WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history 

has a name

Heritage

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The Riot Squad
Site Owner
Posts: 1378

Many of us on this forum have been chatting away for years, more than ten years in some cases. We wondered if that might be a bit intimidating for some newcomers?


So we are hoping this topic will be one that any newcomer can confidently tell us a bit about themselves, and find out how easy and enjoyable it is to take part.


Not that we should leave it to the newcomers.


Even if there's a risk of repeating ourselves, and let's face it many of us are of an age when we are forever repeating ourselves, please let's have everyone have a go, and introduce yourself irrespective of how long you've been around.


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British wrestling history has a name - HERITAGE

May 29, 2017 at 10:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Hack
Moderator
Posts: 2364

I was born in Leyland, Lancashire, in 1954. My interest in wrestling began to develop when I was about nine. My dad, who of course always told me it was fixed, talked about going to the wrestling at Belle Vue in the 1950s. He was a bus/coach driver and was regular driver of a coach night out from Leyland to Manchester to watch the wrestling. After not too much nagging he agreed to take me to the wrestling when I was ten years old. The excitement is still with me. When the house lights went down and the ring light came on I was surprised, I hadn't expected wrestling in a dark hall. That first show was an independent promoter, Cape Promotions, with Mike Marino, Crusher Verdu, The Wildman of Borneo and Lord Bertie Topham on the bill. I was hooked. Cape and later Brian Dixon put on independent shows at Preston Public Hall with Morrell/Beresford at the baths down the road. Although the big names were on the Morrell shows my heart was always with the independents.


When I was fifteen I started writing, and was one of the writers for the northern Promoters (Morrell, Beresford, Relwyskow & Green) programmes, Ringsport, The Wrestler and Ring Wrestling in America.


By the mid 1970s life was moving on, wrestling was beginning to change and my interest evaporated. That was it. I gave away all my magazines, books, and posters, leaving myself with just the memories. That was until the internet came along. I was amazed to discover others, like myself, with memories of the old days, but they were talking about them on these things called forums. For months I read the messages on the One Stop Wrestling forum. I didn't make any comments myself, I didn't think I had anything worth saying (so I do know what it's like for newcomers). Eventually I posted a comment about Jack Dempsey, then Jackie Pallo, and then Jack Pye. I got a private message from someone calling himself Anglo Italian asking if I had a thing about men called Jack?


Some time later, 2005 or 2006 Anglo Italian was working in Britain and we met up in Wolverhampton. After a curry and a few drinks the seeds were sown for our own website. I'm sure Anglo Italian said there would be money in it. Idiot! All it has done is cost us money, but given us loads of fun. In April, 2007 Wrestling Heritage was born.


The greatest pleasure of getting involved in wrestling again has been making new friends, and Anglo Italian is a genuine good friend. My wife and I have visited him and his family in Italy twice and he has visited us every year since 2007. I've met a few other members at the Reunion, and liked every one of them. Meeting John Shelvey (who had come over from Australia) and Philip Kenyon (who had come from Switzerland) were unexpected delights. There are also members who I haven't met that I would consider friends.


Can anyone lend me a fiver?


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British wrestling - great characters but the plot was always a bit of a mystery.

May 29, 2017 at 10:58 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SaxonWolf
Member
Posts: 1814

"....Can anyone lend me a fiver?...."


It's in the post pal.......

I was born in Sheffield in 1962.  One of my earliest memories (pre school) was me and my mate Glyn pretending to be the Royal Brothers, and pretending the rug in front of his living room fire was a wrestling ring.  

In the early years of my life, I only saw Wrestling once a year, on holiday in British seaside towns.  Went to more shows as I got older.


Like most of us, I was hooked on World of Sport.  I spent most Saturdays at my grand parents, both avid wrestling fans, especially my Grandma, who would shout things like "stop him referee!" at the screen.  Everything would be ready by 3.55pm, sandwiches, biscuits, a pot of tea (tea leaves, not bags, of course), all in place for 4pm Wrestling.


As I hit my teenage years, wrestling became a guilty pleasure, all my mates had grown out of it, no one dashed home for 4pm on a Saturday anymore, except me.  


A friend of mine went to work overseas, first on a Kibbutz for 6 months in Israel and then on to Australia for 18 months.  He wrote letters to me (pre internet/email of course) saying that US Wrestling was huge overseas (World Class in Israel and WWF in Australia) and that the wrestlers were huge body building types.  As I was weght lifting at the time, I was intrigued, so went in to a shop and bought a US Wrestling magazine.  Imagine my surprise to see a picture of Adrian Street in it, I wondered where he had gone! and Chris Adams as well.


