The results that Planet Brothers put up between 1982 - 1987 was nothing short of sensational.

In less than 6 years of racing they were to win an astonishing
464 x 1st prizes including 90 times 1st Federation
9 Royal Pigeon Racing Association Awards
Best loft in the London region ( 12500 members ) 4 years running
British Homing World National Middle distance award winner 1984 with Champion Scrumpy
RPRA National Middle distance award winner 1987 with Champion Dark Destroyer
Car winner 1986 with Champion Hitman
100’s of trophies, average prizes, Section, Futurity and Open winners.

No other loft in the United Kingdom had flown like the Loft of Planet Brothers.

Before we talk about the results we will explain the situation on how we raced.
Firstly, we kept a team of 30 Widowhood cocks and 18 Celibate hens.
These 30 cocks were raced on a Saturday and the hens, with the exception of Combines are raced mainly on a Wednesday.
We belonged to two Saturday Federations and two Wednesday Clubs both whom fly in a Federation.
The Saturday Federations both consist of about 150 members sending 1500 birds per week.
The Wednesday Federation has 400 members with a 5 bird limit. Each week 100-150 members send about 500 birds.
One of the Saturday Federations is called the Havering N.R. Fed, it has a five and half mile radius.
As you can see there is a lot of fanciers in a close area. Both Saturday Federations belong to the London N.R. Combine.
The London N.R. Combine had over 2,000 members and sent about 6,000 - 11,000 birds per race.
There were only four races a year plus two smaller Combine races.
The first race was Berwick 300 miles, the second Stonehaven 382 miles, the third was Thurso 504 miles and the fourth is a young bird race from Morpeth 250 mlles. The other two races were Lerwick 600 miles and a Yearling race from Berwick 300 miles.
As you can see, there are only six races a year when we would compete against all of London.
In England, at the time when we raced, you were allowed to put more than one race rubber in a thimble.
If you are prepared to take the chance and gamble with time then you can either reap the rewards or disappointed by just losing a race.
At Planet Lofts the practice of doing this had become our trademark.
We were known for winning races in style and its not uncommon for us to send 3 to 5 birds to a race,
put more than one in the first thimble and win by a considerable margin!
On one Federation race in the County of Essex we sent 8 birds,
5 of them home together and we placed all 5 in one thimble.
they won the race with 1300 birds competing, by 10 minutes, and all took equal 1st prize!
This is one example of many.
We had very strict ideals on this matter and believe that if two, three or even more birds home together then they are all entitled to the same position, whether it be 1st, 2nd or whatever.
We totally refuse to go in the loft pick one bird up in preference to another if they arrive home together.
How can a fancier show a visitor one bird and say he won so and so race, then show him another and call him 2nd!
We cannot do this, many a race is lost, as well as won, but at least the birds are treated fairly.
No other sport in the world would split a dead heat, it only happens in pigeon racing.
Many of the fanciers that disapprove of such thinking are the ones that never get more than one pigeon home at any one time.
The strength of our lofts is that we always get two or three or more together. Every bird entered, is entered to win.

Below is a breakdown of the first 6 years racing

1982 - 22 x 1st prize

Racing young birds only

1983 - 54 x 1st includes 8 x 1st Federation

In 1983 we only had yearlings and young birds.
It has always been our practice to race yearlings up to 300 miles so a full season was not raced.
This year was an excellent year and 54 x 1st was a target which no other loft had ever achieved.

1984 - 76 x 1st includes 16 x 1st Federation

In 1984 the birds of Planet Brothers were to excel themselves,
and it was our first full season racing old birds and young birds.
The Federation record was smashed and the British Homing World Trophy
for National Ace Pigeon was won by Champion Scrumpy.
That year for the first time, Planet Brothers put in for the London Region R.P.R.A. Awards.
This region has 12,500 members,
and their loft won the best loft award, North Road, and two R.P.R.A. medals.

