Herman "Percy" Vear (12 July 1911 – 16 March 1983), born in Crossflatts, Bingley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. He was a British professional boxer during the 1920s and 1930s.

Percy Vear
Percyvear boxing weight in.jpg
Percy Vear (right)
Real nameHerman Vear
Born(1911-07-12)12 July 1911
Crossflatts, Bingley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died(1983-03-16)16 March 1983 (aged 71)
Boxing record
Total fights85
Wins by KO3
No contests0

Brought up in Crossflatts during the First World War, Vear lived in Keighley all his adult life. Boxers are among the most colourful athletes in all of sports, with names like "Hitman", "Bomber" and "Gentleman Jim", so it should come as no surprise that Vear was known as "Percy Vear". It is not known how or who gave Vear his fight name, but in this case it seems likely that "Percy Vear" is a play on the word to "Persevere" (Per·se·vere), which means,

1. to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.

2. to persist in speech, interrogation, argument, etc.; insist. –verb (used with object)

3. to bolster, sustain, or uphold: unflagging faith that had persevered him.[1]

Boxing careerEdit

Vear was one of the most colourful characters in Keighley's professional boxing scene in the 1920s and 1930s. Vear was one of three fighters under the management of Keighley boxing promoter Sam Scaife during those boxing boom years, who also managed locally based fighters Freddie Irving and Johnny Barrett. Perhaps overshadowed by the other two locally, Vear proved to be a bill topper in his own right in many boxing halls up and down the country.

Boxing first as a flyweight, then bantamweight and later as a featherweight the demand of the boxing boom proved so hectic that going on for 30 fights a year were common (more that a lot of boxers today have in a lifetime).

Vear had 131 bouts (many as a substitute) during his professional career, spanning from February 1929 to November 1934.

Professional debutEdit

His first professional fight aged 17 saw flyweight Vear lose a six round contest on points to (Bradford born) Young Broadley at a packed Drill Hall, Keighley on Monday 11 February 1929.

His second and third professional fights were against Silsden fighter Maurice Emmott, both of which ended in respectful draws for both boxers. The local newspaper, the Keighley News reported "Vear took a lot of punishment in the first two rounds, and had his opponent not been more accurate with his blows Vear would most certainly have been knocked out. As it was, Emmott's methods were very crude, but he did the greater part of attacking. As the fight progressed Vear showed improvement, and the decision of a draw was well received".

His bout with Barrett in Workington was hailed by the local press as the best fight ever seen in the area.

The Big Fight: Vear -v- Irving

Two professional boxers from the same stable (run by Mr Sam Scaife) were both making names for themselves, Percy Vear and Freddie Irving.

In just three weeks during 1932 they both took on a formidable opponent called Young Tucker of Nelson. 17-year-old Irving forced him to a draw at Colne, while Vear brought off a points win in Keighley Drill Hall. These creditable performances by these two stable mates aroused the interest of the boxing public, and this inevitably led to a money-match being staged in the Drill Hall on 11 April 1932.

It was reported at the time "The contest was one of ten 2 minute rounds at 9st, under forfeit. There were side-stakes of £25, plus a substantial purse offered by the promoter".

The match was one of the biggest local attractions Keighley fight fans had even seen for many years. They responded well and there was a capacity crowd of 1,400. The cost per ticket was 2s. 4d. for reserved seats and 1s. 2d for the remainder. Mr Harry Jennings of Bradford refereed the match and held the purse. The local newspaper, the Keighley News, which gave considerable space to boxing, reported, "that it was not until the final two rounds that Vear really came into contention".

Vear had obviously been saving himself, but by the time he had reached the point of wearing down Irving's defence it was too late. Irving took the match and the purse on a points verdict and it was a fitting climax to the 1931–32 fight season.

Other sporting activities outside boxingEdit

Following his boxing career, Vear was involved with his local association football club, Keighley Town.[2]

He offered his services as fitness and exercise coach to the team. He helped structure the training and exercises on training nights and assisted in giving the embrocation muscle rubs before a game and at half-time.

