The Johnnesburg Giant was 22-year-old Jan Wilkens from South Africa who caused quite a stir when he arrived in Britain late in 1965. At 6'5" and 20 stones, this ex-policeman demolished French Canadian giant Paul Vachon in 8 minutes on his Royal Albert Hall début. Charles Mascall, the doyen of British wrestling journalists wrote in The Wrestler:
"Jan Wilko, a handsome young Boer of 22 who is certainly one of the most perfectly proportioned mammoth men ever to take up the sport of wrestling. In about 4 minutes of the first round Wilko snatched a Boston crab hold and won the first submission. In the following round he smashed the giant French-Canadian to the mat with four successive pile-driving body slams. The bout was over in under eight minutes - one of the quickest contests on record at the Royal Albert Hall."
Unusually invited back to the next bill, he was even quicker proving it had been no fluke, disposing of Big John Cox in just six minutes.
Back home in South Africa he welcomed and wrestled visting British wrestlers down the years including Rocky Wall, Mal Kirk and, as late as 1981, Tiger Singh, in front of a national record crowd in excess of 20 thousand. We are told his final match was in Cape Town in 1987.
Definitely an international star we would have liked to have seen much more of.
Bearded Yorkshireman Brett Williams worked for Cyril Knowles and Ace Promotions in the 1960s and 1970s. When not wrestling he could be found working on his floating barge restaurant.
Ike Williams was a rough, tough heavyweight on the independent circuit in the 1960s, and a regular worker for Jack Taylor around the country.
A former RAF man Ike (or Trevor as he was in those days) was an amateur boxer, and one time sparring partner of Brian London, who became friends with Dwight J Ingleburgh when they were both working as security men at Butlins in the late 1950s.
Dwight encouraged Ike to give wrestling a try, and trained him for the professional ring near his home in Barnsley. Trevor doubtless borrowed the name of Ike from his boxing hero, learned the trade and grew into the sport in more ways than one, tipping the scales around the 18 stones mark and standing just under six feet tall.
At the time of writing (May 2014) Ike is a healthy eighty plus year old living in Birmingham.
Quite possibly he was, but most definitely he looked the part, and fans at the cavernous Granby Hall, his local hall, and throughout the north and midlands took him to heart.
His young appearance couldn't disguise his wrestling skill, the result of many hours of knocking about with his famous father from an early age. That famous father was wrestler and promoter Jack Taylor.
Jack had coached his son for many years before giving him his chance in the professional ring whilst still a schoolboy. Not that wrestling consumed all of the youngster's energy because he was also a keen rugby player, swimmer and cyclist.
John favoured training with weights which enabled him to progress swiftly through the weight divisions.
John Williams died suddenly in 2009, aged just 53 years.
Our records indicate a light to middleweight Johnny Williams active mainly between 1948 and 1955, for whom we have little information.
He appears to have worked mainly in the south and was taken on by Joint Promotions following their formation in 1952.
Opponents included Mick McManus, Bob Archer O'Brien, Vic Coleman, Eddie Capelli, Jack Dempsey and Jack Queseck. Our final record of activity is a tag match in Manchester in 1959, partnering Tiger Woods.
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He was a fast, skilful wrestler, popular with the fans as he always stayed within the rules.
One time lightweight champion until he passed the belt on to Adrian Street.
Appeared in the 1962 recording of The Wrestling Game (recorded 6th October 1962) when he faced Jon Cortez.
Brian Walker assumed the persona of Ken Williams in the northern rings of the 1970s. A fast and clever wrestler he often teamed with Colin Welford as one half of The Vulcans tag team. His career, and life, was brought to an abrupt and tragic end from kidney failure, aged just 36.
Talk to those who knew Orig Williams and the word unique crops up pretty soon. That and a few other choice words. Orig Williams was a wrestler and promoter who made a significant impact on the wrestling business and brought many youngsters into the business.
His passing in November, 2009, brought forth a deluge of heartfelt tributes led by leading politcians and media people of his beloved Wales. Following close in their footsteps were tributes from throughout the wrestling community by those who owed so much to the man.
For the fans he was an exciting and colourful wrestler and promoter who produced exciting contests in both of his roles. The story of Orig Williams is well documented in Martyn William's excellent book, El Bandito - Orig Williams An Autobigraphy.
Read our extended tribute: Defender of the Dragon
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Read our review of El Bandito - Orig Williams An Autobigraphy
Ysbyty Ifan, a village near Betws-y-Coed in Wales, has honoured one of it's illustrious sons.
Heavyweight wrestler Orig Williams was born in Ysbyty Ifan, in 1932. He died two years ago this week, but will continue to be remembered in the place of his birth thanks to a memorial plaque, placed on his childhood home, and unveiled on the 12th November.
Orig's widow, Wendy, and daughter the entertainer Tara Bethan, attended the ceremony which was organised by Ysbyty Ifan Community Council.
"I knew Reg well from long hours spent at the YMCA in Manchester. He was a wonderful "Fives" player (its like squash but without the raquet). We usually had a cup of tea and a chat after training and he was a lovely, interesting but understated man and an excellent wrestler."
"one of the most understated and underrated hard men of whom I never tired of watching."