More shock when WWF shows started appearing on UK TV, and Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith appeared, totally transformed from skinny light weights to huge muscular powerhouses.


I can't remember how I stumbled onto the old "one stop wrestling" web site, but so glad I did.  That s where I first met most of the people on here.


These days, I am more nostagic than ever, a sign of growing old  guess.


 I still try to get on here and post when I can, despite a busy work and home life. 


Keep up the good work Hack and Anglo! 

May 29, 2017 at 11:44 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SaxonWolf
Member
Posts: 1814

Oh, and as an explanation, "SaxonWolf", originates because as a lad, I was hooked on the Beowulf story, a heroic warrior, who faces danger with no thought to personal safety. 

May 29, 2017 at 11:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ann
Member
Posts: 5

I am Ann Richardson I became interested in wrestling in early 60s and I took over the running of four star fan club if any of the members or wrestlers that I supported are on here it would be lovely to hear from you

May 29, 2017 at 11:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

powerlock
Member
Posts: 1240
I was born in 1957 in Newcastle and remember sitting down at early age (about 5or 6) with my dad and grandad regularly on a Saturday afternoon to watch the wrestling till one afternoon after tea dad and Grandad told me to put my coat on, and off we went to get the train to Newcastle I still didn't know where I was going till we got to St James Hall, the atmosphere, the brightly lit ring, and the colour, before that visit wrestling was in various shades of grey on a flickering screen, but now it was so much more exciting, so more real, I was hooked and looked forward to my visits to St James every few weeks or so till eventually it closed and wrestling decamped to Newcastle City Hall. The City Hall didn't have the same atmosphere but held around 2500 and could still build up a pretty good atmosphere, I went fairly regularly till I was about 13 or 14 when paper rounds, music and girls started to take priority along with Newcastle United (although that obsession started when I went to my first match at 5 years old) so I would catch the wrestling periodically on TV and by the time I left school I had lost interest in watching the increasingly stale fodder that was dominating wrestling on tv. By the time I was 18 I was working in different parts of the country doing relief at various hotels in the chain I worked for, occasionally I would go along to an independent show where I was working with workmates. I started to get back into wrestling when I was 23 when I was in Florida for over a month and attended a couple of shows on nights when we weren't up to much and was surprised to see a couple of Brits on the bill including Geoff Portz. I was working in the music business by then and usually watched wrestling on tv depending where I was. When I finally came home to Newcastle in 1983 wrestling shows were not very regular. The odd Independent shows, Joint Enterprise shows and I think All Star had started to make inroads into the North East and I saw shows in a few places around the North East. I eventually got married and both my sons went the same route as me but also including the big American shows, WWE and WCW, as the national scene more or less died out we started looking for more local shows, some were very good some not so. I also brought wrestling to the local community via my role as community coordinator at festivals on a couple of occasions and had both Pac(Neville - the current WWE champion) and Sheamus on the shows on differing occasions before they went onto bigger things. I also produced posters and publicity material for a couple of wrestling promotions locally and helped with insurance as I have experience at event management. Nowadays I still occasionally go to shows, be it in a Social Club or Sports Arena and probably see about 6-8 shows a year in the flesh, the rest I watch on tv., online and trawling through bouts from the past on youtube. Wrestling has changed so much not always for the better and no doubt will continue to change, will I continue to watch. I would like to think so, we will wait and see.
May 29, 2017 at 6:48 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dave Sutherland
Member
Posts: 348

I was born in South Shields, Co Durham in 1948 and I became interested in wrestling around 1960 via Saturday afternoon television. Over the next couple of years I tried to build up a store of knowledge regarding the UK wrestling scene from magazines, posters etc. until I started work in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1963 and began attending St James’ Hall on a Saturday night (after the afternoon at St James’ Park) which became a weekly event over the next couple of years. Having become a regular at the Hall and my friend with whom I used to attend the shows, Alan Patchett, securing a job selling ice cream, peanuts and orange drinks on a Saturday, I too was asked whether I would like to sell their wares and therefore get paid to watch the wrestling!

I had the pleasure of watching just about all of the big names on the Joint Promotions circuit during my days as a punter and as a Hall employee I got to see many more at close quarters. While I saw some great bouts from my vantage point with my confectionary tray or from the hot dog stand to which I later graduated and managed to fill two autograph books after a couple more years I found my interest waning and the lure of music was pulling me in another direction.

