WRESTLING HERITAGE

A hobby site created by enthusiasts of 
British wrestling celebrating wrestling and 
wrestlers from 1930 onwards through 
fifty glorious years of British wrestling history

W: Page 9 of 10

 

Wrestling Heritage A-Z

 See all wrestlers in section W

Emile Wolf ...  Wonder Boy ...  Alan Wood ... Billy Wood ... Ken Wood ...  Micky Wood ... Roy Wood  ...Tiger Woods ... More ...

Emile Wolfe

We saw Emile Wolfe a couple of times on independent shows around 1968 or 1969, a clean but unexciting middleweight if memory serves us correctly. That was our only experience of Emile and so we were more than a little surprised when he cropped up in The Who's Who of Wrestling a year or two later. We have since learned that he did work for a short time for Joint Promotions and then vanished.

We were told that Emile was Yugoslavian born but had learned to wrestle in Australia. Whether it's true we don't know but Wrestling Heritage members John and Margaret knew Emile and told us he met a nice girl from Widnes who he married.

 

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.

Alan Wood

Without question Alan Wood was one of the most under rated wrestlers of the Mountevans era. A product of the Riley gymnasium, and cousin of Snakepit torchbearer Roy Wood, here was one of the best welterweights of the 1960s.Don't just take our word for it. "A fine but sadly underrated welterweight. As tough as nails and a pleasure to watch," according to Beancounter and "A no nonsence style, no gimicks for Alan. He didnt need them he, could wrestle and mix it up if needed. They dont make them like that any more thats for sure," said one time opponent and ex wrestler Steve Fury.

Brightly coloured wrestling trunks and a striped dressing gown were the closest Alan Wood wrestler came to gimmickry.  A professional debut on the Isle of Man against Dennis Rothwell led to a career in which he outwrestled the best and gained little of the credit. We remember him in his younger days as a clinical technician with the added edge of Riley's gym tenacity. Not for us his late 1970s re-incarnation as the bad tempered Tiger Woods.

Either the politics of the professional wrestling business,  a travesty of justice, or more likely both, saw him fail to win the British welterweight championship vacated by Jack Dempsey, or at any other time. Maybe it was a case of the face not fitting. Much of Alan's wrestling was for Wryton Promotions and we can't help but suspect that his failure to win the British welterweight championship vacated by Jack Dempsey was a result of back stage political shenanigans by the promoters.

It may well have been this lack of recognition of his wrestling talent that led to Alan leaving Joint Promotions  and setting up his own promotional business (C&A) in the early 1970s. He trained a couple of local lads, Pete McGeowan and Peter Halliwell, but the promotional enterprise seemed to develop no further than a few working men's clubs in Lancashire. Whatever the story behind his departure Alan was back with Joint Promotions a couple of years later. Re-named Tiger Wood, an ill-fitting nickname taken from old timer Tiger Freddie Woods, he displayed a harder, bad tempered edge. We hope it was all make believe, because it wasn't as good as the real thing.

Billy Wood

Lightweight silver medallist in the 1908 Olympic Games and amateur British middleweight champion in 1909.

We have not established the link but he may have been the same Billy Wood who went on to the professional rings of 1930s, and wrote the foreword of “Wrestling: Catch-As-Catch-Can, Cumberland & Westmorland, & All-In Styles” in 1934.

Billy was certainly wrestling professionally as early as 1932, and was billed then as ex middleweight champion of the world. A man of some substance weighing just 13 ½ stones Billy took part in an elimination tournament for the British heavyweight championship, going out to Len Franklin in the semi final of the tournament (15 August 1932).

In the 1950s when he must have been in his seventies, Billy was still involved in wrestling, running a fairground boxing and wresting booth. Cpl. Wood.

Please get in touch if you can provide further information.

Ken Wood

Stoke on Trent wrestler who trained at the gymnasium at the Black Boy Public House in Cobridge , Stoke on Trent,  alongside Jim Mellor, Jack Santos and George Goldie.. He was the second opponent of, and victor over,  Jeff Conda (later Count Bartelli).

