Hurricane Keith Haward (Pete Heywood)
Hurricane Keith could well have been a household name for years to come had it not been for the demise of tv wrestling. In the 1980s he was one of the few new entrants that didn't just ooze class but could engage the fans; a wonderful antidote to the shenanigans going on in many matches at the time..
He came to the professional ring with first class amateur credentials, having represented his country in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and the 1978 Commonweatlh Games. In the Olympics Keith lost his first two matches to the Romanian Marin Pircalabu and Jarmo Overmark of Finland, leading to his elimination., but won a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games Turning professional he soon became Hurricane Haward and by the early 1980s he was established as a top class professional.
He was three times holder of the European Middleweight title as the belt was passed between Keith, Mal Sanders and Clive Myers between 1979 and 1987.
But fans will be most likely to remember him in action with Jon Cortez - one of the most frequent match-ups in wrestling history.
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Ever youthful Judo Al Hayes was one wrestler who enjoyed a textbook career made up of a series of successful phases. Crowned as a British Heavyweight Champion in the shambolic pre Joint Promotions days at Harringay Stadium, the nation’s youngest ever judo black belt of the early days of Dale Martin Promotions claimed a more notable scalp with a Royal Albert Hall defeat of subsequent legitimate world champion Eduardo Carpentier. He then hooked up from the outset with successful independent rival, Paul Lincoln, playing the blue-eyed lead against Lincoln’s colourful stable of international villains. Hayes had a fun run as the English version of the famed Spaniard, the White Angel, culminating in a famous 1962 unmasking at the Granada Tooting at the hands of Doctor Death. During his Lincoln years, Hayes wrestled with great regularity in France, both with and without the mask. When the two promotions finally merged at the start of 1966 it was Judo Al who led the Lincoln wrestlers’ televised ring invasion and took the mike in an open challenge to their Dale Martin counterparts. Immediately embraced back into the Joint Promotions fold, Hayes featured in the victorious London team in the Capital Cities Trophy series against Paris at the Royal Albert Hall the following year. Billed now as the wrestling councillor (Con.) from Westminster, Hayes won an open tournament to become the Southern England Heavyweight Champion, defeating Wayne Bridges and Bruno Elrington along the way. In time-honoured fashion he relinquished his sash to Elrington just prior to his departure for the USA in 1971. His final 34 years of action in the ring and behind the mike were spent in North America, where he died a very sad death in 2005 aged 77.
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One of wrestling’s characters who didn’t make it to the big time but played an important role in the wrestling scene. Born in Wombwell, a mining town near Barnsley Chunky had a background in boxing before turning to wrestling. After moving to Gloucestershire he began promoting shows and used the biggest names on the independent circuit, including Dwight J Ingleburgh and Karl Von Kramer. He is fondly spoken of by those who remember him. Wherever those that knew him gather together the stories about Chunky begin to flow, often about the rickety bus in which he transported his workers, or the instruction to wrestlers staying at his home to not leave their bedroom because he let the alsations loose at night for security, and a good few stories we wouldn’t dare to repeat.
A young farmer from Milnthorpe in Westmorland who found success in the Cumberland and Westmorland style, in which he was champion. Not surprising really as he was from the family of legendary Cumberland and Westmorland wrestler Gilpin Bland. Tony took up Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling in 1949, and was crowned champion in 1957. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Edgar, who was a Cumberland and Westmorland champion for many years. Tony's C&W success was followed by a short lived professional career that began in January 1962 and was cut short by injury a few months later. The Hayhurst family is still actively involved in Cumberland and Westmorland style wrestling.
See John Kowalski
Ted Heath (Red Scorpion, Masked Resistor)
He was a Yorkshire grit type who found success on both sides of the Atlantic, though he probably didn’t take that “Hooker” Heath nickname to the States with him. Ted Heath turned to professional wrestling following a career in rugby league, and with such a background he had just the style that you’d imagine. If you’re not sure what that means then just imagine a wrestler who was disqualified in his first professional bout!
He was a robust, submission style brawler with the characteristics of a villain despite rarely actually breaking the rules. Well, not often. It was a different matter on those occasions he pulled on a mask to wrestle as the outright villainous Red Scorpion. Scorpion was a masked man of the 1960s/70s rings of Morrell Beresford Promotions in the north of England and Scotland.
Admittedly Ted the Scorpion was not an original. We can offer a couple of Red Scorpions. Ted is the one most likely remembered by Wrestling Heritage readers in the late sixties and early seventies mostly seen in the rings of northern England and Scotland working for Norman Morrell and Ted Beresford. There were always rumours that the face behind the mask was Yorkshire heavy middleweight Ted Heath, and when the mask was removed by Scots star Andy Robin it was indeed Ted Heath whose features were revealed. The name Red Scorpion had previously been used by the heavyweight Mitchell Gill whilst wrestling in the Far East in the early 1950s, and could be found on independent bills in the 1950s. As masked man Red Scorpion Ted Heath tagged with another hard northerner, John Foley, who was at that time also wrestling under a mask as The Katt.
