British wrestling history 

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S: Sherry - Siki

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Al Sherry 

Al Sherry was wrestling his way around British rings in the early 1950s. Vic Coleman, Percy Pitman, Stan Stone and Johnny Peters were amongst opponents we could find. 

In July 1952 he disappeared. 

Only to resurface in 1953 in Australia, with http://www.wrestlingtitles.com/ listing him as Australian light heavyweight champion in 1953. Heritage member John Shelvey is on the trail, “Also does anyone have any info./ results on Englishman Allen Sherry who was a leading light in Sydney in the 50s-early 60s? …. seemed to get out just before the Yanks invaded in '64, which was just as well as the locals were looked upon as cannon fodder for the Americans and there were a lot of liberties taken with the lighter guys."

Bob Sherry

Not the most well known name in wrestling, but undoubtedly one of the most inspirational to all who knew him. A wrestler of the tenacity and toughness of the likes of his contemporaries Dempsey and Riss he was never allowed to shine quite so brightly in the professional ring.

Fellow wrestler Eddie Rose told us:

"Jimmy was one of the best wrestlers in the fullest sense having a history of learning his wrestling at Bolton United Harriers AWC and Riley's Gym in Wigan. Jimmy was an Olympic wrestler (UK) and a member of a crack Airborne Unit in World War Two. I knew him for many years and worked with him in the ring and travelled to far-flung venues with him on long car  trips. He was good company with a dry sense of humour and I can still visualise those two big cauliflower ears, broken nose and wicked grin as he recounted one of his stories. He was a fanatical runner with the fells being his favourite and I watched him complete the Holcombe Tower Fell Race quite comfortably when in his late '70s. He used to spend a lot of time camping at high altitude and running in the Aps when he eventually retired from wrestling and was always true to his rigorous army training. Amongst the wrestlers, Jimmy was a true wrestling legend."

Read our extended tribute: Man of Granite

Jack Sherry
Mustafa Shikane

The mad man of Turkey, though he was born in Syria and  lived in Germany, where he was a martial arts coach for the Hamburg police. He was said to be the worlds craziest wrestler when he invaded Britain's rings in 1965 and 1966,   We have only vague memories of his two television appearances (against Johnny Eagles and Joe Keegan) though we were young at the time. Honest!  But old enough to know he was a bad un. Three years following his retirement on 18th July, 1981, Out of the ring he was believe to have mixed with undesirable elements and  was tragically killed, believed murdered, aged 43.

Diamond Shondell 

Diamond Shondell was one of the most entertaining wrestlers to come out of Ireland. Despite his handicap of being partially deaf, he could hold his own with the best of them. He had some cracking matches with ‘Iron Man’ Steve Logan, Jim Breaks, Brian Maxine, Billy Torontos etc. A very funny character out of the ring it was always a pleasure to be in his company.

Highlight of his career may well have been taking part in the last Royal Albert Hall wrestling show, against Alan Kilby, on 30th October, 1985, 81 years after George Hackenschmidt had defeated the American champion Tom Jenkins in that great venues first wrestling tournament. The very next day Diamond was in Barnsley, Yorkshire. Okay, the surroundings may not have been quite so grand, but he was there for the recording of a televised match that was to be broadcast on December 14th, again with Kilby in the opposite corner. Trained by Dave Finlay Snr Diamond was one of a band of successfull Northern Ireland wrestlers  that included Judo Eddie Hamill, Fit Finlay, Johnny  Howard, and Billy Joe Beck.

Diamond and Billy Joe  are still good friends, and, at the time of publishing this article in September 2013,  work near each other in Dunmarry, Northern Ireland.

In fact these photos of Diamond all spruced up are of a fund raising event for R.A.M.S. That's the Race Against  Multiple Sclerosis, which was  founded in 1985 by a group of  Multiple  Sclerosis sufferers  and  their  carers. Their manager today is one Mr William Beck, or as Wrestling Heritage readers know him, Billy Joe Beck.

Concerned at the lack of  help available to those with multiple sclerosis the  RAMS  Therapy  Centre   was  established in Dunmurry   to  provide   hyperbaric oxygen therapy and offer support to sufferers  and their  carers and friends. Apart from therapy treatment it provides a friendly  drop-in centre  allowing sufferers and their carers, families and friends  meet and support each other. On July 18th, 2013, The Ulster Star reported that 500 patients currently use the invaluable local facility.

RAMS   is   a   registered   charity  maintained  through donations from  the  public  and through  the  organisation  of  volunteer and professional staff

Official website: Race Against Multiple Sclerosis

Enrique Shubasco 

Long dark  curly haired haired, muscular heavyweight invader from Panama Enrique Shubasco came to Britain in 1970 following professional wrestling adventures throughout South America and the United States. Having been born in British Honduras Enrique held a British passport, allowing him to stay for five months without the working restrictions that applied to most visitors. He looked the part but his success was less impressive, including a loss against Lee Sharron at the Royal Albert Hall. His professional career followed successful amateur experience  in which he was a member of his country’s amateur wrestling team.  Having married and set up home in Germany we were surprised not to have seen more of him during the 1970s.

Phil Siki (Black Arrow)

UK based Trinadian Phil Siki was one of the pre war all in greats who continued to wrestle post war  and took part in the World Heavyweight Championship tournament at Harringay on February 18th, 1947. Not just that.. he did also wrestle post war greats  Ernest Baldwin, Francis St Clair Gregory, Mitchell Gill, Dave Armstrong, Bill Garnon, Alf Robison, Jack Pye  Bert Assirati.. Obviously a top class wrestler who lived up to his title of Heavyweight Champion of the West Indies.