The club played in the Old Yorkshire League for two seasons between 1946–47 and 1947–48 before folding.

The club was subsequently reformed in 1981 by ex-Wales and Bradford City footballer Trevor Hockey.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Vear was married to Doreen and they had three children, 2 sons, Terrance & Leslie & a daughter, Yvonne. Vear worked as a shot blaster for a local firm in Keighley the "Rustless Iron Company Ltd" now known under the acronym Trico Vitreous Enamel, and moved to the nearby town of Bingley.[4] He worked there until his retirement in the mid 1970s. The sole activity of the company was the vitreous enamelling of metal products and components with the ability to enamel anything from a bath to a cap badge. On 3 January 1974, Vear was presented by the "Rustless Iron Company Ltd" with an analogue "Gold Watch" for 25 years loyal service to the company.

Vear's wife died of cancer in 1968, and years later Vear remarried. He lived with his second wife Florence May at Broomfield Road, Keighley. Vear became ill in his late 60s and spent the last year of his life being cared for at Holmewood Residential Home, Fell Lane, Keighley.

On 12 July 2007, 96 years to the day of Vear's birth, his great-grandson, from his youngest son Leslie's line of descendants, was born. He is aptly named Jenson Percy Leslie Vear.

In 2009, Christopher Dunn (illustrator)[5] staged an exhibition of his watercolours entitled "Bingley Secrets". One of his pieces was of boxer Vear sitting on top of Damart UK Headquarters factory chimney overlooking Bingley.[6]

In 2012, a 'Traditional Real Ale' public house was named after Vear in his home town of Keighley in Aireworth Street in honour of his achievements.[7] There is a Pint of real ale beer named after Vear aptly named "Percy’s Pint", which may be found and consumed on the premise. This beer is specially brewed by Empire Brewery in Huddersfield.[8] There is another pub in Leymoor road, Golcar, Huddersfield called Percy Vear.

