Les Green collecting his 2017 RPRA award in Blackpool
They have some of the best long distance fanciers of the world within our shores. It is probably true to say that many of the top fanciers have brought their pigeons in from the continent, but they have cultivated them, worked them in the harsh terrain of the UK and made them their own. They don’t just have some of the best distance fanciers over here; they can also boast some of the best sprint, to middle distance fanciers as well. One such fancier is Les Green of Irlam in Manchester.
Contador - 2 x 1st Combine
Les Green was born into pigeons, his father was a fancier and his grandfather was also a fancier. He is from a large family and is the youngest of 5 brothers and he also has 4 sisters. Les was the only one to get the pigeon bug from his father and for a time they raced together. In the early days Les raced his pigeons on the land of a church on his local housing estate, it was at this time (around 1979) he entered his first ever race by himself at the age of 14 years and as if we needed assuring he would one day become a champion, he won 1-2 in his first ever race. There were many ace fanciers around him at this time and to Les they were the targets, they set the bar and it was up to Les to set it higher if he was to achieve his goals within this sport.
Boonen - 1st National Ace Sprint Pigeon All RPRA 2017
1st NW Region Sprint Award Winner
From the very start Les always wanted to be the best he possibly could be, he has a very competitive nature and this drives him to be successful at whatever he turns his hand to. He has actually been involved in the pigeon sport since he was 12 years old, some 43 years. Ever since he started with pigeons he has strived tirelessly to produce a team of pigeons that compete from the first race to the last. Over the years he has owned and raced some super pigeons. He has bred good pigeons for himself and for literally hundreds of other fanciers all over the globe, especially in the years he raced with the partnership of Wall Lunt and Green they produced some great pigeons that won a lot of top races for many fanciers but since the partnership ceased in 2012 Les has raced on his own. When the partnership finished Les had time to reflect and some time to take stock of his future in the pigeon sport, he studied performances from all over Europe and after a year of study he decided he wanted to invest in the incredible Dirk Van Den Bulck and Stefaan Lambrechts families of pigeons. Over the last 5 years he has built one of the best and without doubt the biggest collections of Van Den Bulcks in all Europe. He describes his current team as the best, fastest and most consistent pigeons he has ever owned. Results since the introduction of these pigeons is testament that he chose right. They have won everything asked of them including winning the coveted 1. Nat Ace Sprint pigeon All RPRA in 2017, (something he had never won before) plus several other RPRA region awards. In fact he has won the RPRA NW Region Meritorious sprint award for the last 3 seasons running.
GB18C38762 UK Kittel - RPRA NW Region Sprint Award Winner
Over many years and especially over the last 5 seasons the name of Les Green has to be classed as one of the best sprint fanciers in all Europe. He specialises in sprinting, this is his passion and the performances he has put up in his fed and combine are nothing short of unbelievable and his team is still only in their infancy. He has the ability to get as many as 30 birds on the drop to win the first prize time after time. In fact his federations and combine now have a rule in place where by he can only have 4 birds on the result no matter how many he gets together. Year after year he goes about his business and every year he and his team win out of turn against very respectable competition. He races his team in two federations, both affiliated to the Central Lancashire Combine, probably the biggest combine for land racing in all Lancashire. He has been the highest prize winner in the combine for the last 3 seasons winning the first place no less than 11 times, despite his loft not being in a great location. In the last 3 seasons he has won 54 x first prizes in Fed, Amal and Combine Section racing. He races an average of 26 cocks and 26 hens on total widowhood, no old birds are kept at home on race days, he sends all the widowhood couples to the same race. If the two feds are not liberated at the same time as in the first few races, he sends all his even pairs to one fed and all the odd number pairs to the other. He never has problems with trapping when the cocks and hens arrive together.