1985 - 107 x 1st prize including 17 x 1st Federation

By 1985 everyone in Britain was talking about the Planet Brothers Aliens,
they were going from strength to strength,
the sceptics were silenced by another amazing season.
Once again the London Region outstanding Loft Award (N.R), including a RPRA award,
came home to Planet Lofts. No other Loft had ever won this twice.
Every conceivable average prize from club to Combine level (2,000 members)
was won, including the coveted Tommy Long Trophy,
for the best performance of the 3 longest old bird races.
The Planet birds had finally settled into a winning formula and it was not just a lucky year.
The seasons that followed were very much the same

1986 - 100 x 1st prize including 23 x 1st Federation

This year saw the outstanding loft award (N.R) for the third year running,
plus two more Royal Pigeon Racing Association awards come to Noak Hill.
It also saw the winning of a Motor Car with their bird Champion Hitman
Fanciers were now believing that they were witnessing something very special.
Something, which many of them will never see again.
Many wondered where it was going to end
and most just couldn't race against us, they left and joined other clubs.
The whole Federation began to crumble as the
Planet flying machines showed the rest the way home.

1987 - 102 x 1st prizes including 26 x 1st Federation

1987 was to see a sensational year.
Winning every old bird race in the club except one, in which we were 2nd and 3rd.
A phenomenal 74 x 1st including 22 x 1st Federation was obtained with old birds only.
It was a record beyond any comparison. No loft in Great Britain could match it.
For the fourth year running the London Region outstanding loft award (N.R.) was won.
The National Middle Distance Pigeon Award was won by Champion Dark Destroyer.
Two more R.P.R.A. awards including every average trophy possible came to Noak Hill.
The coveted London Region Victory Trophy that had eluded us for so long
was won along side the London Region Challenge Cup.
Over 200 trophies crammed our trophy room and clubs
cancelled their prize presentations because it was so humiliating.

In 1988 the world of pigeon racing for Planet Brothers was to take a dramatic change and they were no longer to race. For the past 6 years the racing scene was dominated by their sensational results and other fanciers were now starting to make equally sensational results with the offspring of the Planet Brothers birds.

John Planet always intended to make a business out of the pigeons and against Gary Planets wishes there was several auctions and a number of sales each year.
In the forthcoming Planet Brothers Story, you can read about the impact of these sales and the way it was to catapult the Planet Brothers pigeons to the top of the tree. It was to begin a phenomenon that overtook the Busschaert craze in the late 70’s early 80’s. The racing scene was to change forever, widowhood racing entered into a whole new dimension and Natural racing became a thing of the past.


Success for Planet Brothers was not as rosy as it all seemed. Along with success comes the Great British way of dealing with winners, and that is to discredit them in any way possible.
By the 1980’s our family had built some successful businesses and looking in from the outside, we were comfortable.
This meant that if we won with the birds, ‘ we were entitled to do so, because of the money we had spent on them’.
However the flip side of this coin was that if we were to lose then ‘ we were the biggest mugs that ever raced pigeons’.
The fact was, we were on a losing path from the beginning.The hard work that we put into our sport counted for nothing.

Once we did start to win, then the rumours started.’ We were drugging the birds’, ‘we were cheating someway’ etc etc.
The fanciers that had raced successfully before us could not be beaten by legitimate means, and it was these people that tried their upmost to discredit you.
In Great Britain, no one likes a winner. The fancy press found it so hard to write about our success, so much so that we started our own magazine, just so they never got their own way. We watched whilst people wrote about the person who was 6th in a race, when we took the first 5 positions. We watched when trophies were awarded to pigeons because ‘ we had won enough’, we watched when people wrote about us in a negative way, and our replies were not published.
It was a shameful display by so called Sportsmen, and the stigma was to stay with us for a very long time.
Through this website we hope to educate fanciers so that this sort of thing does not continue. In Great Britain the sport is dying and it is the same people who continue to ruin our sport. Competition is the name of the game and we need to change the Sport so that competition is equal for all those who compete against each other. All to often novices are expected to compete with the experienced fancier and it does nothing to keep the youngsters in the sport. All to often clubs are allowed to exclude good fanciers with no reason, there is no forms of appeal and it is the governing body that are failing in their obligation to stop this happening.
Too many fanciers like ourselves, leave the sport, because it is no longer a pleasure to participate within it.
Only recently, as our birds continue to win, we have been given the respect we worked so hard to achieve.
With the passage of time, our contribution to the sport has slowly been recognised, I only wished my father, John Planet, could have seen it because he worked endlessly to promote the British pigeon and the British fancier.
No one could argue with him when it came to who was the best because he believed we were better than all of them.

Read the full story in the Planet Brothers Book