Career recordEdit

43 Wins (3 knockouts, 38 decisions, 1 retired, 1 disqualifications), 28 Losses (1 knockouts, 23 decisions, 3 retired, 1 disqualifications), 14 Draws
Res. Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location, UK Notes
Loss   Young Broadley (Bradford) Decision 6 (6) 1929-02-11 Drill Hall, Keighley Handbill misspelt as "Veer"
Draw   Maurice Emmott (Silsden) x 6 (6) 1929-03-18 Drill Hall, Keighley Handbill misspelt as "Veer"
Draw   Maurice Emmott (Silsden) x 6 (6) 1929-04-08 Drill Hall, Keighley Handbill misspelt as "Veer"
Draw   Dusty Young (Harrogate) x 6 (6) 1929-08-21 In the Woodlands Hotel Gardens, Harrogate
Draw   Young Mack (Harrogate) x 6 (6) 1929-09-11 In the Woodlands Hotel Gardens, Harrogate
Win   Mick Walsh (Harrogate) Decision 6 (6) 1929-10-21 Starbeck Physical Culture Room, Starbeck Handbill misspelt as "Vere"
Draw   Young Hargreaves (Dewsbury) x 6 (6) 1929-10-27 Batley Physical Culture Club, Batley
Draw   Young Broadley (Bradford) x 6 (6) 1929-10-28 Drill Hall, Keighley 2nd Fight in two days
Loss   Danny Wakelam (Castleford) Decision 8 (8) 1929-11-29 Gaiety Skating Rink, Castleford Handbill misspelt as "Veare"
Win   Maurice Emmott (Silsden) Decision 6 (6) 1929-12-09 Drill Hall, Keighley
Loss   Teddy Talbot (Warrington) Stopped 8 (8) 1929-12-25 The Rink, Knaresborough Handbill marked as A.N.Other
Loss   Danny Wakelam (Castleford) Decision 8 (8) 1930-01-15 The Rink, Batley Carr, Dewsbury Handbill misspelt as "Veare"
Win   Tommy Boylan (Barrow) Decision 8 (8) 1930-02-17 Drill Hall, Workington
Win   Maurice Emmott (Silsden) Decision 8 (8) 1930-02-24 Drill Hall, Keighley
Win   Jack Inwood (Birstall) Decision 8 (8) 1930-03-03 Birstall Physical Culture Club, Birstall Handbill misspelt as "Veare"
Loss   Dod Lockland (Bradford) Decision 8 (8) 1930-03-10 Horton Green Social Club, Bradford Handbill misspelt as "Veare"
Loss   Mick Walsh (Harrogate) Decision 8 (8) 1930-03-17 Ideal Skating Rink, Harrogate Handbill misspelt as "Vere"
Draw   Danny Wakelam (Castleford) x 8 (8) 1930-03-24 Drill Hall, Keighley
Loss   Danny Wakelam (Castleford) Decision 8 (8) 1930-04-06 Horton Green Social Club, Bradford Handbill misspelt as "Veare"
Loss   Young Broadley (Bradford) Decision 8 (8) 1930-04-07 Birstall Physical Culture Club, Birstall Handbill misspelt as "Veare"
Win   John Barrett (Keighley) Decision 8 (8) 1930-05-05 Drill Hall, Workington
Win   Jack White (Bradford) Decision 6 (6) 1930-06-02 Drill Hall, Keighley
Loss   Boy Gibson (Bradford) KO 4 (8) 1930-06-30 The Black Swan, Harrogate Vear substitute for Alfred Buck
Win   Joe Speight KO 8 (8) 1930-07-15 Gomersal
Win   Jack Smith (Shipley) Decision 8 (8) 1930-09-01 Victoria Hall, Saltaire Handbill misspelt as "Veare"
Win   Tommy Gallagher (Huddersfield) Decision 6 (6) 1930-09-28 Vulcan Athletic Club, Dewsbury
Loss   Freddie Irving (Keighley) Decision 6 (6) 1930-09-29 Drill Hall, Keighley Vear substitute for Young Haggas
Win   Young Kirkley (Leeds) Decision 8 (8) 1930-11-10 The Baths, Normanton
Win   Young Dudley (Wakefield) Decision 10 (10) 1930-11-16 The Premier School of Boxing, Liversedge
Draw   Harry Johnson (Macclesfield) x 8 (8) 1930-11-24 Drill Hall, Keighley
Win   Joe Speight (Birstall) Stopped 4 (6) 1930-12-08 Drill Hall, Keighley Vear substitute for Young Ogden
Win   Eric (Kid) Lawton (Goole) Decision 10 (10) 1930-12-14 The Premier School of Boxing, Liversedge
Win   Kid Close (Holbeck, Leeds) Decision 8 (8) 1930-12-21 The Windsor Stadium, Leeds
