The highly respected Irish amateur wrestler Diarmuid Hegarty became the popular middleweight of the the second half of the 1960s, Danny Hegan. A one time boxer, and a weight lifter, it was eventually grappling that became Danny's favourite sport and he took up amateur wrestling shortly after moving to England in the late 1950s. His training ground, like many other prospective professionals, was the Forresters Amateur Wrestling Club in London.
Starting out in the late 1960s as a referee and working for the southern England independent promoters such as Verdun-Leslie.
Karl Heinz was predictably billed from Germany in those days. With his move across to Joint Promotions in the early 1970s his abode was changed to the more credible Gravesend, Kent.
Karl was a regular worker, mainly in the south, for over twenty years, mostly for Dale Martin Promotions but back with the independents in the 1980s.
His regular tag partner was his wrestling brother, Kurt Heinz. The pair faced Greg Valentine and Pat Patton on television in June 1987, losing by two falls to one.
The Gravesend villain of the 1970s looked very much like Karl Heinz. The two claimed to be brothers but were not related. Started out in the early 1970s working for the independent promoters but was soon signed up by Dale Martin Promotions. One of those fall-guys who played such a valuable part in British wrestling. Kurt and Karl Greg Valentine and Pat Patton on television in June 1987, losing by two falls to one.
Johnny Hemms was a jeweller from Dudley in the West Midlands. He is remembered by Wrestling Heritage member Mike Richards who watched him in a match in Bromsgrove at the St. John’s Church Fayre, June 1967 in the grounds of the vicarage. A wrestling ring was set up on the large lawn and there were 2 bouts, Johnny Hemms vs. Dave Scawthorne and Johnny Peters vs, Gorilla Reg Ray. What made it extra unusual, and also turned it into a comedy show, the St. John’s vicar was referee for the first bout! We ponder the possibility that he could have been the Bobby Hemms that faced Dynamite Kid in the Kid's professional debut.
Kenny Herberts was a heavyweight from Warrington who turned professional in the mid 1960s and was a popular figure in northern rings during the sixties and seventies. Made his television debut in 1966 against Peter Stewart but for his second bout had the misfortune of facing the giant Japanese fighter Shozo Koboyashi, and getting knocked out in the first round!
A strong, skilled wrestler Les remained part of the supporting class and failed to make it to top of the bill status. He tried to gain further acclaim with the name Mike Powers. We don’t think it worked.
Many thanks to Mike Richards for supplying us with these photos of Ken Herberts in his match against Kendo Nagasaki at Garringtons, Bromsgrove.
South African heavyweight Les Herberts came to Britain in 1950, wrestling mainly in the north against top class opponents such as Emile Poilve, Ernie Baldwin and The Farmer. He remained a regular fixture in British rings, seemingly firmly rooted in the north, albeit for one jaunt we have recorded to London, working for northern promoter Norman Morrell. We understand that in later life Les Herberts settled in Rhodesia.