Patchett was feeling the same way so in mid 1966 we gave in our notice in order to make our fortune in the specialist (folk, blues) music world; within two years St James’ Hall had closed down although I stress our actions had no bearing on that outcome. In order to make a small fortune in specialist music you need to set out with a large fortune and considerably more talent than we possessed; even so I have actively maintained my interest in the music for over fifty years and have written columns for The Sunday Sun and, currently, Nottingham Post.

Moving to Nottingham for work in 1978 I still maintained my interest in wresting via TV but at a very early age my son became fascinated by American Wrestling (WWE etc.) so I was to take him to a few events locally but none were a patch on the bouts that I enjoyed back in the sixties and seventies.

Somewhere around 2008 while searching the Internet for my favourite wrestlers from that era, Francis Sullivan, Billy Howes, Dennis Mitchell, Geoff Portz and more, I discovered Wrestling Heritage. Where there are forums like “name your favourite 10 wrestlers” I couldn’t keep my nose out and found that my contributions were welcomed. This in time led to suggestions that I submit some reminiscences which became “Ice Cream, Hot Dogs, Leg Locks and Toe Holds”; rather self – indulgent but some readers were very kind about it.

Still living in Nottingham and the possessor of a Nottingham Forest season ticket I watch the modern day version of the wresting on TV or DVD on spasmodic occasions but I cannot drum up the same enthusiasm.

Finally I have to say that a fortnight ago Patchett and I got together for the first time in five years, down in London as South Shields had made it to Wembley in the Final of the FA Vase (a worthy 4-0 victory too) and over a few (many) drinks we caught up on the old days – St James’ Hall for sure!

 

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 Wrestling Heritage Walton Award

Wrestling Heritage Starr Award

June 2, 2017 at 3:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

david franklin
Member
Posts: 277

I am David Franklin, and have been known in wrestling circles for a long time as "Old David". A name I acquired on the 1Stop site to highlight that I was older than Young David, who was later better known as the British Bulldog Davy Boy Smith. Yes, I am that old!

I am a retired Production Control Manager who worked in Book Printing Factories in Chippenham and Bath. I now do as little as possible and enjoy being as big a burden on society as I can ----- my turn now!

I live in Bath with my second wife Michaela (Micky) who is quite a few years my junior. We have one grown up son Alex, and I also have two (grown up) children Emma and James from a previous marriage. 

I've been a wrestling fan since the 1950's when I first watchrd it on TV. In the 1960's my dad took me to local shows in Bath and Bristol and I was hooked. I was an almost fanatical for for many years thereafter, visiting halls in my local area -- Bath, Bristol, Westbury, Weston-Super-Mare, Swindon, Yate, Trowbridge, Melksham, etc. 

I had quite a few wrestling "pen friends" and we kept one another up to date and swopped programmes and results, and I joined quite a few of the many fan clubs that were around at the time.

I started to lose interest slightly in the mid-1970's when the quality of the bills dropped considerably, and "interesting" foreign visitors seemed to dry up. Suddenly all the bills were starting to contain all the same old (boring) faces. Life, marriage, and children, I'm sure added to my waning wrestling interest as well. This was the era when Mike Marino & Mick McManus were "in control" at Dale Martin Promotions, and I was certainly very pleased when Max Crabtree took over and injected some "northern life" into our local shows. Independent shows (Dixon, Orig, Cyril Knowles & Jimmy Hagan) were also offering some interesting events as well.

This lasted for a while until the "Big Daddy Circus" killed off my interest in attending live shows, and around that time they also stopped running shows (regularly) at Bath and Bristol.

I then "retired" from supporting wrestling and I had no interest in it for well over 10 years.

The Internet and "OneStop" got me back in touch with old wrestling fans, and an Internet friend persuaded me to attend a local show once again. It worked and I have been back visiting "live shows" for well over a decade now.

Besides wrestling (At least twice a month) I am Dungeon Master of two different groups of elderly gents who meet to play "Dungeons & Dragons" and who all flatly refuse to grow old gracefully! We have been "playing" together for over 30 years. In any other spare time I have I enjoy walking in the countryside with friends and regularly run local quizzes. 

Wrestling has changed over the years, as everything does, but the quality is often very high. I'm enjoying my wrestling so much more now than I did when those Big Daddy shows (that some of you guys remember so fondly) "embarrassed me away". ;)

June 3, 2017 at 3:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

frank
Member
Posts: 95

My name is Frank Leonard and I followed wrestling from around 1977 when my father would take me to Fairfield halls in Croydon every second Tuesday. I saw most of the greats that were around at that time and loved every minute of it. But sadly I lost interest when the whole thing became The Big Daddy show and Legends like Mark Rocco were being used as Daddy fodder. Used to meet a lot of the wrestlers in the cafe area before the show and all apart from one who shall remain nameless were absolute gentlemen to this wide eyed 13 year old with an autograph book in his hand. Great dayz indeed!

