K: Kirkwood - Knight
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
Read our extended tribute: The Perfect Foil in Shining Stars
The Light heavyweight from Romford was a promising star in Dale Martin rings of the early to mid 1960s, with the added interest of living on a boat according to The Wrestler magazine! . A good amateur foundation led to a promising career in the mid sixties, mainly in the south of England. Opponents included Johnny Kwango, Linde Caulder, Tug Holton and, quite often it seemed, Tony Bates. Shortly after The Wrestler magazines prediction of stardom Alan seemed to disappear from our rings; we would welcome more information.
Skilled Irish wrestler turned professional soon after the war as we find him in Jamuary, 1946. wrestling the likes of Ken Joyce, Jack Queseck and Alan Colbeck. By the mid 1950s was established as a top welterweight with wins over Mick McManus, and Jack Cunningham. Defeated Stefan Milla at the Royal Albert Hall before transferring to the independents in 1958, where he became a mainstay of Paul Lincoln Management right up until the 1966 merger. Pat had extensive experience around Europe, wrestling in France, Belgium, Germany, and Austria.
In the days before giants became two a penny in the wrestling rings of Britain there was one big man.
In the early 1960s the independent promoters introduced British fans to the incomparable Klondyke Bill. Not the original American version, but an apparently very nice man from Yorkshire who realised that the name Klondyke Bill would have a greater appeal than Gordon Lythe.
There was no doubt about it, he was big.
The posters proclaimed forty stones, which may well have been an exaggeration, but that does nothing to take away from the enormity of the man. Okay, he wasn't technically brilliant, nor fast as you would expect, but Klondyke Bill knew how to entertain a crowd. He would hold on to the ropes, glare and growl at the hysterical masses, and the psychology was put to better use when partnering wrestling brother Jake, as the fans would be taunted by Bill about to tag his partner and then changing his mind at the last minute, when all the fans wanted was to see the big man get battered. That rarely happened.
Klondyke Bill wrestled throughout Continental Europe but never made it to the big time in Joint Promotion rings,which is rather ironic when we saw what was coming a decade later.
As is one Klondyke wasn't enough we had another, Bill's wrestling brother Jake. Although overshadowed by Bill in stature and fame it is arguably Jake that had the greatest influence on British wrestling as the one who achieved national television exposure, regularly worked the German tournaments and went on to become one of the top independent promoters. Jake, weighing over twenty stones, had greater agility than Bill and the added mobility allowed him to demonstrate more wrestling ability. Having joined the professional ranks in the early sixties he remained a prominent name on both independent and Joint Promotion shows for three decades. For the majority of this time Jake did what he did best; anger the crowd before doing the decent thing and allowing them to go home happy by getting himself disqualified or losing to the shining knight. Glory came to Klondyke Jake in September, 1975, when he defeated the legendary Count Bartelli at the Royal Albert Hall. His son carried on the family tradition of wrestling and promoting.
See the entry for Harry Monk
Cocky Chick Knight
He was built like a tank and appeared indestructible. Nevertheless, however much London's Chick Knight broke the rules he simply could not enrage the fans to any great extent and became known as “London's most lovable villain.”
Weighing nineteen stones Knights career spanned a quarter of a century from the early 1930s until 1958. Knight faced all the big name wrestlers of the pre and immediate post war years, being a top of the bill performer in his own right,
He was one of the first wrestlers to be seen on British television, wrestling the Canadian Earl McCready on 31st August, 1938 in a series of wrestling exhibitions broadcast on BBC television.
In 1972 a “Crocodile” Spoon warmer was purchased at a church sale in Sunbury-on Thames, and consequently auctioned. It was claimed that the item had been given as a gift to Chick Knight in appreciation for jumping from Hammersmith bridge and rescuing a drowning person from the Thames. We have been unable to verify this.
A famous name amongst those who have followed wrestling from the mid 1980s onwards. That was when Rowdy Ricky Knight turned professional, enabling him to scrape into our Heritage A-Z of Wrestlers, forming a famous tag team, The Superflys, with his friend Jimmy Ocean. A rumbustious fighter with a large fan base Ricky is now mostly known as a trainer, promoter (World Association Of Wrestling), husband and father of a wrestling dynasty. In 2012 the Knight family were the subject of a Channel 4 documentary, "The Wrestlers: Fighting With My Family."
Posh Ronnie Knight
In the 1950s “Posh” Ronnie Knight tried to emulate the success of his illustrious father, Cocky Chick Knight. He didn't make it, but was a familiar figure on the wrestling scene throughout the 1950s wrestling top middleweights of the day.