R: Retsinab - Rigby
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
If you're in on the joke you'll have a smile on your face already. The MC may have introduced Hungarian Robert Retsinnab, but beneath the dressing gown was Accrington's Bob Bannister. Get the joke?
Bob took up work in the printing trade when he left school at 14, getting a job at Steiners Printers. From the printers he took up work in the mines, until a pit accident forced an early retirement.
Interested in sport (a lifelong Accrington fan supporter) Bob's first sporting love was boxing. With a good amateur record he boxed professionally following the second world war.
Later Bob turned his attention to wrestling and in the 1950s he swapped the boxing ring for the wrestling ring.
He worked for the independent promoters in the 1950s and 1960s, and also promoted his own shows at the Ambulance Drill Hall, Accrington and elsewhere.
Bob trained youngsters in both boxing and wrestling, at his gymnasium in Argyle Street, Accrington, and later at the Central Working Men's Club. Leaving school at 14 he worked as a printer’s assistant and in the local coal pit.
Following a pit injury he became a well known window cleaner in Accrington. In his retirement Bob moved to Middleton, near Morecambe, pursuing an interest in the electric organ.
Bob Bannister passed away on 25th April, 2008, aged 82.
We had the pleasure of watching Burnley's Dirty Dave Reynolds in action just the once, a tag match partnering him with the equally unruly Syd Vickers. Now we would not dare suggest that Dave and Syd were entirely responsible for the near riot that resulted in police being called to quell the crowd disturbance that ensued, but their tactics did little to calm the emotions of the fans present. A bruising battler Eddie Rose said of his good friend, “I found that this was the norm for Dirty Dave and he often switched from his normal affable self to violent brawler. In the ring, Dave was as unpredictable as any wrestler I ever met. He could be your sporting best mate one round and whacking your tender bits the next; all without warning.”
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The man with the sombrero and the poncho, colourful Mexican Tomas Riandi visited Britain in 1961.
Trained in the United States he went on to become a world top ten as ranked light heavyweight by the NWA. Riandi weighed in around 14 stones and gave weight away when facing top class heavyweights such as Gordienko and Szakacs.
Lost to Gerry DeJager at the Royal Albert Hall.
Visiting Italian middleweight during the late 1950s and early 1960s, working for both independent and Joint Promotions around the country, opponents ranging from a young Roy St Clair to the very experienced George Kidd and Mick McManus.
One time tag partner of John Scott, another Scot, in the Braw Lads tag team. They lost by straight falls to the Royal brothers in their only televised appearance, which was from Preston's Guild Hall and broadcast in January 1976.
Jacky Rickard was part of the European contingent who came over to Britain following the country's entry into the European Union, or Common Market as we called it in those days.
Rickard came over to Britain with a reputation as a tough guy, being the tage partner of Scarface Laval. Dale Martin programmes claimed that whenever he appeared on French tv the broadcasters were indundated with letters demanding that he was never allowed on television again!
We know little about the Parisien but gained a clear impression of his ability, and reveal all in our Armchair Corner feature, Wrestling Leads the Way.
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One of the sparkling young stars of the 1980s martial arts expert Ringo Rigby was one of the ring's popular figures during the twilight years. He came to national prominence in a televised tournament to crown a British heavy middleweight champion, losing a quarter final match with Judo Chris Adams. From that moment on the televised bouts came fast and furious, making him one of the more prominent 1980s wrestlers. Ringo would enter the wrestling ring wearing diamond rings which he would remove prior to combat.
But this man was not all bling.
Ringo had a prior existence, the less glamorous sounding Les Hudspith, national and international judo champion. Les began learning judo whilst he was at primary school. The boy was good. Very good. He was British middleweight champion, European championship competitor and member of the Olympic squad. In the late 1970s Les was invited by Max Crabtree to train as professional wrestler at the Dale Martin gymnasium in Brixton. The transition was a success, with Les, now Ringo, travelling the country, including a memorable tag match partnering Chris Adams against Mick McManus and Steve Logan at the Royal Albert Hall.