Many friendships have developed over the years through the sport and recently I had contact with a good friend of mine who relayed the following story to me about two such good friends who grew up together in the village of Ahoghill outside Balymena that has many awards for its beauty – Ulster in Bloom winner again in 2013. Joe Logan and Tommy Young are the men in question, Tommy left and went to work and live in England getting married to Nancy and setting up a family and Joe was to do the same staying in Ahoghill. After a lot of years Tommy came back to see his family and would return often after that, the pair were to meet up again and discovered both were into the pigeons. They swapped birds for many years and then both stopped with the birds but still kept in touch and would visit each other at various times. In 2011 Tommy told Joe he was going to start with the birds again and could he pick him up a bit of stock from around home. Joe went to a good friend of his Russell Bros of Cullybackey and Len said no problem he would sort him out.
He reared Tommy some young birds and gave him the loan of two pair of stock birds. The two birds the lads are holding in the photo have won 5 x 1sts, 4 x 2nds, 2 x 3rds and three Fed Cards, and another one had won 1st & 2nd. Not a bad result for a man who lost a lot of birds to hawk activity in the area and had just four or five to race. Most of the birds that Len gave him were from his famous line of Panis birds, and I hear more are on the way. So on behalf of Joe & Tommy a big thank you to the Russell Bros, Len especially, for keeping Tommy competitive over in Rugby where he lives and races.