Billed as an Irish Canadian, London-born "Canadian" Steve Haggetty was a conceited mid-heavyweight villain of the sixties and early seventies, unsatisfyingly monickered "Hard-boiled", copycatting the more famed American original.
Started out with the Paul Lincoln stable where he feuded with lookalike Dave Larsen. He then tagged fleetingly with Al Fontayne, and then cemented his place as a major star in the Dangermen with Dangerous Danny Lynch, continuing the team alongside Colin Joynson in the seventies (see the tag team section in Autographs).
Often a solo action foe for Kellett and Masambula, and immediately antagonistic, strutting sardonically to the ring with his famed bull on the back of his cape.
Steve moved north and took up management of a public house in Stockport. His story can be read in our tribute "The Hardboiled Ego" and Armchair Corner" feature "Much Ado About Nothing."
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A name inspired by the Marvel comic character, these supposedly South American masked men made an imposing and colourful sight during their 1967-1968 appearances in British rings.
Whether or not they were genuine visitors we don't know. Nonetheless they made an imposing entrance to the ring in their colourful gold and red costumes and made quite an impression on the one occasion we saw them in action at a live venue.
To be added soon
Low-key value-for-money Croydon welterweight of the late sixties and early seventies who surfaced to achieve a new 2007 peak of fame when the featured interviewee in a BBC News outside broadcast showing current-day training of professional wrestlers.
John is the father of twenty-first century heavyweight champion John Ritchie.
Brought up with an interest in boxing John turned to a sporting ring of a different sort and took up amateur wrestling when he was nineteen. A former amateur champion, from the Forest Hill Club in London, who turned pro late in life at 29.
Made his professional debut in 1969; we remember him training on-the-job in-the ring, with protegés the likes of a young Clive Myers. Throughout his career John was always involved in training youngsters, and has continued this involvement in training to this very day.
At a time when the nation was going to war a youngster from Tunstall in Stoke on Trent had another sort of fighting on his mind. John was just sixteen years old when he first stepped into the professional wrestling ring in 1941. It was the start of a long career for this popular and handy wrestler who was also a skilled engineer.
John was one of a group of wrestlers from Stoke turning professional around that time: Jack Santos, George Goldie, Bill Ogden and Brian Aherne (later to become Jim Mellor). For the first few years most of John's matches were against these local wrestlers with whom he trained and travelled. Following the war he began travelling further afield and meeting a wider range of opponents that included Danny Flynn, Tommy Mann and Jack Beaumont.
John was signed up by Joint Promotions when they formed in 1952 and continued working for them until 1957 when he moved across to the independents. The move to the independents didn't mean any lessening of the workload and when the boom years of the independents begn in the late 1950s John Hall was in the tick of it, travelling up and down the country working for the major opposition promoters Cape Promotions, Jack Taylor and Paul Lincoln. John finally hung up his boots in 1969, some 27 years after first stepping into the professional ring.
John Hall died on 4th January, 2014. At the time Manchester wrestler Eddie Rose said:
“John was one of the stalwarts of wrestling and had a long career during which he produced some great bouts. That group of Potteries lads were good company and good workers. Sorry to see the numbers fade away.”
To be added soon
Willem Hall was a powerful and skilful wrestler a a popular South African heavyweight champion who made a lengthy tour of the UK in the early 1960s. In a world of giants, colourful costumes and intriguing names Hall relied on an alarmingly simple gimmick, hold and counter-hold wrestling.
What he lacked in showmanship was made up for with wrestling skill and brute force backed up by 6 feet 1 inch height and a body weight that varied between 16 and 19 stones.
Unlike most overseas visitors Hall was a good technician who wrestled strictly by the book, making him a popular addition to British rings during his 1960s tours of the country.
A former rugby player he narrowly missed selection for South Africa. Hall turned to professional wrestling in 1952 and opponents included world class heavyweights such as Bert Assirati, Earl McCready, and George Pencheff.
In South Africa he was known as Percy Hall, except for the period he was the masked man, Mr X.
After defeating Willie Leibenberg he laid claim to a disputed South African heavyweight title.