Liverpool hard man Johnny Mack roughed it up with the best of them, Dempsey, Riss, Sherry and the like for more than twenty years. “He was as hard as nails,” Buddy Ward told us.
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1970s masked man who failed to make it into the premier league of British masked men. There may have been others but the most notable men beneath the Mad Axeman hood were Gordon Corbett and Gypsy Smith, both serial hooded terrors.
Pat Madden was a Lancashire tough un. His dad was born in Wigan and moved to Coppull as a miner. They made them hard and Pat was no exception, "Reputed to be the roughest and toughest welterweight" proclaimed the posters, but nonetheless skilled in the art of wrestling and described as "A class wrestler."
Not one of the biggest names in the business but he was by all accounts an accomplished performer who worked regularly around the north of England throughout the 1930s and 1940s.
Quite a few of those contests were at two of the biggest stadiums in the country, the St James Hall, Newcastle and Belle Vue, Manchester, where opponents included Red Brokau, Frank Manto and Lew Roseby.
The quality of opponent suggests that Pat Madden was indeed a tough and knowledgeable wrestler – men like Jack Beaumont, Jackie Harris and Jack Alker were not the sort to be messed with.
Pat was one of those wrestlers whose careers spanned both sides of the Second World War, with our last sighting of him being this 1947 outing against Billy Fogg at Blackpool Tower. Pat Madden moved to Bradford, where he died in 1976.
Thanks, as always, to Ron Historyo for providing the archive material.
Pat Madden did bestow one more gift on the wrestling world. His son, Graham Pullen, was one of the finest amateur lightweight wrestlers of the 1960s. He was tipped for a place in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, finally pipped to the post by Roger Till.
Irish light heavyweight Pat Magee got into the wrestling business from the outset of the all-in days and was certainly working as early as 1931. He is closely associated with promoter Atholl Oakeley, wrestling Guido Ronga for the World Middleweight Championship in December 1952, and Jack Beaumont in March, 1953, both Oakeley promotions at the Royal Albert Hall. Pat Magee was also the referee at the Atholl Oakeley matching of Jack Doyle against Martin Bucht at the Harringay Arena in February, 1950.
Billed as an Italian we suspect Mario Magisti had an accent closer to Leeds in Yorkshire. Mario Magisti was a wrestler of the all-in period who continued working throughout the 1940s up to the mid 1950s, our last record of him being in 1954.
He was a rough, tough wrestler who had learned his wrestling trade in Professor Boscoe's boxing and wrestling booths, accepting challenges from members of the public. Mario had a missing finger, which he claimed had been bitten off by an opponent at the Madison Square Garden in New York. More likely it was the result of an industrial accident when his hand was caught in a machine at the Leeds engineering factory where he worked.
Mario Magisti died in 1980, aged 77, living in Brent.
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Belgian Walter Magnee brought a dash of international flavour to the British wrestling scene between 1932 and 1934.
Not a big winner by any means he was often in opposition to top rated opponents such as Jack Pye, Half Nelson Keyes and Karl Pojello.
Apart from wrestling Walter appeared in numerous minor film role and was one of the advisers in The Night and the City (1950) film which featured a number of top wrestlers.
Mad Mike Mahoney was a wild man; you could tell by looking at his face and staring eyes. A rugged and unpredictable middleweight, he worked for all promoters including the constituent Joint promotions people before they became Joint Promotions. In the north of England he was one of those ever present wrestlers who never failed to give audiences value for money. Notable opponents included Fred Woolley, Cyril Knowles, Red Callaghan, Jack Dempsey, John Foley, Jim Lewis, Johnny Willis and a couple of the Beaumonts, Jack and Cliff.
Mike mysteriously dropped off the wrestling radar in the mid-60s. He disappeared only to emerge about 30 years later at a reunion in Ellesmere Port along with his old mate Cowboy Jack Cassidy. Where had he been for all those years? God only knows. One look at those mad staring eyes and his high pitched laugh reminded everyone he was not called "Mad Mike" for nothing.
Then he disappeared again.