British wrestling history 

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R: Ronto - Ross


Wrestling Heritage A-Z

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Ronto the Bull

Great name!

Ron Moore from Heanor, a small town in Derbyshire. Well known in the local community Ron Moore used the wrestling name Ronto the Bull and worked for the independent promoters around the midlands in the  1950s and 1960s. Ron also taught wrestling at the Heanor Football Club, where he and Jack Taylor ran the Heanor Health and Strength Club two nights a week. One of Ron's proteges was Vince Apollo,known on television as Tubby Hodkinson. Ron promoted his own small scale shows at Heanor Town Hall, where he also wrestled and refereed.

Bob Roop

By the time Bob Roop came to Britain in 1972 Wrestling Heritage writers had been around long enough to know the ropes; it was a well trodden path  - American wrestler was over-hyped by the wrestling press, came to Britain, showed little wrestling ability, broke the rules and disappointed fans immensely. 

Then came Bob Roop.

He was different. He could wrestle, and did wrestle, and we rather liked him. Or at least that's what our distant memories tell us. We now look back on his UK record and see quite a few disqualification losses. Those losses conflict with our memories of a skilful heavyweight who could work with the best we could off.

Little wonder, because Bob Roop had represented the USA in the 1968 Olympic Games. The year following the Olympics (he came seventh) Bob turned professional and so had three years pro experience when he came to the UK.

Following his UK visit he returned to the USA where he had a successful career for another sixteen years, and then it all ended very suddenly. Bob Roop retired from wrestling in 1988 as a result of injuries received in a car accident.  

Globe trotting heavyweight Earl Black told Wrestling Heritage:

“I first met Bob in Tampa, Florida. I had never heard of him. To me, he looked like a big, chubby, 13-year-old.  He just did not look like a Special Forces paratrooper, which of course he had been.  Two other wrestlers also thought he did not look so tough. They challenged him to a fight in the gym, and these were big, strong guys. Never one to back down, Bob climbed into the ring, and punched one between the eyes, which was the end of the line for him. The other one tried to grab Bob, but he turned him upside down and drove him head first into the mat.  You just can't judge a book by its cover. “

Eddie Rose 

Long-time Northern Area Middleweight Champion, Manchester's wrestling schoolteacher Eddie Rose had a long and varied career in a number of guises, take a look at the assortment of pseudonyms above and add to the collection that nationally known wrestling journalist, Edwin Caldwell.

Sometimes we can under-estimate the importance and impact of wrestlers not regularly seen on television, but with a list of opponents such as Eddie Rose's, make no mistake:  Count Bartelli, Johnny Saint, Adrian Street, Jack Dempsey, and in tag, leading pairs The Hells Angels and The Royals. Eddie tagged principally with Pete Lindberg and Ian "Mad Dog" Wilson, a one time member of the Skinheads (with Roy Paul) but  also notably was  for a couple of years Abe Ginsberg's final partner in the Black Diamonds.

At other times Eddie would pull on a hood and become one of the masked Barons tag team, a pairing that could raise heat like few others. (Except maybe when he was one of the Red Devils tag team). As a hooded baddie he found even greater notoriety and success in a third team which made it into the Wrestling Heritage Top Twenty Masked Men. Take a look to find out just who.

If that's not enough, he was occasionally Berlin's Eric Muller, and  those who remember a young Wat Tyler on Jack Atherton shows might well  have noticed a similarity; yes that too was Eddie. 
Others may remember Eddie as a regular contributor to The Wrestler magazine under his real name of Eddie Caldwell.

Eddie is seen left, in action over Pete Lindberg. He wrestled both for Joint Promotions and on the independent circuit.  For a fuller account of his career read his own highly acclaimed book "Send in the Clowns."

Following his wrestling career Eddie went on to qualify as a massage and manipulative therapist, and is now Principal of the Northern Institute of Massage.  