Please get in touch if you can provide further information.

Micky Wood

Micky Wood from Birmingham did a lot of things. Boxing and Wrestling before turning pro and being born at the end of the 1800's he should have been around earlier in the 1930's as a pioneer.

After a brief career and a head injury  and a testimonial it looked in 1937 that Micky was just going to be a referee. Not looking to have travelled far he was certainly working again in the Birmingham and Derby area soon after as though nothing had happened. 

Micky is one of those forgotten people who once held the British Lightweight belt long before the days of George Kidd and Johnny Saint.

If you can believe in champions especially before the joint promotions era , Micky is in good company with Relwyskow, Harold Angus, Peter Gotz, Jack Alker and Ginger Burke who all seem to have been British Lightweight title holders between 1930 and 1945.

Wood served in the cavalry in the first world war and trained commandos in the second. In 1946 he got involved in a  George Formby film as an adviser to a fight scene. Soon after he managed a stunt man agency for films known as TOUGH GUYS LTD, Joe D'Orazio was a member,  and went on to have 350 people on his books.

In Disney's Robin Hood 1952 Micky was shot by an arrow from a  horse and his body floated downstream in a stunt he did. He was an adviser in Night and the City film about wrestling.

Micky Wood died November 20th 1963 in London 

Roy Wood

Wigan's Roy Wood has a unique place in Britain's wrestling heritage, as both one of the great shooters, a respected professional and one of the most influential of amateurs. As a teenager Roy started to learn the art of wrestling at Billy Riley's gym, and learn he certainly did.

 
It was 1961 when he entered Riley's for the first time and began to learn  alongside Billy Robinson, Billy Joyce, Jack Dempsey, Bob Sherry and Ernie Riley.  Not much more than a year later Roy turned professional, and in the years that followed gained success both in solo matches and as partner to Johnny Eagles in The White Eagles tag team. 
 
Over the years Roy began taking more of a training role at Riley's gym, with all of the seventies Riley based men benefiting from his knowledge. When the Riley gum in Whelley was beyond repair Roy and a friend, Tommy Heyes, literally re-built the place. In the 1980s they moved the gym to Aspull, where it is still based. 
 
Roy has devoted his time to passing on the Riley skills , and travels regularly to Japan teaching submission style wrestling to young Japanese professionals. Roy was Team Manager for the England Youth Wrestling Team that participated in the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in India.
Tiger Woods

Tiger (Freddie) Woods is one of those fondly remembered names of the post war years, though those with memories of this middleweight since the 1940s remember him only towards the end of his career, and in the 1960s as a referee in the Manchester clubs

Eddie Rose remembers the Manchester wrestler as "Chunky and bald and, outside the ring, wore a black leather trilby hat. What a source of jokes and stories, gags and memories he was. He kept the changing rooms in uproar in between bouts and it didn't do to catch his mischievous eye in the ring because he always sparked off at least a smile if not a fit of the giggles. Tiger's "dizzy act"  was a comedy classic on a par with Kellett or Critchley. He knew every little trick in the book and could milk a situation for a whole round if he felt like it. One of the best... " 

Wrestler Mark Hudson also recalled fond memories of the original Tiger Woods, " I was wrestling at Manchester YMCA when 'spotted' by Arthur Wright of Wryton Promotions. This was early 1953.  My trainer was Tiger Woods.  We spent many hours together in and out of the ring. In fact my first bout was with him at the Tower, New Brighton. I was scared stiff but he saw me through and made me look good!"

Another ex wrestler, Al Tarzo, said, "I only had the privilege of seeing Tiger work once when we were on the same bill at Atherstone. "What a showman. I have never seen a man that could get tangled in the ropes so easily and often. He had the crowd in hysterics. The ref was still trying to get him out of the rope when the bell for the next round sounded. Tiger Woods had the edge over Les Kellett in my book."