It was, though, unmasked as partner of fellow Yorkshireman Alan Dennison he is most fondly remembered by wrestling fans of the 1970s. Ted's aggressive style complemented team captain, Alan Dennison. Wrestling fans' disappointment that Sid Cooper had moved south were soon dismissed when Ted took over his role in the tag team, an impeccable replacement to accompany Dennison in tag mayhem.
Late in his career Ted wrestled in Australia and finally settled in the USA where he gained some success as Texas Ted Heath. He did return to Britain after he settled in America, but again his features were often hidden from fans under the mask of the In the United States he formed a formidable tag combination with his old friend and former tag partner, another British old-timer, John Foley.
The British Bulldogs, and yes this was long before Dynamite Kid and Davey Smith set foot on the North American continent.
Ted Heath died in August, 2014. Tributes were paid to a fondly remembered man:
Hack: Ted was a real rough un, and a lot of fun to watch. He was a good replacement for Sid Cooper in the Dennisons tag team.
Steve: He is my all time favourite wrestler. I did a dvd for him so that his granddaughter could see him in action, just a collection of his few bouts on world of sport. He sent me a brilliant thank you letter and his sister shared many pics with me. A sad loss.
Ron Historyo: Great with Dennison, they looked like Roman Gladiators with their wristbands. A very well known TV wrestler. Sad news
Martin.R.Gillott: Sad news indeed, Our thoughts are with his family. R.I.P.Ted.
Bill Smith: RIP Ted.....
Beancounter: So very sad to hear of Ted's passing. He was a very good wrestler and popular figure at Morecambe Winter Gardens in the early 1970's, once winning an 8 man elimination Battle Royal by sending Steve Young clean over the top rope, landing him flat on his front on the stage.
My sincere condolences to the Family.
SaxonWolf: RIP Ted Heath, one of the original British Bulldogs when he wrestled in the USA with John Foley.
Dale Storm: I'm really saddened to hear about the demise of Ted Heath. He was a great worker and a really tough man. I remember particularly his Red Scorpion guise way back then in my day! I never worked with the man personally but I did share the odd dressing room. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. RIP Brother!
powerlock: So sorry to hear about the passing of Ted Heath, a good strong no nonsense grappler, loved it when he teamed with Alan Dennison, one of the toughest teams about. My sympathies to his family
grahambrook: I saw Ted Heath wrestle on countless occasions in the seventies; usually in partnership with Alan Dennison and, more often than not, at The Kings Hall, Belle Vue, Manchester where I saw them wrestle, amongst other combinations, Masambula and Honey Boy Zimba, Johnny Kwango and Honey Boy Zimba, Al Marquette and Terrry Jowett, Ian Gilmour and Jeff Kaye, Al Miquet and Jon Cortez. I saw them against Bert Royal and Vic Faulkner at both the De Montfort Hall, Leicester and The Pavilion Gardens, Buxton. It was also at Buxton that I saw them against the teams of Abe Ginsberg and Eric Cutler (as unhelmetted blue eyes) and the team of Steve Haggetty and Colin Joynson. It was at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon, that I saw them against Tony and Ignatious Borg and I also recall travelling to Melton Mowbray Town Hall to an independent show where the top of the bill was advertised as The Borg Twins versus The Dennisons who turned out to be Ted Heath and Don Kovacs (promoter Terry Gudrum). Seeing Ted in singles bouts was less usual but I do recall a bruising battle with Jacky Ricard at Victoria Baths, Nottingham, with Bert Royal at The Gaiety Theatre, Rhyl, and putting a young Ray Steele through his paces at The kings Hall, Belle Vue. It was also at The Kings Hall that promoter Max Crabtree persuaded him to don his old Red Scorpion mask in a wild encounter with Alan Dennison. He was indeed a no-nonsense grappler (I believe he gave the young Gary Cooper (Catweazle) a right royal pasting and refusing to sell any of his moves for he thought that Gary's demeanour brought the game into disrepute). I never met him but have many happy memories from watching him in my days as a punter. Rest in peace.
Graham Bawden: Sorry to hear of the sad news. A great grappler and real tough nut.
Margaret: Edmund (Ted) was my only brother ,loved dearly and sadly missed,
I went to many a wrestling show with him and enjoyed every one even though he was nearly always the bad guy!
See Jose Cadiz
One half of the world famous Fabulous Kangaroos tag team, Roy Heffernan, visited Britain in 1953 and again in 1955. Acknowledged as one of Australia's greatest wrestlers, from 1957 until 1965, Heffernan and fellow Kangaroo Al Costello played a leading role in popularising tag team wrestling. When the tag partnership ended Heffernan returned to Australia where he continued wrestling and later became one of the country's top promoters. In Britain the 1953 tour was mainly in Northern England but in 1955 he travelled more extensively. Opponents included Jack Pye, Dave Armstrong and a Royal Albert Hall bout with the German Hermann Iffland.