Powerful Continental heavyweight visited the UK for the first time in the winter of 1957 and returned again the following year. Worked mainly for Dale Martin Promotions in the south of England but made occasional jaunts to the exotic north of Scunthorpe and Hull.
Opponents included Bill Verna, Norman Walsh, Jim Hussey, Geoff Portz and Mike Marino as well as the less formidable Masambula. In his sole television appearance he faced British heavyweight champion Billy Joyce.
Returned for further visits to Britain during the winters of 1961, again working mainly for Dale Martin Promotions, though venturing to Leicester to meet Billy Joyce on television for Norman Morrell Promotions.
We have contests recorded over a four week period, February and March 1957, with opponents Alf Cadman, Cyril Knowles Tony Mancelli, Terry Ricardo Gordon Kilmartin and Johnny Allan.
Please get in touch if you can provide more information.
Whilst those of the Grumpy Old Men era dwell on memories of the original Anaconda we have many more younger readers who remember a villainous, bearded, tattooed heavyweight Anaconda who made a couple of televised appearances, a singles loss against Big Daddy at Leicester, and 27th August, 1988 he when partnered Rasputin against Big Daddy and Pat Patton.
The ferocious looking man behind the beard was Alan Taylor, a professional wrestler from 1979 until 1992. Promoter Max Crabtree saw the potential in the youngster and invited him along to the Dale Martin gym in Brixton to learn the professional trade. "WOW it was like a dream come true,after a lot of training I was given my first bout," Alan told Wrestling Heritage. Alan turned professional in 1979, initially using the name Seaman Tommy Watts. From the very start he was matched with other newcomers such as the Wilson brothers and more established stars like John Elijah.
Within a matter of weeks Max Crabtree had re-launched his new find as Anaconda, with opponents including Wayne Bridges, Tony St Clair and Steve Veidor. The name Anaconda remained with Alan for the rest of his career, working around the world, telling us , "I had a great time; the time of my life meeting wrestlers from the different places that I went to. It was fantastic. One of the highlights was some times my dad (R.I.P.) came with me. He was like a big kid because he was a hard man it was fantastic watching him and his face." Anaconda enjoyed enormously this Wrestling Heritage site, but sadly passed away in September 2012.
A giant of the 1930s British wrestling scene, the Anglo Swedish king of the leg scissors from Hammersmith was said to weigh anything between 18 and 22 stones.
He was a genuine national worker who travelled the length and breadth of Britain facing the biggest names of the time: Atholl Oakeley, Jack Pye, Ray St Bernard and Mitchell Gill, Claims were made that he held World Heavyweight Champion Jack Sherry to a draw but have been unable to verify this. However mythical the weight proportions or the accomplishments there is no doubt that he was one of the big names of 1930s wrestling. Anaconda was one of the first wrestlers to appear on British television, taking part in a number of demonsytation contests that were shown on the BBC in 1938 and 1939.
Understandably he disappeared from our rings in 1940, resurfacing again in 1944. Post war the name Anaconda remained on bills until 1955. Heritage member Ray Noble was one of our members who saw Anaconda in action. He remembers the giant wrestling former world heavyweight boxing champion Primo Carnera at Belle Vue in October, 1954. Ray was walking through the gardens at Belle Vue when he saw Carnera standing beside a massive imitation rock. Ray remembers to this day the excitement of going over and chatting with the big Italian who towered above him. Shortly afterwards Carnera was towering over Anaconda, having won by by a knock out.
Twenty-five years after his death here at Wrestling Heritage we regularly hear complements of a young wrestler of the 1960s, Tony Ancell.
Promoter Doug Williams remembers him as a terrific wrestler, one of the best workers on his brother Jack Taylor's wrestling shows.
Third brother, wrestler Ray, was another who listed Tony amongst his favourites, and both Mick Collins and Al Tarzo remembered not just a good wrestler but a very good man. Wrestling fan Brian James remembers Tony entering the ring at the Granby Hall, Leicester, splendidly adorned in a Canadian Mountie outfit, and sometimes accompanied by the family's pet dog, Chiska.
