at the hand waving from the coffin. The crowds were massive too.

This footage shows the great event before and after

It must have been great fun being around these great character's in the 60's and 70's. 

 One more thing I'll mention before I end my little tribute. Jimmy and Michael 'Butty' Segrue appear to have more than just acts of physical bravado in common. They BOTH lie in unmarked graves. Butty died just a few years after his spot on Jimmy's show. He was 53 years old and carrying a fridge upstairs at the time so the story goes. A documentary was made in 2012 'When Ali came to Ireland. Can't find it anywhere, but it will pop up somewhere I guess.

Rest in peace Butty. You seemed like a real nice guy ! 

They're standing on him. I'm sure he doesn't mind !

 OMG as I often say on twitter, just noticed that one of the few article's I came across while researching this, was published less than a month ago. Coincidence ?


  1. Not the film but some coverage here just after 12 minutes:

    1. Great film shame none of them mentioned Butty !

  2. I worked for Butty in the Wellington when Muhammad Ali was a guest star there. The bar staff had a photo with him and sadly, I've lost my copy. Where is he buried.

    1. Hi, he's buried in Churchtown, Beaufort