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."
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
Ivan Seric was born in Yugoslavia and was destined to become Jack Sherry, a man recognised as World heavyweight champion in Europe in the 1930s. It was no idle claim as the almost unbeaten Sherry held victories over all other contenders, including Bert Assirati, Douglas Clark and Karl Pojello. Sherry had established himself as a top man in America, though he had lost to World Champion Ed Lewis, shortly before he came to Britain in 1934. It was promoter Atholl Oakeley who brought the American based Slav to Europe, the two of them having met during Oakeley's earlier tour of the United States.
Throughout the decade Sherry darted across the Atlantic, though his world championship credentials were recognised only in Europe. Sherry met and defeated just about every big name in British wrestling, including Bert Assirati, Bill Garnon, King Curtis, George Boganski, Dave Armstrong and Douglas Clark.
Promoter and editor of Ringsport magazine Evan R Teharne told us, “Bulldog" Bill Garnon was matched against Jack Sherry for the World Title over six ten minute rounds. Bill was beaten in the final round when he fell through the ropes with Sherry falling on top of him. At that time Bill was 15 stones, but 35 pounds lighter than the champion." This was just one of many epic encounters between Sherry and Garnon.
Jack Sherry died on October 11th, 1969.
Read our extended tribute: On The Trail of Jack Sherry
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 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
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.
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.