Win   Johnny Parker (Doncaster) Decision 10 (10) 1931-01-18 The Premier School of Boxing, Liversedge
Win   Jim Burrows (Barnsley) Decision 8 (8) 1931-01-23 Drill Hall, Keighley
Win   Mickey Ryan (Leeds) Decision 10 (10) 1931-03-09 Drill Hall, Keighley Ryan stand-in for Young Stafford
Draw   Johnny Nolan (Bradford) x 10 (10) 1931-03-23 The New Stadium, Bradford
Win   Kid Eccles (Leeds) Decision 10 (10) 1931-04-06 Drill Hall, Keighley
Win   Jackie Quinn (Bradford) Decision 10 (10) 1931-05-04 The Windsor Stadium, Leeds
Draw   Mick Howard (Liverpool) x 10 (10) 1931-06-03 Wigan controversial draw, Vear appeared to be easy Winner
Loss   Dickie Inckles (Sheffield) Decision 12 (12) 1931-06-15 Don Road Stadium, Sheffield
Win   Billy Sullivan (Silsden) Decision 10 (10) 1931-07-05 The Picture House, Streethouse, Pontefract
Win   Jacky Skelly (Barnsley) Decision 10 (10) 1931-07-11 The Plant Hotel, Mexborough
Win   Dickie Inckles (Sheffield) Decision 12 (12) 1931-07-15 Don Road Stadium, Sheffield Inckles had verdicts over Jackie Brown (British Champion) & Bert Kirby (Ex-Champion)
Loss   Jackie Webster (Normanton) Decision 12 (12) 1931-07-29 Newhall Sports Ground, Attercliffe, Sheffield
Win   Billy Gritt (Doncaster) Decision 10 (10) 1931-08-01 Open-air boxing at The Plant Hotel, Mexborough
Draw   Joe Goodall (Castleford) x 12 (12) 1931-08-15 Newhall Sports Ground, Attercliffe, Sheffield
Win   Steve Firman (Swinton, Mexborough) Decision 10 (10) 1931-08-23 The Brunswick Stadium, Leeds
Draw   Steve Firman (Swinton, Mexborough) x 10 (10) 1931-08-28 Denaby, Doncaster
Loss   Young Dandy (Scunthorpe) Decision 10 (10) 1931-09-20 The Brunswick Stadium, Leeds
Loss   George Aldred (Bolton) Decision 10 (10) 1931-10-12 Olympia Skating Ring, Wakefield Aldred substitute for Joe Speakman
Loss   Dyke Archer (Salford) Decision 12 (12) 1931-10-22 Colne
Win   Mickey Callaghan (Leeds) Decision 10 (10) 1931-10-25 The Brunswick Stadium, Leeds Callaghan substitute for Jacky Barber
Win   Willie Walsh (Oldham) Decision 10 (10) 1931-11-03 British Legion Club, Huddersfield
Loss   Seaman Dobson (Leeds) Decision 12 (12) 1931-11-27 Imperial Boxing Hall, Barnsley Vear Substitute for Johnny Regan
Draw   Young Creasy (Newark) X 10 (10) 1931-12-03 Victoria Baths, Nottingham
Loss   George Aldred (Bolton) Decision 10 (10) 1931-12-13 The Brunswick Stadium, Leeds Handbill misspelt as "Veir"
Win   Tiny Smith (Sheffield) Disqualification 6 (10 1931-12-13 Rotherham
Draw   Young Kilbride (Leeds) X 10 (10) 1932-01-11 Drill Hall, Keighley
Win   Bob Healey (Bolton) Decision 10 (10) 1932-02-08 Skipton
Win   Jackie Quinn (Bradford) Decision 10 (10) 1932-02-15 Drill Hall, Keighley
Win   Kid Cassidy (Stockton) Decision 10 (10) 1932-02-21 The Brunswick Stadium, Leeds Handbill misspelt as "Veir"
Win   Young Tucker (Nelson) Decision 10 (10) 1932-03-21 Drill Hall, Keighley Tucker substitute for George Taylor
Win   Tom Goodall (Castleford) Decision 12 (12) 1932-03-29 Drill Hall, Workington
Loss   Freddie Irving (Keighley) Decision 10 (10) 1932-04-11 Drill Hall, Keighley
Loss   Billy Shaw (Leeds) Decision 10 (10) 1932-05-14 Goit Stock Pleasure Grounds, Bingley
Loss   Tom Cowley (Thurnscoe) Decision 12 (12) 1932-05-16 The Racing Track, Goldthorpe
Win   Young Kennedy (Maltby) Decision 10 (10) 1932-06-04 Drill Hall, Workington
Loss   Billy Smith (Huddersfield) Disqualification 5 (6) 1932-06-18 Drill Hall, Keighley
Loss   Jackie Quinn (Bradford) Decision 10 (10) 1932-07-01 The Plant Hotel, Mexborough
