M: Montreal - Morandi
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
The thirty-four year old French heavyweight Marcel Chauveau made a fleeting visit to northern England and Scotland at the end of 1966 for Relwyskow and Green Promotions, tussling with the likes of Kendo Nagasaki, Jim Hussey, Bill Howes and even challenging Mike Marino at Sheffield for the World Mid Heavyweight title.
Yes Clayton Moore was the name of the actor who played The Lone Ranger, the black and white tv series we watched when children. We are not talking about that Clayton Moore but wonder if the fictional masked Texas ranger was the inspiration for his ring name? Or manybe it was just his name! Welterweight Clayton Moore had a background in booth wrestling before he turned professional in 1971. Born in Canada Clayton moved to Great Britain whilst young and settled in Wiltshire. He was a promising young wrestler in the late 1960s and featured as a "Likely Lad" in The Wrestler magazine but we heard little else of him.
Billy Moores was the Lancashire Terror, and by all accounts it was a name that suited. Brought up in the tough world of Lancashire Catch-as-catch-can Billy wrestled in the fields of Lancashire and Yorkshire in the 1920s against top wrestlers such as Tom Rose and Billy Riley. With hundreds of bouts experience he was well placed, albeit getting on in years, to find a niche in the All-In wrestling rings where his ferociousness was a match for anyone. Billy wrestled professionally in the north of England during the 1930s, and he is one of our Top Wrestlers of the 1930s
The strut to the ring, the arrogant dismissal of opponents and fans, and the breaking of the rules demonstrated the inappropriateness of the name “Gentleman Geoff Moran.” The London based wrestler and promoter worked for independent promoters in the 1950s and 1960s. His greatest claim to fame is possibly that he was the first opponent of Tony Scarlo and Adrian Street, both of whom went on to considerably greater wrestling success. We'd like to know more.
Northern Ireland ex boxer turned professional wrestler initially a favourite in the north and midlands of England using the name Lee Hippie and dressed in judo garb. His birth name was the less colourful Dennis McMillan.
Based in Birkenhead, Merseyside, he later changed his ring name to Rocky Moran.
Working initially for the independents he was signed up by Max Crabtree to work for Joint Promotions.
He worked on television in the 1980s, appearing in around a dozen contests including tag partnering Dave Finlay.
Moran was Heavy Middleweight champion for a couple of months in 1986, taking the belt from Chic Cullen in January 1986 and losing it to Kung Fu Eddie Hamil in March of the same year.
Rocky Moran sadly passed away at an early age
Many wrestlers have alternative professions, but Frenchman Jean Morandi is the only pastry chef we know of, working at the prestigious Midland Hotel in Manchester. Those delicate hands could do many nasty things to opponents during the years that light heavyweight Jean was a popular wrestler in British rings.
Jean left his native France in the early years of the Second World War, fled to Britain and served in the parachute regiment. With an amateur background and fairground wrestling experience he turned professional shortly after the end of the war and was to become a regular feature of wrestling bills on both sides of the English Channel for more than twenty years.
Like many others he learned the trade on the wrestling booths of Matt Moran and the technical aspects at the Manchester YMCA.
One wrestler who remembers his encounter with Jean Morandi is Tony Bates, "Regrets? The only regret is that I didn’t duck when Jean Morandi hit me in the mouth with a forearm smash and knocked my three front teeth out.”