For many fans Terry Jowett lived in the shadows of his tag partner Johnny Eagles. Eagles was the more experienced of the two, and it was he that gave the name to their successful tag partnership, the White Eagles. None would say, though, that Jowett gave less than 100% and matched his illustrious partner in every aspect. Many would say that Jowett was the real worker of the team. Terry was one of the bright young stars of the early 1960s, a classy wrestler whose career stretched from the early sixties late into the 1980s. If covering your body in tattoos is considered a gimmick then Jowett was a gimmicky wrestler. The truth is he relied on nothing more wrestling ability and speed to make him a popular middleweight. He turned to wrestling following national service, losing to York’s Jim Grosert in that first professional bout. The first few years were spent gaining experience and it was a surprise to many when Eagles chose the inexperienced Jowett as his tag partner. That it was a good choice is beyond question.
Popular welterweight of the 1970s Tom Jowett began learning to wrestle as an amateur in 1965 at the Leeds Athletic Institute and later at the Doncaster YMCA. Tom turned professional in 1969 initially for the independent promotions. Hoping to work for Joint Promotions Tom approached promoter George de Relwyskow who agreed to prepare the youngster. It wasn't until the spring of 1971 that Tom got his chance for Joint Promotions. He soon became a regular worker throughout the north of England and Scotland, He tagged with Pat Lee as The Dons.
Bill Joyce was arguably the finest heavyweight wrestler of our time. He was the man who taught the great modern day shooters, Bill Robinson and Karl Gotch, how to wrestle professionally. Furthermore, it would be hard to deny his technical superiority over other greats such as Bert Assirati. For Joyce it was a case of the appliance of science over strength, as shown in his televised defeat of twenty stone Bruno Elrington. Two submissions with single leg Boston Crabs gave Joyce a 2:0 win over the Pompey giant. No one looked less the part of a professional wrestler than Joyce, who was light for a heavyweight, but nevertheless kept a firm grip on the British title for most of the time between 1955 and 1967. In the twilight years of his career he dropped down a weight to establish himself as champion of the light heavyweight division. Billy Joyce was the epitome of substance over style, forever a great technician, but never a showman.
We have just half a dozen bouts recorded for Brendan Joyce in the early 1960s, all of them in Smethwick.
Doug Joyce (Whipper Wilson)
Doug Joyce was the Canadian-born mid-heavyweight title challenger from Rushden, the rule-bending brother of rule-abiding Ken. He was also mischieviously and misleadingly billed also as Whipper Wilson, deliberately to confuse with fellow Canadian world champion Whipper Billy Watson. One of Doug’s major claims to fame was the time he flew headlong out of the ring in a televised bout only to smash right into Kent Walton causing him to have three stitches in the wound.
Joyce made his professional debut in 1948, closer to the lightweight division in those days than the heavyweight into which he blossomed. Early opponents included Jack Queseck, Pat Kloke, Johnny Lipman and Jim Mellor.
During the 1950s Doug was a run of the mill light heavyweight until he shaved his head and changed his style. The result was an aggressive whirlwind with the ability to arouse hostile emotions amongst the fans. He remained a significant figure in British wrestling until the 1970s.
Ken Joyce. British-born and Canadian bred (he moved when just six weeks old) British and European welterweight champion, who also claimed European tag-team championship honours with Eddie Capelli, though he also tagged with brother Doug Joyce. Rather interestingly relinquished his European Welterweight Championship because he couldn't travel to Paris to defend it. Rushden-based craftsman and greatly respected both through his involvement at the heart of Devereaux Promotions and latterly as an energetic referee. Joyce returned to Britain when he was thirteen years old, having wond his first amateur belt in canada when he was just ten. He turned profesional in 1941, in Befast against South African Ronnie hurst. In those eearly days he was known in some halls as “Spindle” Joyce because of his slight physique. See Armchair Corner, The Haunting.
Cheetham Hill blockbuster much appreciated by knowing fans without ever achieving high profile status though much sought after for German tournaments. A welterweight when he turned professional he grew in size and experience to become a stocky all-action star who was handily weighted to share top-billing alongside opponents as diversely weighted as Mick McManus and Pat Roach. Made his professional debut against the classy Bob Steele after learning to wrestle at the manchester YMCA and the Wryton Stadium. Can lay claim to being the wrestler who opposed two exotic foreign stars on their British television appearances, Quasimodo and N'boa the Snakeman. A rival of Terry Dwns in his early days and tagged latterly as a Dangerman with Steve Haggetty (see Autographs) and occasionally with Romany Riley. Although a regular feature on mostly Northern bills Colin never received the acclaim that many thought he deserved.
Luis Enrique Edo Juan
A trio of visits were made to the Uk between 1964 and 1966 by this popular Spanish heavyweight imported by Arthur Green on behalf of Joint Promotions. A tall, skilful wrestler he came to our shores following a couple of years experience in France. Apart fro wrestling Edo Juan also played classical pieces on the piano and had studied law in Spain before turning professional wrestler.
Frank Judson, born Frank Jedlenski, set foot in Britain for the first time in February, 1934, having crossed the Atlantic on the Europa with his friend Ivan Seric (Jack Sherry). Thirty-seven years old Frank did not wrestle in Britain at that time but was en-route to Johannesburg in South Africa. He returned to New York in July and was not back in Britain until 1936 when he had only a few matches. He brought good credentials as trainer of wrestling at Harvard University. By then he had been wrestling professionally for more than ten years, starting out in 1922. A very promising career was hampered by serious injury in the mid 1920s. For a while it remained very doubtful that he would return to the ring. He did make it back, but reports are that he no longer had the potential to make it to the top. In Britain he was given the opportunity to unmask the Masked Wrestler, who had been doing the rounds and unbeaten for about a year. Judson did his duty and revealed the face of the familiar Louis Pergantes after just fourteen minutes of wrestling..
In October 1970 French wrestler Maurice Jung, the self styled French Hippy was kind enough to pop over from his Parisien home to lose to Jackie Pallo at the Royal Albert. He made a colourful sight in his only London appearance with his bright blue tights, yellow silk tassles and an assortment of beads and bracelets. Pallo finished him off in the fourth round with a piledriver.
See Mighty Chang