June 3, 2017 at 11:06 AM Flag Quote & Reply

yorkie
Member
Posts: 35

I am Alan Bedworth I was born in 1956, I live in Knottingley West Yorkshire. My first memories of wtching live shows was at Pontefract Town Hall with both my parents, one bout I can just remember seeing was The Royal Bros v Adrian Street and Bobby Barnes, they had the Hall bouncing with their antics, then when we were on holiday at Bridlington we would always go watch the wrestling, I saw many of the top stars there. Then after I got married and had a son, as he got to about 5 years old, we started taking him to Bridlington when we were on holiday.  After that we occassionally went to Pontefract, which were an independant promoter. I haven't seen any live wrestling for about 15 years, although I do see adverts locally for shows, I find it hard getting about now, plus I'm undecided as to what type of show it will be.

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June 7, 2017 at 3:22 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Philip Kenyon
Member
Posts: 236
I was born as Philip (Phil) Kenyon in Accrington Lancashire in 1943. I started to be interested in wrestling due to certain circumstances: At the age of 16, I was interested in weight lifting. I used to travel to nearby Blackburn to the YMCA Gym twice weekly. This was time consuming and (in those days) expensive. In 1962 I discovered that there was a gym in Accrington run by Robert (Bob) Bannister (wrestling name Retsinnab), where apart from weight lifting, wrestling was being taught. It wasn't long before I got interested in wrestling. I learned all that I needed to know about it from Bob Bannister, and a few other guys in the same gym, such as: Andreas Swajics (worked in the same factory as myself), Ian St. John, Don Plummer, Norman Kenworthy, Ray Steel (of Rishton) and others whose names elude me. My professional wrestling career (amateur from 1960) began in 1962 and ended (sadly) in 1967. I must say it was really hard in those days as I was learning all this during my engineering apprenticeship, which also included night school! My first fight as a professional (heavy weight with 110kg) under the name of Mike Agusta was at the Padium town hall (not far from Accrington). I was billed against "Bob MacNab", who to say the least was a real mean guy. This bout ended in a disqualification of MacNab. Some memorable moments that I encountered were the following: Meeting and training (getting tips and hints) from Joe Reid in his gym in Leigh nr. Manchester. Also training with his Son Marcus (the Great Marcus) at the same gym. A future fight occurred in Morecambe in 1964 where we put on a great fight. The same applies to Bob Sherry who visited our gym on some occasions. I also had the pleasure of meeting him at the armature world championships held in (1963 or 1964?) in Belle Vue Manchester. He was very active in the British amateur side of wrestling! My biggest billing was at the "Floral Hall¬? in Morecombe, where I was billed along side of: Domonic Pye vs. Cowboy Cassidy The bill (if I can remember) was titled "Great Britain Vs Rest of the World".In 1967 due to my engineering background, I was offered a job in Switzerland, where I've been ever since. Must admit it was pure chance that I got to know this website. I received a CD from my Brother about the Mick MacManus / Jackie Pallo era, which included the name of ¬?wrestling heritage¬?. Sorry that I don¬?t have any photos of me as a wrestler, but I do remember that one time I was billed against Don Plummer in an outdoor contest somewhere in Yorkshire (maybe Settle) at a Miners Fete. This was filmed and was shown, or so we were told in Miners Clubs and Convalescent homes around the North. I also got great pleasure in meeting a lot of the ¬?older¬? wrestlers in Blackpool 2016 and as Hack says true friendships have developed. Unfortunately I couldn¬?t attend this year¬?s reunion, but the 2018 one is already in my diary, please take this as a promise!
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Mike Agusta (Phil Kenyon)

Wrestling Heritage D'Orazio Award Holder

Wrestling Heritage Vic Award Holder

Wrestling Heritage Pallo Snr. Award Holder

Heavy Middleweight belt Holder

Heritage Starr Award Holder
June 8, 2017 at 4:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

David Mantell
Member
Posts: 2401

Born 1974, brought up to be a fan from an EXTREMELY early age - about 2 years old -  by my paternal grandparents, as they did with several of my relatives (my dad's got a slide of two distant relatives of mine wrestling in my grandparents' back yard from the early 70s).  My Great Uncle Jack (my Grandma Ann's brother) was a Lanchasire Catch Wrestling shooter in the gyms of the East End during the Edwardian Era and years later when his branch of the family went to live in Canada, he would watch wrestling - I expect it was Al Tomko's old promotion -  with his grand-daughter, my second cousin Diane, and would afterwards giive her some training in wrestling holds - IIRC she can still do a decent double wristlock but has forgotten everything else.  However, my 82 year old dad and my nearly 8 year old nephew in Israel are both judokas - there seems to be an alternation between.generations in my family over wrestling vs judo.

