aka 'Blackpool Rock'
born: 19/06/1934, West Hartlepool, County Durham
Brian Harper was the son of Jack London, a well-known boxer and British champion, but he only took up boxing himself when he joined the RAF. In 1954, he first won the Imperial Services title (as the representative of the RAF), then the ABA crown, and finally the gold medal in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. Harper also represented the ABA seven times, winning five, and turned professional once he left the Air Force in 1955. In the RAF, Harper had fought under his real name, but as a pro, he adopted the pseudonym used by his father. He was based in Blackpool, but fought nine times at the Liverpool Stadium, where he was a popular figure. In 1958, he stopped Joe Erskine in round eight to become British and Empire champion. The following year, he lost the title to Henry Cooper, and also lost challenges to Dick Richardson for the European crown in 1960, and world title challenges against Floyd Patterson in 1959, and against Muhammad Ali in 1966. He retired in 1970