Irish welterweight with a judo background who, between 1954 and 1956, faced opponents including the experienced Arthur Fisher and Bob Archer O'Brien as well as new kids on the block like Jackie Pallo and Peter Rann.
Australian light heavyweight Dennis Dean was born in Hobart in 1934. A collection of jobs that included Sheep shearing and cattle driving led up to a professional wrestling career that began in Sydney in 1954.
Five years later, in the Autumn of 1959, he made his debut for Joint Promotions and was set to become a full time worker, mainly in the south, for the next half dozen years. In 1962 he followed in the footsteps of numerous other Joint Promotion workers and moved over to the independents.
He continued to work regularly until the end of 1965 but disappeared from the circuit following the Paul Lincoln merger with Dale Martin in January, 1966. On occasions he would tag with fellow Australian, Aussie Dean (known in Joint Promotion rings as Otto Acron) and also worked with Otto as part of his circus strong man act, when they were known as the Acron brothers. The two of them bought a Russian brown bear, who Dennis named Igor, and they would wrestle him as part of their circus act.
One of the “Liverpool Lads” tag team alongside Rob Brookside or Frankie Sloane. Dean made his television debut in June 1988, facing the Little Prince. At the time he was only eighteen years old but had already been working in the professional rings for four years, having made his debut for All Star Promotions in 1984. Went on to work in Japan and the United States, where he settled.
In the late 50's and before The Wrestler, Charles Mascall used to write a column (full page actually) for a sporting weekly that I have forgotten the name of (anyone?). Anyway, this column was full of interesting bits and pieces of wrestling history but was in the main a propaganda exercise on behalf of Joint Promotions and the European Wrestling Alliance. Charles was always writing about the European promoters and venues and although I can't remember any of the names I do remember him reporting on a meeting held on board a luxury yacht belonging to one of the promoters and moored in Monte-Carlo. We didn't have that many luxury yachts in Leyton and I was suitably impressed. How was I to know that ten years later I would be working on a luxury yacht and watching wrestling in Monte-Carlo of all places? Another Charles hobby horse was the claim that all the foreign wrestlers who worked for Joint were genuine visitors who had a 40 contest work permit that was available for inspection. It was great writing.
We would like to know more about Gian Chandi, a colourful character who was known as Deep River and worked for the independent and Wryton Promotions in the 1960s.
We have been told he lived in Birmingham and owned a corner shop in the Handsworth area.
Please get in touch if you can provide more information.
Charles Mascall used to pen an excellent weekly and illustrated Wrestling column for "Tiger" - a "heavily" sports -orientated (amongst its Sci Fi & adventure stuff) "Boys" paper - though "Dad" would always read it too. After me of course - this when, the vital-bible dropped on to the "other" mat (I just got there first, thats all) once a week. The other mat I refer too, being our door-mat.
In fact Charles's, Weekly Column was "actually" called - "MEET THE MAT MEN".
It was a series of very well written profiles of Dale Martin's doyens of the Wrestling Ring, with some excellent photos - and ran for sometime. In fact all the top men were profiled in this - couldn't wait for the next instalment - aforesaid series. For as I say, "Tiger" was very sport slanted indeed. It included a famous on-going soccer story (great artwork & lettering) and other football features. Ditto the Wrestling. There was also Rugby (League mostly) Boxing, Cricket, & Speedway.
Great stuff and very well composed. Both the weekly & the yearly - same type of format - annuals. Written for the more discerning and mature lad going on teenagers. Oh - and of course - those Dads.
1959 heavyweight visitor who met the big named UK heavyweights such as Dennis Mitchell, Tibor Szakacs and Billy Joyce.
He looked in trouble, but then delivered the kind of magic that was not an illusion. Without warning, and seemingly from any direction South African Gerry DeJager would execute a perfectly placed drop-kick.
Although a master of all the holds for Gerry the drop-kick was his jewel in the crown, delivered with a speed that meant it was always a surprise weapon used to devastating effect.