June 9, 2017 at 12:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

2bus
Member
Posts: 5

I've been a wrestling fan since the late 1960s. Born in Kettering so used to go to see local Brian Dixon shows in the early 70s. First ever show had a main event of Doctor Death v Billy Two Rivers. I used to be scared to death of Dangerous Danny Lynch and still regret going to football instead of seeing him take on Haystacks Calhoun (later Giant Haystacks of course) in a blood-bath that made the local paper the next day.  Always been a big fan of Kendo Nagasaki. In later years you might remember the Piledriver mag that I used to edit. 

June 11, 2017 at 1:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Hack
Moderator
Posts: 2364

Hello 2bus. It's good to have you with us, and hopefully for a long time to come. Danny Lynch v Haystacks, what a match to miss. Mind you, as I've said before on this forum (I've said most things many times before) I missed seeing Billy Robinson in my first show, chosing instead to go and watch the one with the Wild Man of Borneo. Come on, if you were ten years old, who would you chose?

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British wrestling - great characters but the plot was always a bit of a mystery.

June 11, 2017 at 2:54 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Anglo Italian
Moderator
Posts: 1922

It is possible to browse all members on the site and see everybody's profile.


Click any member's name and you can read all about them


There are over 2,000 members with profiles of vary degrees of detail, so we actually outnumber the wrestlers in the A to Z !


My profile is quite long and you can read it there (form an orderly queue)

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Still trying to work out what was going on!

June 11, 2017 at 3:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Hack
Moderator
Posts: 2364

I'm bringing this topic back to the surface in the hope those who haven't contributed will tell us a bit about themselves.

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British wrestling - great characters but the plot was always a bit of a mystery.

January 24, 2018 at 3:34 AM Flag Quote & Reply

mark
Member
Posts: 115

I was born in 1957 in Acton and went to my first show back in 1972 at the Brent Town Hall in Wembley. I loved it. Got many autographs over the years and was never refused and remember on that first visit chatting to Steve Grey at the interval and asked him to sign my programme. What a nice man he was and to a young lad meeting one of his tv Wrestling hero's its still a great memory.

January 24, 2018 at 5:28 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ray Hulm
Member
Posts: 242

Born in London in 1942 my interest in wrestling came as an offshoot of my interest in boxing and physical culture. I didn't go to a live show until I was 15 but in the first few shows that I went to I saw both Bert Assirati and Dara Singh, Two of the all time greats. I was smitten. Years later I became very involved with martial arts, started to hang out and train with various wrestlers and was even allowed to work on a show (best leave it to the experts was the general view).  I can't remember the last time I watched live wrestling but I have never lost my fascination with the game. 

If you are new to this site or have been reading the forum for years but never contributed, why not have a shot. There are some very knowledgable folk on here but at the end of the day it's just a bit of fun. We have bored our families near to insanity. At least we only drive each other mad on here. Come on. Give it a go.

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January 24, 2018 at 6:39 AM Flag Quote & Reply

frank thomas
Member
Posts: 1453
My name is Frank Thomas 56 years old, and started attending wrestling shows at the renowned Liverpool Stadium in 1972. Hardly ever missed a Friday night right up until 1978, when I started work and discovered "wine women and song"! Started attending local shows again in the late 1980s to the mid 1990s, but the magic had gone for me alas.. Discovered this site three or four years ago, and almost a daily contributor to the Forum. Come along and relive old memories and get into healthy, friendly debate!
January 24, 2018 at 9:59 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Tom H
Member
Posts: 287

I was born in 1945.I started going to wrestling at Ilford Baths in 1961 I saw Doctor Death, Shirley Crabtree, The Great Bula ,The Monster and Big Bruno Elrington. At the end of the year the promotor joined joint promotions. In 1962 I began going to the Dale Martin promotions at Barking Assembly Hall. I went with my father who loved the wrestling as much as me. I bought the tickets my father paid the bus fare.

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Lightweight belt holder

Welterweight belt holder.

January 24, 2018 at 1:44 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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