WRESTLING HERITAGE

A hobby site created by enthusiasts of 
British wrestling celebrating wrestling and 
wrestlers from 1930 onwards through 
fifty glorious years of British wrestling history

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Wrestling Heritage A-Z

 See all wrestlers in section F

Billy Fogg ... John Foley ... Al Fontayne ... Tony Ford ... Leon Fortuna ... Roy Fortuna ... Eddie Fox ... More

Billy Fogg

Mid heavyweight Billy Fogg, the one time baker from Warrington, initially worked for the independent promoters until he was signed up by Joint Promotions in 1961.

Within a short time he was a regular fixture on the northern circuit clashing with the likes of Jack Pye, Francis St Clair Gregory, Mike Marino and Billy Howes. Nationwide exposure came in December, 1961, with a television defeat at the hands of Jack Beaumont at Bolton. Body stretched by Colin Williamson in the photo on the right.

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John Foley

 

Trained at Billy Riley’s Wigan gymnasium John Foley was one of the hardest and most skilful 1950s and 1960s middleweights. He came into wrestling after working as a coal miner, making his professional debut against Tommy Milo. Well regarded as a one of the country’s top middleweights, journalist Charles Mascall said John was one of the world's best middleweights of all time. His greatest notoriety came in the 1960s as a member of the Black Diamonds tag team, partnering Abe Ginsberg. Distinguished with black leather helmets, which Kent Walton was forever telling us he was inundated with letters saying these should be illegal and removed, the two villains had memorable clashes against the Stewarts, The White Eagles and the Royal Brothers.

For a short time John Foley also wrestled in northern England and Scotland as the masked wrestler, The Katt, with the real mystery being why a wrestler of his calibre chose to have his identity concealed. Well travelled throughout most of Western Europe later in his career he travelled to Canada and Japan, achieving further success. John’s son in law was Ted Heath, and when the two of them wrestled as a tag team in the USA in 1975/6 they called themselves “The British Bulldogs,” and carried a large stuffed bulldog (called Winston) into the ring, pre-dating another higher profile British Bulldogs team by quite a few years.

Al Fontayne

A light heavyweight, known as the “Jewish whirlwind,” whose rugged style was never going to make him a fan's favourite. Bethnal Green's Al Fontayne gained his early experience in the rings of Paul Lincoln and the independent promoters.

Trained by veteran Al Lipman, Fontayne turned professional in 1958, following a stint in the RAF and boxing as an amateur. Al worked extensively in southern England, Austria and Germany before being signed up by Joint Promotions in the mid 1960s.

Those early Continental bouts included matches against far more experience wrestlers such as Rene Lasartesse, Leif Rasmussen, Felix Gregor and George Blemenshultz.

He was equally at home in rings against the smaller acrobatic antics of Johnny Kwango or the rugged heavyweight slugger Johnny Yearsley. Frequent encounters were made with Bob Kirkwood in the early days and later for Dale Martin Promotions. His 1966 ko by Ricky Starr in Leeds was the talk of the town for years afterwards.

He was a regular mid carder in Joint Promotion rings before disappearing from our rings around the middle of 1969.

Tony Ford

Our only knowledge of this Bradford heavyweight is a television match against Ezzard Hart at Bermondsey Baths on 15th January, 1966.

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Leon Fortuna

It always seemed appropriate that welterweight Leon Fortuna, who appeared to have a permanent smile, came from the Pacific Island of Tonga in the Friendly Isles. The smile seemed to have disappeared when Leon was featured on the cover of The Wrestler magazine with Peter Szakacs (right)

Born in Tonga, he moved to South Africa as a a child and later, in 1951 the eight year old first stepped foot in the UK. In 1960, following a short amateur career, he turned professional for Paul Lincoln, but within weeks was signed up by Dale Martin Promotions.

His original ring name of Young Sullivan disguised an even more unusual real name.

His fast, skilful style was hugely popular with fans in the South, where he mainly wrestled, and it wasn’t long before he became a nationwide favourite through the miracle of television.

In 1970 he formed one half of The Sepia Set tag-team which foundered with partner Linde Caulder’s departure two years later.

Roy Fortuna

Manchester was a hotbed of young wrestling talent in the late 1960s. Whilst Al Marquette, Johnny Saint, Pete Lindbergh, Bob Francini and Eddie Rose had already begun to make their mark a younger generation was snapping at their heels. Amongst these was a schoolboy, or at least very recent schoolboy, going by the name Roy Fortuna. The older guard listed above each had a hand in helping the youngster develop from the time we first took an interest in his career which was in 1969. We watched him grow in confidence and skill for the following seven or eight years but then Roy Fortuna disappeared from our horizon as quickly as he had arrived. Eddie Rose enlightens us that Roy went on to become a major figure in the trade union movement.

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.

Eddie Fox

Manchester was a hotbed of young wrestling talent in the late 1960s. Whilst Al Marquette, Johnny Saint, Pete Lindbergh, Bob Francini and Eddie Rose had already begun to make their mark a younger generation was snapping at their heels. Amongst these was a schoolboy, or at least very recent schoolboy, going by the name Roy Fortuna. The older guard listed above each had a hand in helping the youngster develop from the time we first took an interest in his career which was in 1969. We watched him grow in confidence and skill for the following seven or eight years but then Roy Fortuna disappeared from our horizon as quickly as he had arrived. Eddie Rose enlightens us that Roy went on to become a major figure in the trade union movement.

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.