He was a big, powerful man and his speciality combined that power with a natural agility and speed that belied his stature. The popular 1960s heavyweight was said to have the fastest knock-out win on record, just twelve seconds.
Born in the Orange Free State, South Africa Gerry worked on his father's farm as a youngster, building up the strength and physique that was to prove invaluable in his chosen career. Gerry took up amateur wrestling in 1945, turned professional in 1948 and came to Britain in 1951.
For the best part of the next twenty years but always returned to Britain where he was welcomed by fans.
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Irish all-in wrestler of the 1930s with a career spanning over twenty years which continued post war until the mid 1950s, and later as referee.
Please get in touch if you can provide more information.
I was one of the 'seconds' on many occasions in the South of England venues - too many to name - I would make my own way to Brixton Road and jump on one the lorry's and go to one of the venues to be a second for the evening - after helping to put the ring up ! My biggest mistake .......well one afternoon I arrived at Brixton Road and walked upstairs to see which lorry I could jump on and passed Mike Marino on the stairs with a very tall man who quickly looked away.......I thought who was that, but thought no more of it......until 2 hours later when I was told it was Kendo Nagasaki....without a mask of course and I never looked properly !
Very happy days.........if only we could all turn the clock back...
Visitors from across the English Channel were common throughout the twentieth century. Roger Delaporte was a first class villainous French wrestler who came our way for a month in the spring of 1958.
Roger travelled extensively during his visit, even venturing across the sea to Northern Ireland to go down to Dennis Mitchell.
Opponents were of the highest calibre: Mitchell, Dazzler Joe Cornelius, Mike Marino, Tibor Szakacs amongst them.
Two years later Roger Delaported was to become one of the top promoters in France, a position he was to hold for a quarter of a century. He could still be seen in the ring on occasions, officiating as referee.
When not wrestling Roger appeared in a number of French films, authored numerous books and was a restaurateur.
Roger Delaporte died in 2009, aged 81.
French wrestler Tiger Tim DeLisle was born in Marseilles on 7th May, 1905, but moved to Montreal in Canada when he was just six years old.
He took up amateur wrestling aged seventeen and seven years later turned professional, having been taught the professional style by Eugene Tremblay, one of the world's top lightweights at the time. Our earliest record of the Tiger in Britain is in March, 1933, and from then on he seems to be a permanent fixture until shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.
One of the lighter men Tiger had some cracking bouts in Britain against Harold Angus and Mike Howley. Enjoyed and respected by the fans his rough style, sometimes outside the rules, did little to endear him to the British public.
From the autumn of 1939 and throughout the Second World War DeLisle wrestled in Canada. He returned to Britain following the second world war in 1948 and 1949, with our last recorded match in Canada in 1955.
Wally Delmar was a one-eyed exiled Channel Islander who lived near Strangeways Prison in Manchester. Five and half feet tall (he said) and a typical bantam cock of a lightweight bristling with ideas and ambition. he trained at the Balck Panther gym and wrestled just about everyone under fourteen stone: Ian St John, Johnny Clancy, Tiger Delmonte, Ali Gil, Shem Singh, Mark Wayne, Mad Dog Wilson, Eddie Rose, Cyril Knowles, Jack Dempsey, Gustav LeBrun and, I do belive, Johnny Saint in a tag bout.
Wally worked on Matt Moran's fairground wrestling booth for years and could handle himself in a tight spot against any one. His unfulfilled ambition was to get in the ring with Mick McManus. He did once jump the ring on Jackie Pallo and they had a ten second dust-up before being separated by the referee and seconds.
Wally had lost the sight of his left eye and being driven by him to wrestling shows always filled the lads with trepidation as he was forever turning round to engage the back seat passengers in conversation. No real worries he was a lorry driver by profession. After training he loved nothing better than a couple of pints of Tetley bitter and a good old yarn about past bouts.