Kevin Boon: from football to the big-money world of greyhound racing
- Credit: IAN BURT
Kevin Boon swapped two-legged sport for the four-legged variety a few years ago - and he hasn't looked back.
The one-time joint manager of King's Lynn football team is now a big name in the world of greyhound racing - and could be even bigger tonight after the English Greyhound Derby at Towcester.
With a top prize of £175,000, the race is one of the biggest in the world, and Boon is hoping his 25-1 shot Murrys Act can defy the odds and make history.
What are the chances? As Boon says: 'He may be 25-1 – but he doesn't know that does he?'
Murrys Act is bidding to become the first dog to win the Juvenile Championship and the Derby – and at just over two years old is also the youngest runner in the field.
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The final six have been whittled down from an original starting field of 194 runners, and while Murrys Act is the outsider, Boon remains as bullish about his dog as he always was about his football team.
'It's is a bit like King's Lynn lining up in the third round of the FA Cup I suppose,' said the 59-year-old. 'But we are not going there just to make up the numbers. As far as I am concerned we are going there to win this race – and if we do it will be because he has run the right race and been properly prepared. I know he is good enough – if he gets a run he can do it.
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'For me, as a trainer, this is massive. They talk up the Irish trainers or others, and they are very good, we know that, but me, I am just a small trainer and they all just leave me alone. There have been people who have been training for 30 or 40 years who haven't got to the Derby so I am very proud.'
Boon has been training dogs at his home near King's Lynn for five years.
'I am a professional trainer but I am not full time – I have 12 dogs and I do it as a sporting hobby.'
Boon bought Murrys Act when he was 12 weeks old and he was schooled by Pam and Ray Cross at Beeston near Dereham.
'They have been a fantastic help to me over the years and I can't thank them enough,' added Boon.
So, what's the difference between the worlds of greyhound racing and football?
'Greyhounds don't answer you back,' he laughed.