Wrestling Heritage A-Z
Wrestling fans of the 1950s knew Huddersfield’s Tony Quarmby because he was one of the busiest wrestlers on the circuit.
He turned professional in 1952 wrestling mainly in the north of England but sometimes journeying south.
In his first year the young middleweight met many of the big names of the day, including Johnny Stead, Fred Woolley, Eric Sands, George Kidd and Jack Dempsey.
Too frequently Quarmby seemed to end up on the wrong end of the decision and he disappeared from the scene as quickly as he arrived in 1958.
We have no knowledge of this lightweight, billed as Mexican, and include him because our only record is that he was the champion defeated by George Kidd in Dundee on 25th October, 1949, to annexe the World Lightweight Championship for George.
Well, that's not exactly true. The bit about us having no knowledge. But you'll have to wait for now.
Most regular of true international visitors to British rings from 1962 to 1972.
Vincente Castilla was yet another frustrated near but non-Olympian, missing out on selection for Spain as a boxer at the most recent London Olympics.
Dressed in green boots and jesters jackets he snarled at the jeering fans and clawed at the air. It got no better when he climbed into the ring. The hunched shoulders, missing teeth and slightly scarey features made him an obvious villain, and he was not one to disappoint. “Twist, twist,” shouted the fans as the good guy grabbed hold of the cyst on Quasimodo’s shaven head. It all seems so primitive as we look back almost forty years later.
Ridiculed he might have been but fans loved to see the Spaniard, a skilful wrestler underneath the bizarre garb, billed at their local hall and he was most certainly one of the most colourful characters of the 1960s wrestling scene.
A surge of energy that moved like lightning across the rings of Southern England in the late 1960s.
National Service delayed Joe’s entry to the professional ranks, but he made good use of his time and gained a grounding in wrestling, boxing and weightlifting whilst serving as a paratrooper.
We know that wrestlers learn how to fall, but jumping out of aeroplanes does seem to have been a bit extreme.
After just two years as an amateur Joe turned professional, working firstly for the independent promoters before being quickly snapped up by Joint Promotions, gaining a name around the south as a fast, energetic and skilful welterweight.
Joe Queseck passed away in March, 2010.
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Jack Quesick (Babe Quesick, Joe Quesick)
Londoner Jack Quesick was one of the early entrants to the professional wrestling circuit after the new rules were introduced to Britain in 1930. As a mere twelve stoner he was at something of a disadvantage in a world of giants and outlandish characters. His wrestling skill enabled him to not just survive, but thrive, in a tough environment meeting the wrestling greats such as Peter Gotz and Jack Wentworth.
Here was a man with a wrestling pedigree. Jack, born in 1916, was Jack Quisick Shepperd. His father, Joseph Shepperd, was a famous wrestler in the early years of the twentieth century and one of our Top Wrestlers of the 1930s, Johanfesson.
John Quesick joined his father in the wrestling business in 1932, as John Quesick, later Babe Quesick and finally Joe Quesick. The photo shows him in 1936. In 1940 he married Eileen Cleaver in Lambeth and the two parented John R in 1942 and Paul Shepperd in 1949.
Whilst many wrestlers disappeared from the scene during the war years Jack Quesick returned post war and was again a top contender amongst the welterweights, tackling the new breed of stars McManus, Fisher, O’Brien, Flynn, Kidd and Capelli amongst others; including a title clash with Eddie Capelli for the welterweight crown. Jack retired from wrestling in 1956 after a quarter of the century in wrestling.
Jose Rodriguez Questa
Visiting monkey-climbing Spaniard who relinquished his European Middleweight Championship to Vic Faulkner at Nottingham Ice Rink in November 1966. He was only in the UK for November and December of that year but his famous loss marks the arrival in the UK of a belt that would be fought over by a whole host of big names from home and abroad over the following 15 years. Unlike many of the legion of overseas visitors Questa provided more than cannon fodder for Britain’s home grown talent. He was a skilful technician capable of giving a master technician such as Alan Colbeck a run for his money.
Portsmouth's heavyweight Danny Quinn came from the Bruno Elrington gym to make it onto the independent circuit of the 1960s.
He was in good company, training alongside Farmer's Boy Ron Night, Cyril Dummer, Bob Kirkwood, Jonny Kowalski, Roger Green, Dave Larsen. Dave Hines, Spiderman Alan Turner, Butcher Mason, and Mick Sullivan. Obviously Big Bruno was doing something right.
Ex Commonwealth champion Mickey Sullivan got in touch with Wrestling Heritage to tell us of his memories of working alongside Danny.
When Mick turned up at Bruno's gym it was Danny Quinn who took him onto the mat and began to teach him the business of professional wrestling. "I learned a great deal from him, I cannot speak highly enough," Mickey told us. Good memories aren't confined to the ring. "He always had time for you; the man to be with, so funny, always joking. He was the man to travel with, you would not stop laughing. I well never forget him." Advertsed in the poster, a Baverstock Promotion, as a former Heavyweight champion of Ireland, Danny shares the bill with the aforementioned Ron Knight and Cyril Dummer, Wrestlers Reunion organiser Frank Rimer and Birmingham's Gordon Corbett. Danny Quinn sadly passed away in July, 2009.
By the late 1970s British wrestling was appearing jaded and in need of a boost. Not a saviour, but it wasn’t for the want of trying, was a twenty stone, leotarded, bearded and solid Canadian, Mighty John Quinn.
Quinn, who had already achieved success in North America, revitalised British wrestling for a short time in his legendary clashes with Kendo Nagasaki, Big Daddy, Tony St Clair and Wayne Bridges.
On Cup Final Day, 1980, one of the most important wrestling events of the year, Quinn stopped Wayne Bridges to take the World Heavyweight title. His wrestling personae was developed very much around the theme of his hatred of the British wrestling fans and vowing to “eat them for breakfast.” One such verbal tirade on television assured him of a place as the most hated wrestler in Britain during the 1980s.
Quinn’s exploits have remained a talking point amongst internet wrestling fans to this day, nearly thirty years later.
East Anglian Steve Quintain was a regular on the independent shows, and later Joint Promotions, of the 1970s. Remarkably Steve is one of the few who has survived and can still be seen in the ring today, mostly for Ricky Knight's WAW Promotions or on his own shows. Even more remarkable are the tatoos that adorn much of his body. Why have two when you can have two hundred? Trained by popular 1960s star Bert Alliday he is a former holder of the Southern Area Lightweight title.
The winter of 1965 saw a flying visit from the Texan villain who provided little resistance against home grown talents. The variety of opponents was wide ranging, from the youthful lighter men like Dave Phillips to the experienced heavier men such as Steve Logan and Gerhardt DeJager. Whoever the opponent the result seemed similar. He seemed to notch up losses with regularity, and was on the wrong end of the decision against Ray Fury, Johnny Kwango, Gerry DeJager, Johnny Czeslaw and Dave Morgan amongst others.
This West Ham window cleaner turned welterweight wrestler for a few fleeting years at the end of the sixties.
His career started slowly; a serious injury falling from a ladder interrupting his livelihood for more than six months after just two bouts. Ironic really as he had started the window cleaning business as a “fall back” if the wrestling career hadn’t worked out.
In those first couple of bouts Gordon, who was a keen motor cyclist, was possibly the first true Hell’s Angel of the ring with his for the time unusual mane, but on his return he quickly evolved into a clean cut crowd favourite.
He regularly worked in the South for a few years, always the promising star but with a dearth of real success, and then quietly disappeared from the scene.