British wrestling history 

has a name


S: Smith

Wrestling Heritage A - Z

See all the wrestlers in this section                     Next page

Carlton Smith (Sanky Allan, Chameleon)

Delve back into wrestling history and the name Carlton Smith crops  up time and time again. From the early 1940s Carlton Smith, “The Cock o' the North” seemed to be just about everywhere.  In his earliest days we have found him billed as Chameleon.

 Wartime opponents included Jack Harris, Ted Beresford , Norman Morrell and Frank Manto.

Frank Manto! The mystery of this man's wrestling pedigree begins to reveal itself when we consider that Frank Manto was Frank Manterfield, brother of Bert Manterfield (otherwise Bert Mansfield) and Alan Manterfield, otherwise known as Carlton Smith.

Yes, Carlton Smith came from the same great wrestling family as Bert Mansfield and Frank Mantovich, and he clearly continued to learn from his brother Frank during the early days of his professional career. Carlton Smith was destined to become one of the top post war middleweights, considerably lighter than his brothers. Name any lighter weight wrestler you know from the 1950s and Carlton Smith (or his alter ego Sanky Allan) wrestled them and most likely beat them on occasions.

Please get in touch if you can provide more information. 

Davey Boy Smith (Young David)

The boy that grew into the hugely successful British Bulldog began his career, and these are our memories, as a very young looking Young David.

Born in Golborne (near Wigan) David claimed his name was actually "Boy" due to a clerical error when his birth was registered.

Trained by Ted Betley Young David followed in the footsteps of his cousin, Dynamite Kid, into the wrestling rings of Britain.

His young looks made him a popular addition to the ranks and he was soon recruited to the long line of Big Daddy tag partners. Young David became Davey Boy Smith and in 1983 he followed cousin Tom across the Atlantic, and on to Japan, and the rest (as they say) is history.

Fully aware of our own limitations, and the focus of this site, we leave readers to discover elsewhere the success and heartbreak David was to find as he pursued his career. Tragically David Smith passed away in 2002, aged just 39 years.

Gordon Smith

Most Wrestling Heritage readers will remember Gordon Smith as one of the referees we saw on television when getting our weekly wrestling fix (left).

 In his early twenties Gordon wrestled as a promising welterweight until turning to third man duties in 1960.

A northern referee for Morell and Beresford Promotions the tall, slim figure of Gordon Smith moved niftily around the ring at a speed uncommon amongst many of his colleagues.

Dave Sutherland recalls seeing Gordon referee at the New St James Hall, particularly the time he devoted talking to a ringside youngster with learning difficulties. "Everyone was agreed how smart Gordon Smith looked in the ring and he always had time for a word with the crowd outside the hall prior to the evening's matches, usually to discuss the day's football scores. Unfortunately the last time I saw Gordon he was carried from the ring having been knocked over  by two top heavyweights. It might have been Albert Wall and John Lees or two fellows of similar stature, who landed on top of him "

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.

Harry Smith

1930s lightweight from Dewsbury, Harry Smith, was a body builder and rugby player known as The Pitmans Hercules. One of the early exponents of All-In, turning professional in 1931. Opponents included Jack Dale, Mario Magisti, Dick Wills and Carl Romsky, but most frequent opponent of all seems to have been Masutaro Otani, the Japanese wrestlers who came to Britain fresh from the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

Harry's interest in wrestling was aroused when he joined Chickenley Weight Lifting Club. During the Second World War Harry taught unarmed combat to military and Home Guard personnel, was a physical training instructor for the Royal Navy and organised and wrestled in charity wrestling events.

It was, however, in rugby league that Harry gained most of his fame,  a lifelong obsession with Rugby League that began when he joined Westborough Boys Club in 1920.  A long serving player, and later coach, for  Dewsbury Rugby League Football Club in 1966 a plaque in his honour was placed  above the entrance to main stand.  Harry  was honoured with life membership of the Dewsbury Rugby League and the Referees’ Society.

Harvey Smith

It's true. The world famous show jumping champion  Harvey Smith  made itinto our wrestling rings in the 1970s. And he wasn't bad. At least the fans apreciated him.

Entering the ring wearing a large  "V" on the back of his velvet robe, a reminder of the infamous gesture allegedly made in one of his show jumping competitions.

Brought into wrestling by his friend and promoter Max Crabtree. A frequent opponent of Peter Kaye, he would ride him cowboy as though it was the Horse of the Year Show! 

Although we do not generally  favour others cashing in on their personality status by taking up wrestling Harvey did seem to have the guts, strength and character to make him a worthwhile addition to our rings, albeit for a short time.

Hurricane Smith

Known as a bit of a tough 'un, to both fans and co-workers, Hurricane Len Smith worked for the independent promoters of northern England in the 1960s and 1970s. .

Hurricane took up amateur wrestling in 1960, a student at the Leeds Amateur Wrestling Club. Learning how to fall correctly is one of the the first, and most important, lessons for any professional wrestler, but for Len Smith it was even more important than usual.

Serving in the Green Howards Regiment Len had suffered a spinal injury, which made him more susceptible than most to further injury. A year later, in 1961, he began working professionally, initially for Cyril Knowles and later for other independent promoters in northern England like ACE Promotions and members of the British Wrestling Alliance. Hurricane can be seen in action against Bob Courage (above right) White Cloud (left), and Tony Andrassi (right).

Len recalled one particularly heated exchange when he and tag partner The Doc were facing The Diaboliques team of Judo Al Hollamby & Roger L Sandilands. “We played the crowd up that night big time. I put one of The Diaboliques' head over the ropes and shouted to the crowds 'If you fancy your chances come and have a go.' The next thing all the audience were trying to get into the ring, and me and the Doc were running round trying to keep them out. They wanted to lynch us.”

Len worked mainly around the north for twelve years, until tragedy struck. In 1972 he fell awkwardly and the old army injury recurred. He was never to wrestle again.

Hurricane Smith was in good health and living in Leeds when we last heard from the Hurricane in October, 2012.

Peter Smith

Lightweight from Newark worked for the independent promoters in the 1960s and 1970s. There was a Pete Smith in the 1950s but we do not know if he was the same man.

Please get in touch if you can provide more information

Saxon Smith

"A real old timer and a right tough un. "

That was Wigan's heavyweight Saxon Smith according to fellow heavyweight Dwight J Ingleburgh.

Saxon was one of the old time all-in wrestlers working the rings in the 1930s against the likes of King Curtis and Black Butcher Johnson. Even in those days he was a national worker travelling up and down the country, from the West country to Scotland.

Following the war he resumed his career and was signed to work for Joint promotions following their formation in 1952. Saxon was a first class heavyweight facing other hard men such as Jack Beaumont, Jim Foy and Count Bartelli. British Heavyweight champion of some independent rings in the early 1960s.

Saxon retired from the ring in 1964.

Tommy Smith

We know very little about Tommy Smith, wrestler and promoter, other than he deserves acknowledgment as one of wrestling's pioneers if only because we have on record more than twenty contests between Tommy and Jack Pye in 1931 and 1932. Tommy didn't win one of them! Other opponents included Bulldog Bill Garnon, Billy Riley and Henri Irslinger, so the lad must have had something going for him!

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.