Don't let the costume fool you. The dog was for real, but not the outfit. Tony Ancell, was born Anthony Payn, in south east London, a neighbour of Henry Cooper. He moved to Leicester when he married, and it was here that he met wrestler and promoter Jack Taylor. Jack was always scouting for talent and spotted the potential of young Tony, inviting him along to his weekend wrestling school.
Tony was soon working regularly on the independent circuit, facing other youngsters such as Al Tarzo, Johnny Eagles and Ronnie Knight. During the first half of the 1960s Tony was a very busy wrestler, and as he gained experience and weight came face to face with more experienced opponents such as Harry Bennett, Bobo Matu and Spike O'Reilly. Tony also faced former world middleweight boxing champion, Randy Turpin, in a number of wrestler v boxer matches. Out of the ring Tony loved marching bands and founded a marching band called "The Millfield Militia" in Braunstone Leicester.
Tony also worked as a machine tools sales man upto the time of his death in March, 1986. Photos show Tony in action, in National Service uniform in 1951 and as referee.
A short lived star of Northern and Midland rings of the 1970s, and even a couple of 1970 televised appearances exposed this tearaway to a wider and appreciative audience.
We were told at the time he had trained in London and spent three years working for Paul Lincoln and Dale Martin. We have not had this confirmed but our earliest records are when Bob hit the rings of Wryton Promotions in 1969.
The long, straggly hair, rule bending tactics and just a general disregard for just about anyone and everything made the Hippie a welcome name on any bill.
He roughed it with contemporaries like Wonderboy Steve Wright as well as experienced veterans like Bill Howes.
Even giving away a couple of stones to a hard man like Howes Anderson showed no trepidation. Here was a man willing to get stuck in whoever the opponent and whatever the occasion.
His regular tag partner was Johnny South, but something of an accolade for the hothead to be partnered with Iron Man Steve Logan on occasions.
Times were hard in the 1930s and there were few opportunities for a young Scot to travel the world earning an honest crust. Jim Anderson had the strength and agility, as he was a;ready well established as a Highlands Game competitor.
Jim Anderson, from Dundee, seized the opportunities provided by the increasingly popular professional side of the sport and in 1933 took to earning his living by travelling to wrestling halls around the country. Matches during the first couple of years were mainly in his native Scotland, but by 1935 he was travelling far and wide, wrestling the likes of Val Cerino, Ray St Bernard, Jack Pye and Mike Demitre. He appears to have faced opponents of wide range of weights, from Jack Dale to the tank-like Bert Assirati.
During the war years Jim's matches were limited to Scotland and Newcastle, which may give some clue to his wartime activities.
He resumed activities following the war and was very busy travelling extensively until his last recorded match in 1955. In 1949 he wrestled in Singapore as Kid Masque until he was unmasked by King Kong Emile Czaja following a third round defeat at the Great World Stadium on 26th February.
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With his black curly hair and trademark white trunks it could only be welterweight Tony Andrassi, except that is when he reverted to his family name, Eric Smith of Bradford.
Worked mainly for the independent promoters in the 1960s and 1970s with some bouts (as Eric Smith) for Joint Promotions.
Powerful heavyweight active in the 1950s.
Wrestled mainly in the south against class performers such as Doug Joyce and Joe D’Orazio, as well as an Earls Court bout against Dirty Dominic Pye.
Northern based heavyweight campaigner turned professional shortly after the war and remained active throughout the second half of the 1940s. Opponents included top men such as Charlie Greene, George Gregory, Vic Hessle and Jim Foy.
An international star of repute, both with and without the mask. L'Ange Blanc was he original Spanish White Angel who wrestled in Britain in the early sixties and appeared on ITV one Thursday lunchtime in 1974. An Anglicised version, The White Angel, was based on this original, with both eventually losing and unmasking to their villainous masked nemeses.
L'Ange Blanc was extremely popular in French rings, where he tagged with Michel Chaisne.
In Britain he wrestled for northern promoters in 1962, the climax of his tour being the much heralded matching against the Black Mask in January 1962 at the Queen's Hall, Leeds, against the Black Mask, Evil overcame good for once and L'Ange Blanc ceremoniously unmasked.
Identities and more information about both these masked men can be discovered in our series Top Twenty Masked Men of the Heritage Years.