M: Maritz - Martinez
Wrestling Heritage A - Z
One of his country's top wrestlers, and political activist in his native South Africa, Manie One of his country's top wrestlers, and equally famous as a political activist in his native South Africa, Manie Maritz was the son of General Gerrit Maritz who played an important role in the Boer War.
Manie visited Britain in the spring of 1948, encountering opponents that included Tony Mancelli, Flash Barker and Mike Delaney.
Gypsy Gino Marlow
Standing well over six feet tall Gino was billed as champion of the gypsies in the 1930s. Tangled with other supersized heavyweights such as Scot John Bell and Exmoor's Carver Doone. A rough and energetic fighter in one match against Jack Pye he dashed from his corner at the opening bell grabbed Pye and took the first fall in the opening seconds.
The high flying dropkick specialist from Madrid toured Britain frequently during the late 1950s and 1960s. We first discover him during a 1958 visit, working around the country against the likes of Johnny Kwango, Chic Purvey, Jack Dempsey and George Kidd. Highlight of the tour was, no doubt, an apperance at the Royal Albert Hall with Mick McManus in the opposite corner. He was back to Britain in 1960 and each year until 1967, filling out until he was tackling fully blown heavyweights. He gained nationwide admirers during his 1962 television clash with Dai Sullivan in 1962, considered unlucky by viewers to go down by the odd fall. A tall dark heavyweight with a pleasing technical style he won lots of fans even if he didn't win lots of matches.
Al Marquette (Mitsimoto)
Read our extended tribute: A Judoka and a Gentleman
Gary Marsh was a one time second for Devereux Promotions at Wimbledon Palais. He began a short lived wrestling career in 1966, working for Devereux and Dale Martin Promotions. Opponents included the likes of Chris Bailey, Leon Fortuna and Ray McGuire. Gary disappeared from our sights towards the end of 1969.
Read our extended tribute: A Man of Arms
A protege of Brian Trevors East Anglian Clive Marshall worked for both the independent and Dale Martin Promotions in the second half of the 1970s. He was followed into the wrestling business by his daughter, who wrestled as Little Lulu.
Martin Burdett was another of the Jack Taylor lads who was trained by the Accrington born promoter at his gym in Leicestershire, changing his name to the American sounding Brett Martin. Worked for the independent promoters from the mid 1960s and retired in the early 1980s.
Cast-iron Caswell turned professional in 1970. He immediately struck us with his agility and La Savate k.o. kick, and prospects looked bright of a new black star amidst his ageing peers. But Cas seemed to get stuck in a rut somewhere down the line in spite of his athleticism, still going down rather unbelievably to a limited Steve Logan in 1974, and surprisingly even for the commentator against Tom Tyrone. Whether this stifled potential was his own choice we will never know ... probably. He certainly looked capable of taking on and beating any of the top heavyweights who were around when he was.
This impression is confirmed by a far higher success rate in the principal German tournaments in the mid-seventies where he featured as one of the highest ranked foreign stars, outstripping many who enjoyed more clout in the UK. In Austria too he was winner of the 1976 Viennese All Nations Trophy, entertaining huge crowds over 40 nights. Caswell returned to Vienna to prove victory was no fluke by completing the double in 1977.
Promoters uncertainty as to how to capitalise on this great talent can be demonstrated through his near fifty television appearances. Fifty outings showed they valued him, but there was no pattern or consistency to his professional development. A tv debut against southern England heavyweight champion Judo Al Hayes was a clearly impossible task for a novice. They brought him back to shine against Ivan Penzecoff and then threw him to the lions again, well top heavyweight Steve Veidor to be precise. And so the pattern continued for the next seventeen years: Kevin Conneelly, Butts Giraud, Bob Abbots, Mike Marino. In 1983 finally a win over Steve Logan, then that loss to Tom Tyrone.
When tv wrestling ended in 1988 the final main event was between Pat Roach and Caswell Martin. Now if these two had typified wrestling in the 1980s we might still have been watching today.
Buster Jack Martin (Al Martin)
The Wrexham tearaway who rarely bothered with niceties but gave a great mid-heavyweight villain's performance unfailingly every time. Here was a man who really looked as though he wanted to win. Billed as Jack Martin in the north and Al Martin at other times, be him Jack, Al, Buster or Rough House Wrestling Heritage members have fond memories, “One of the real unsung heroes, a most convincing villain," recalled Frank Thomas. Graham Brooks: "I saw "Roughouse" Al Martin (as I recall him being billed) on various occasions and he had some great bouts with Les Kellett in particular."
He was a long time independent stalwart with a successful Joint Promotions run in the early seventies and even a couple of Royal Albert Hall appearances to his name. Another great favourite of ours.
Tagged unusually with Keith Martinelli in The Martinis, a pairing forced through by name rather than style. A regular and ideal television and halls opponent of Masambula and Les Kellett. Featured in our "Favourite" Autographs.
Heavyweight Allen Martin from Castleford in Yorkshire, was a burly 16 stoner who could certainly looke after himself in the ring. Professionally he was known as Al Martinelli and worked for independent promoters. His father, also Allen, was a referee and ring man for promoter Cyril Knowles.
Colombian heavyweight Rudo Martinez worked for Dale Martin Promotions in the autumn of 1965 with an undistinguished record against domestic opposition that included Johnny Czeslaw, Ray Fury and more powerful forces such as Gordon Nelson