Birmingham lightweight Richard Hardy worked for the independent promoters in the 1970s.
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My particular memory is from a couple of years ago when a few of us was trying to erect a small gazebo/ marquee. There were about seven of us struggling with this structure. Getting it wrong, taking it down, putting it up again and finally managing it in just under two hours. If it had been a wrestling ring we would have had the damn thing up in 15 minutes.
The light heavyweight from Heywood in Lancashire turned professional following the second world war.
In the late 1940s and 1950s he travelled up and down the country from Edinburgh to Plymouth wrestling the likes of Danny Flynn, Alf Cadman, Reg Williams and Jack Beaumont.
Following the formation of Joint Promotions Bill was signed up by Joint Promotions and even made it to the Royal Albert Hall.
Bill remained a busy worker until our last recorded match in 1964. He left one very worthwhile legacy, training the classy welterweight Terry Nylands. He was also a well known referee in the north of England, shown on the right raising the arm of a victorious Francis Sullivan.
There was a short lived wrestling career for Glen Harris, the youngest son of the Plymouth Rock, Jackie Harris, and kid brother of heavyweight Judd Harris.
Unfortunately for wrestling fans he was lost to the British army, serving for twenty years, initially in tanks and, following a road accident in Germany in a British army Land Rover, served in the medical corps. Glen Harris passed away in 2007.
Betty and The Beatles
Whilst reading a book about Variety in the 50s and 60s, came across these two fascinating snippets. I worked for Best/Wryton and never realised that the Best family promoters at Blackpool tower and Liverpool Stadium were the family of the Beatles Drummer Pete. S
Secondly Wilson and Keppel were great Wrestling fans not sure about the numerous Bettys.
Jackie Harris was “The Plymouth Rock.” Not of big stature he was certainly a very hard man who was held in fear by men twice his size. The exploits of Jackie Harris are talked about when wrestlers gather together to this day.
Although billed from Plymouth Jackie was actually born in Yorkshire, in Hebden Bridge, towards the end of the first world war before moving to the West country.
He began wrestling in 1935, adopting the name Bombardier Harris during the 1940s. He became even more exotic for a time in the early 1950's, using the name Zoag Ffenier.
His long career ended in 1963 when a ring accident resulted in a broken neck.
After retiring from active wrestling Jackie Harris became a popular referee, working for promoter Max Crabtree amongst others.
He was the father of Glen, Judd and Mike, all of who made their way in the wrestling world.
Jackie Harris died in 1968.
The 6'6" American heavyweight, known also as The Mississippi Mauler, came to Britain in 1981 to devlop the skills learned in his apprenticeship years following a professional debut (as Sugar Bear Harris) in 1978.
He was a significant and powerful presence on the British scene, developing some of the characteristics that were to take him on to greater fame when he returned to the United States as Kamala, the Ugandan cannibal, right. Whilst in Britain, Harris defeated most of those in his path, many of whom were hardly top notch, but did come a cropper when facing more robust opponents such as Marty Jones, Pat Roach. Big Daddy, Mal Kirk, Wayne Bridges, and had an unfortunate March 1982 ending against Kwik Kik Lee when he broke his ankle.
A sad footnote to Jim Harris' visit is that he was due to meet Mike Marino at Folkestone on 24th August 1981, the night that Marino was taken ill and died.
Another of the famous wrestling family from Plymouth and latterly Hebden Bridge, Mick is the eldest son of the Pymouth Rock, Jackie Harris, and older brother of Judd.
He emigrated to Australia where he wrestled under the name Peter Gabb.