Simon Garfield let us read about the wrestling, Al Marquette showed it us through his eyes, and now Eddie Rose has let us feel, breath and smell the wrestling.  

The publishing success of 2009 for wrestlers and wrestling was undoubtedly the publication of Eddie Rose's book “Send In The Clowns.”  The book was snapped up from book shops faster than a Vic Faulkner drop kick. Despite being launched in November the main book sellers, including Amazon, were out of stock long before Christmas, leaving thousands of fans disappointed to find another pair of socks in their Christmas stocking.

The highly-acclaimed book is now available on Kindle

In 2015 Eddie has continued his fascinating journey down memory lane with the publication of "Worn Out Bodies."

Known to most old time fans as either Eddie Rose, the clever mat technician, or Eddie Caldwell the regular contributor to The Wrestler magazine, the book combines the author’s skills in both spheres to produce enthralling wrestling books.
Eddie treats both readers and colleagues with respect. He skilfully acknowledges that the world of wrestling was not all that it appeared to be whilst still treating the sport and its competitors with dignity.

Lew Roseby (Len Ross)

Manchester's Lew Roseby's wrestling career started in the 1930s and lasted into the 1960s; with ashort break during the Second World War as he served in the Fleet Air Arm.

Following his retirement from wrestling he could still be seen in the ring every night as a referee for Wryton Promotions.

Back in the early days he was one of the country's fastest middleweights and was aptly nicknamed "The Manchester Express."The photo on the right shows Lew with a headlock on Barnsley's "Cock o' the North" Carlton Smith.

From early in his career he combined the jobs of referee and wrestler. Moving to Blackpool Lew was the regular referee at the weekly Blackpool Tower wrestling shows. He was known in some halls as Len Ross.  

Matthias Rosges

The scientific Scientific German heavyweight was a frequent visitor to Britain from 1960 until 1962. Working in the north in the winter of 1960 later visits concentrated more in the south, with Royal Albert Hall losses against Joe Cornelius and Tibor Szakacs. The wrestling world was shocked when it was reported that Matthias Rosges had been  murdered in Dusseldorf in 1962.

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Bill Ross

The high flying Scot was a popular figure on the lightweight scene from the mid sixties and into the 1980s. Little wonder he was popular because his wrestling skill, agility and speed made him an equal of those other top men of the time Al Miquet, Jon Cortez, Jim Breaks etc.

The etc. is of significance because the lightweight division had a surplus of talent during the late 1960s and 1970s, with Johnny Saint, Jim Breaks, George Kidd, Al Miquet, Zoltan Boscik, Jackie Robinson, Jon Cortez, Bobby Ryan (need we go on?) ensuring that only the very best could be uttered in the same breath.  Even in Scotland George Kidd, Jim McKenzie and Bill Ross could ensure the Scottish title was worth having.

Bill's wrestling commitments were limited to the midlands, north of England and Scotland, which we can only imagine was of his own chosing. It was only this lack of national exposure that prevented him being classed as an equal with Breaks, Saint, Boscik and other lightweight greats.

Trained by Andy Robin and Jim Bell, neighbours of his in Auchterarder,  the youngster found success in both singles matches, winning  both the Scottish, Commonwealth and European lightweight titles, and in a tag partnership with Jim McKenzie, a pairing that were a match for the Royal brothers, Jet Set and just about every other tag team of the time.

Another tag partner was his mentor, Andy Robin. The oddly matched pair (Andy being a good five stones heavier and of a more rugged style) wrestled together in both Britain and overseas. 

At a competitive level Bill Ross also found auccess. He held the Commonwealth lightweight title for five years, from 1971 until 1976, and on three occasions had the European lightweight belt secured around his waist.  

Pete Ross

The “Farmer's Boy” from Sedgefield worked for both independent and Joint Promotions in the 1970s and 1980s. Made a handful of television appearances, including a couple as a tag pairing for Big Daddy.

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