WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history          
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Heritage


A: Attenborough - Ayres

Wrestling Heritage A-Z


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Cliff Attenborough
1930s heavyweight, recorded as 15 stones and standing a shade over six feet tall, with a very good record against top men. We come across him for the first time in 1934 when he defeats Phil Siki, a win which suggests he was a wrestler of note. Reports state that he was a skilled and orthodox wrestler who stuck within the rules, something of a rarity it seems in the 1930s. Other victories included Black Butcher Johnson, King Curtis and Dan Davey. The real powerhouses, such as Douglas Clarke, did prove too strong for Cliff, but reports state that he always gave a good account of himself.

Cliff Attenborough was born Clifford George Attenbarrow on 2nd February, 1901 in Aston, Birmingham. Mostly billed from Birmingham by 1939 we find him living in Southwark, London,  with his wife Lilian, occupation stated as wrestler and Physical Training Instuctor. Prior to wrestling he served in the Army, in the Guards Regiment, and was sometimes billed Ex Guardsman Attenborough. He was reputed to be the strongest man in the British army.

After attended Morley College Westminster, as a sculpture student in wood, stone and clay. In 1946 he joined the staff of the college as a physical training instructor. He died in 1977
1930s heavyweight, recorded as 15 stones and standing a shade over six feet tall, with a very good record against top men. We come across him for the first time in 1934 when he defeats Phil Siki, a win which suggests he was a wrestler of note. Reports state that he was a skilled and orthodox wrestler who stuck within the rules, something of a rarity it seems in the 1930s. Other victories included Black Butcher Johnson, King Curtis and Dan Davey. The real powerhouses, such as Douglas Clarke, did prove too strong for Cliff, but reports state that he always gave a good account of himself.

Cliff Attenborough was born Clifford George Attenbarrow on 2nd February, 1901 in Aston, Birmingham. Mostly billed from Birmingham by 1939 we find him living in Southwark, London,  with his wife Lilian, occupation stated as wrestler and Physical Training Instuctor. Prior to wrestling he served in the Army, in the Guards Regiment, and was sometimes billed Ex Guardsman Attenborough. He was reputed to be the strongest man in the British army.

After attended Morley College Westminster, as a sculpture student in wood, stone and clay. In 1946 he joined the staff of the college as a physical training instructor. He died in 1977
1930s heavyweight, recorded as 15 stones and standing a shade over six feet tall, with a very good record against top men. We come across him for the first time in 1934 when he defeats Phil Siki, a win which suggests he was a wrestler of note. Reports state that he was a skilled and orthodox wrestler who stuck within the rules, something of a rarity it seems in the 1930s. Other victories included Black Butcher Johnson, King Curtis and Dan Davey. The real powerhouses, such as Douglas Clarke, did prove too strong for Cliff, but reports state that he always gave a good account of himself.

Cliff Attenborough was born Clifford George Attenbarrow on 2nd February, 1901 in Aston, Birmingham. Mostly billed from Birmingham by 1939 we find him living in Southwark, London,  with his wife Lilian, occupation stated as wrestler and Physical Training Instuctor. Prior to wrestling he served in the Army, in the Guards Regiment, and was sometimes billed Ex Guardsman Attenborough. He was reputed to be the strongest man in the British army.

After attended Morley College Westminster, as a sculpture student in wood, stone and clay. In 1946 he joined the staff of the college as a physical training instructor. He died in 1977


Aussie the Butcher
Another of those names associated with the 1930s. The Australian Assassin Aussie The Butcher was one of the stars of the all-in days, colourful and big with seemingly little in the way of wrestling finesse. He was first seen in 1935 and travelled all around the country facing the big names of the day.  He disappeared from our rings when the Second World Was broke out.

Bert Auwera 
Bert, or Albert van der Auwera as he was sometimes more grandly known was a genuine The farmer from Belgium made a short visit to Bitain in March, 1939. The Second World War intervened and there are reports that he was taken prisoner of war. Bert returned to Britain in 1946 and each year until 1950. He was a skilfull and successful wrestler, holding the European and Belgian heavyweight title, having a number of memorable bouts with the great Bert Assirati. In the 1950s he spent a significant amount of time in Spain, where he helped popularise the sport.

Sheik Wadi Yousef Ayoub
The Lebanese Heavyweight visitor was an impressive figure in 1961 when he  travelled Britain and met the very best on offer. Sheik Ayoub worked in Britain throughout 1961 with wins over the top men  that included Ernie Baldwin, Dave Armstrong, Billy Joyce, Albert Wall, Zebra Kid, Geoff Portz, Terry Ricardo,  Ian Campbell, Tibor Szakacs, you get the idea? All the more surprising (or was it?) that he should lose to the ever popular Dazzler Joe Cornelius at the Royal Albert Hall; surely a result that tells more about the mechanism of professional wrestling rather than the skills of the two combatants. Earl Black, who worked with Sheik Wadi in Australia towards the end of the decade, told Wrestling Heritage "He was a handsome man, a brilliant conversationalist who was very charming."  Born in Beirut in 1922, he moved to Australia when he was twenty-four, shortly after becoming the Lebanese amateur championship.  He turned professional in 1953, and shortly embarked one extensive tours of  New Zealand and India. On his return to Australia Sheik Ayoub established himself as one of the country's top wrestlers.   The visit to Britain in 1961 was the start of a world tour that also include France, Belgium, India, Pakistan, Singapore and Thailand. He remained one of the world's top matmen for many years, finally finding success in the United States in the 1970s. He was still in his prime in 1976 when he prematurely passed away, a victim of cancer.

Eric Ayres
The coalminer from Leeds  worked mainly for Relwyskow and Green Promotions in the 1970s;  and  faced the likes of Kendo Nagasaki, Gargantua  and Shirley Crabtree. We would welcome more information.

Page updated 16/1/19  Addition of Attenborough and Ayres