Wrestling Heritage A-Z
We include two wrestlers known by the name Johnny Angel. First on the scene was a Sheffield wrestler born John Marsden. Welterweight Johnny worked for independent promoters in the north of England during the 1960s and also worked in Spain.
Like many wrestlers he was the landlord of two public houses in later life, the Grapes and the Captive Queen in Sheffield before retiring to Chesterfield and passing away, in January 2007, aged 76.
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A 1980s wrestler who really knew how to work a crowd, and one who would have made it to the top in the heyday of the postwar revival according to Dwight J Ingleburgh. Johnny Angel was just fourteen years old when he turned professional.
Mind you, wrestling was in his blood as he was trained by his father, Crazy Dave Adams. Like many others Johnny had dabbled in boxing before wrestling became the greater attraction. Early bouts were for Cyril Knowles and other independent promoters before moving across to Joint Promotions in 1990.
A muscular, aggressive wrestler Johnny was a great villain, sometimes pulling on a mask and adopting various names, probably most often remembered as one of the Undertakers tag team. During his career he tussled with some of the biggest names in the business, including Jim Breaks, Ray Steele, Barry Douglas and Giant Haystacks. On numerous occasions Johnny played the part of the hero and tagged with Big Daddy to put to right the baddies of the wrestling world. He retired from wrestling in 1996.
Bob Anthony, the wrestling beatle, was a popular welterweight that appeared for independent and Joint Promotions during the 1960s. His skill and agility enabled him to travel the world, meeting and beating the best in the business.
He was one of a group of wrestlers chosen by Paul Lincoln to take part in a prestigious tour of the Far East in the early sixties. Son of Bob Archer O’Brien he had a notable 2-0 win over Alan Sargeant before the latter took the British welterweight title.
Dad might well have known a lot about wrestling but he didn't know that Bob was learning to wrestle at a local police gym! Trained by policeman, Tom Pinch, how's that for an appropriate name?
When Bob turned professional, in 1956, it was a Devereux Promotions show at Wimbledon Palais, and the former British champion, Eddie Capelli, was in the opposite corner. Also on the same bill were Mike Marino, Bob McDonald, Eric Taylor, Bert Royal and Eddie Capelli. We can only imagine what must have gone through the youngster's mind that night.
Early in 1962 the formation of a wrestlers' trade union led to an ultimatum from Joint Promotions. Bob refused to sign any document restricting his right to work and moved across to the independent promoters, particularly Paul Lincoln Management and on his own shows. Bob returned to Join Promotions in January, 1966, when Paul Lincoln Management amalgamated with Dale Martin Promotions.
Romford’s Chris Anthony was not only a skilful welterweight he was also the younger brother of Bob Anthony and son of the great Bob Archer O'Brien.
Chris became involved in wrestling as a second for the independent promoters. He was keen to learn and older brother, Bob, was a good tutor.
Many of his earlier bouts were as Bob's tag partner against other young tag teams, most memorably Jon and Peter Cortez. Away from big brother
Chris was more than capable of taking care of himself against the top wrestlers on both the independent and Joint Promotions circuits.
In January 1966 he was one of the wrestlers to transfer to Joint Promotions when Paul Lincoln Management amalgamated with Dale Martin Promotions.
Back in the old days we knew who the bad guys were because we had rules.
Admittedly some of the wrestlers didn't seem to understand the concept, but without a clear set of rules we wouldn't have had so much fun and wouldn't have villains.
Here we had a villain of the first order.
The black tights, the trimmed beard, the heavily tattooed arms, and a snarl at the audience left few in doubt that here was a wrestling baddie.
Those not persuaded at once were usually convinced as the first round opened with blind side moves, failure to break on the ropes and a few more snarls and complaints to fans and referee.
Mark Anthony reached British shores in 1968, and again in 1972, travelling here from his native Australia as part of an extensive world tour. Anthony was rewarded with a 1968 Royal Albert Hall outing against Tibor Szakacs, which he dutifully lost.
In fact, Mark Anthony did the right thing on most occasions, and made the British boys look good!.