Loss   Sid Ellis (Manchester) Decision 10 (10) 1932-07-22 Nelson Football Ground, Nelson
Loss   Billy Shaw (Leeds) Decision 10 (10) 1932-08-08 Keighley RL Football Ground (Cougar Park), Keighley Vear substitute for Freddie Irving
Loss   Billy Shaw (Leeds) Decision 8 (8) 1932-xx-xx Leeds
Win   Jackie Quinn (Bradford) Decision 10 (10) 1932-11-07 Windsor Hall, Bradford Vear substitute for Freddy Irving
Win   Dick Greaves (Salford) Retired 10 (12) 1932-11-10 Alexandra Stadium, Colne
Win   Tommy Barber (Bradford) Decision 10 (10) 1932-11-14 Olympia, Bradford
Win   Tommy Barber (Bradford) Decision 10 (10) 1932-11-27 Leeds National Sporting Club
Loss   Hyman Gordon (Manchester) Retired hurt – burst ear 9 (10) 1932-12-01 Alexandra Stadium, Colne
Win   Young Monk (Dinnington) Decision 10 (10) 1933-01-16 Drill Hall, Halifax
Win   Bobby Thackray (Leeds) Decision 10 (10) 1933-02-06 Drill Hall, Keighley
Win   Darkie Carr (Glasgow) Decision 10 (10) 1933-02-10 Wakefield Boxing Stadium, Wakefield
Win   Danny Wakelam (Castleford) Decision 10 (10) 1933-02-24 The Gaiety, Castleford
Loss   Charlie Barlow (Manchester) Stopped by referee 1 (10) 1933-03-03 Blackpool Tower Circus, Blackpool Barlow current contender for Lightweight Champion of Great Britain
Loss   Mattie Hinds (Durham) Decision 12 (12) 1933-03-11 Theatre Royal, Sunderland
Win   Jackie Webster (Normanton) Stopped by Knockout 7 (10) 1933-03-17 Drill Hall, Normanton
Win   Owen Moran (Leeds) Decision 15 (15) 1933-03-22 Winter Gardens, Morecambe
Draw   George Stead (Manchester) x 15 (15) 1933-04-12 Winter Gardens,Morecambe
Loss   Jack Clayton (Bradford) Decision 10 (10) 1933-05-01 Olympia, Bradford
Loss   Walter (Kid Chocolate) Melgram (Otley) Stopped x (8) 1933-05-14 Brunswick Stadium, Leeds
Loss   Jack Clayton (Bradford) Decision 10 (10) 1933-06-07 Goit Stock, Bingley
Loss   Danny Veitch (Sunderland) Decision 10 (10) 1933-06-24 West Hartlepool
Loss   Spud Murphy (Manchester) Stopped 3 (15) 1933-07-19 Winter Gardens,Morecambe
Loss   Jim Driscoll (North Shields) Stopped 7 (xx) 1933-10-20 North Shields Stadium, North Shields
Loss   Bob Caulfield (Manchester) Decision 10 (10) 1933-10-22 Brunswick Stadium, Leeds
Win   Jim Holding (Leeds) Decision 10 (10) 1933-11-03 The Picture House, Streethouse, Pontefract
Loss   Walt Jacques (Keighley) Decision 8 (8) 1933-11-13 Drill Hall, Keighley Vear & Jacques replaced Williams & Lee on the boxing card
Loss   Jack Crow (Halifax) Decision 6 (6) 1933-12-08 Drill Hall, Halifax
Loss   Bill Lambert (Burnley) Decision 10 (10) 1934-01-11 Imperial Ballroom, Nelson
Loss   Young Tucker (Nelson) Decision 10 (10) 1934-02-08 Imperial Ballroom, Nelson
Loss   Jack Carrick (Hull) Stopped 3 (10) 1934-02-26 Hull
Loss   Stan Hughes (Huddersfield) Stopped 6 (10) 1934-11-12 Drill Hall, Keighley Vear Substitute for Jacques


  1. ^ http://dictionary.reference.com/search?db=dictionary&q=persevere
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "A century of sporting memories". Craven Herald. 13 January 2006. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  4. ^ http://www.trico-ve.co.uk/history
  5. ^ http://www.keighleynews.co.uk/leisure/knightsout/knightsfeatures/4568423.Guitarist_switches_to_art/
  6. ^ http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ENWO1U-K2I8/Se7xtmwZSnI/AAAAAAAAACs/3UZKheQK4Ho/s1600-h/Percy+Vere.jpg
  7. ^ http://www.keighleynews.co.uk/news/9619995.Percy___s_pub_set_to_be_a_big_hit/
  8. ^ "Percy's pub set to be a big hit". Craven Herald. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2018.