GB17C49041 Nibali - RPRA Sprint Award Winner 2018
In 2019 his team have performed with total consistency and this has to go down as one of Les’ best seasons. He is particularly proud of the fact that his teams lowest combine position in any race this season was 7th. In some races his team dominated the result, in fact in the Frome race (156 miles) his team would have won the first 14 positions and would have had 22 birds in the first 23 of the combine against 4.168 birds. What made this result all the more remarkable was the fact many other fanciers struggled to put 2 pigeons together on that day as it was a hard, sticky race. Les is quick to point out that he thinks it is the quality of the pigeons and not him on days like this, he truly believes this team of pigeons he has now are the most consistent he has ever raced. I asked him what made him tick on a day to day basis and he said simply the fact that he wanted to give his team every chance to win the race the coming weekend, so nothing is ever left to chance, he is totally dedicated and his attention to detail is unbelievable. He gets up at the same time every day, does the same things at the same time every day, feeds the best corn Ihecan, give them all the supplements he thinks they need every day, clean them and spend time with them every day and after doing that each and every day he expects them to perform to their ability on the weekend race. Les thinks that if he has done his job, then they have to do theirs. It is, as any fancier knows, a 365 days a year job, no Christmas day off here or any other day come to that.
Harriet - 1-2-3 Combine & 3 x 1st Federation
Half-sister to UK Kittell
Les has been thinking of taking a break for a while and now after more than 40 years in the pigeon sport, he has decided to sell his entire colony and to take at least 1 complete year off. Every pigeon he owns will be offered for auction on PIPA, absolutely every pigeon will go, nothing is being kept back as he has no plans at this moment as to when he will be back in the pigeon sport.
Les has considered his future in pigeon racing for a while, his wife Ruth is involved with the day to day training of the team and she became ill this year, which really gave them a shake up. Then Les got really ill for a few weeks and couldn’t take care of the pigeons properly. He decided then that he should take a break, re-charge the batteries, take some holidays with the family and then think about what to do next. Les can say now that he has no plans as to when or if he will race pigeons again. he has kept pigeons almost all his life and it will be hard to live without them, but Les will see how he feels after a year. Certainly no pigeons will be kept for at least a year.
It is hard to let this team go, Les knows he will never be able to replace them, as many of their parents are no longer breeding. They are a young team that have not yet fulfilled their true potential, Les knows for sure many fanciers will report winners from them in the years to come. He has been lucky enough throughout his time with pigeons to own and race some fantastic individuals but with hand on heart he says that the pigeons he has now are without a doubt the very best team he has ever raced, results back that up. Racing pigeons is not easy, but these pigeons make it easier for sure. Every visitor Les has had at his lofts over the last 3 years have been smitten with the quality of the team and they are getting better and better each year. In fact in 2019, the lowest position the old bird team won in the strong Central Lancs Combine was 7th and when you consider the quality of the opposition they race against it makes it all the more impressive. Les says this not as a boast, but to give an indication of their true qualities. Les' loft is not in a great location, being situated in the centre of the combine and so they win what they win on merit and not on loft location. They will all be sold between 12-24th November on the PIPA website. Les is not keeping any back at all.
Some of the super pigeons that will feature in this total auction...
Over 70 DIRECT from Dirk Van Den Bulck
15 direct from Flanders Collection
- 5 Direct Children of Kittel
- 4 Direct Children of Brother Goede Rode
- 5 from Olympic Kittel 006
- 2 Sons Of Miracle
- Direct Children From
- Olympic Pair (parents to Rosita)
- Plus children from all the top breeders of Dirk Van Den Bulck
- The entire race team is also up for sale
- 1. Nat Ace Sprint 2017 All RPRA
- Double Combine Winner
- RPRA Region Sprint Award Winner 2018
- UK Kittel
- A sensational Yearling Cock and the RPRA NW Region Sprint Award Winner 2019
- All Fed winners, Combine winners and RPRA Award Winners will be for sale.
Les will keep the lofts standing and will decide on his future.
Les has won the following during his time in the pigeon sport
- 1st Overall Champion Central Lancashire Combine 2017, 2018 & 2019
- 102 x first prize in the last three seasons
- 6 RPRA Award Medals
- 27 x first prize with old birds 2019
- NW Region Sprint Award winner 2017, 2018 & 2019
- 1st National Sprint Award All RPRA 2017