WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history          
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Heritage


C: Alan Colbeck


Alan Colbeck


This article is a stub, awaiting development to an extended tribute in the Hard as Nails section


Steely faced Alan Colbeck was respected rather than loved by the fans. A dour, skilful welterweight whose style lacked vitality and excitement he was, nonetheless a talented wrestler who held British titles at lightweight, welterweight and middleweight, as well as the European welterweight title. Born and bred in Morley, Leeds, Alan was the son of a miner.

He almost accidentally took up wrestling when he discovered Ernie Baldwin's gymnasium at Tingley when looking for somewhere to learn amateur boxing. Already an accomplished amateur Alan Colbeck turned professional shortly after the end of the second world war. Early bouts saw him billed from Glasgow, and in 1947 he took part in a knock out tournament for the Scottish lightweight championship. He was encouraged to turn professional by his friend,  Harry Fields. That first bout  was against Dundee's Tony Lawrence.   

By 1949, before the formation of Joint Promotions Alan was already holder of the British lightweight championship, holding it for 18 months before losing it to George Kidd. In 1951 he took the welterweight crown, and on 19th December, 1951, knocked out Chris Londos in the seventh round to take the European welterweight title for the first time. With the formation of Joint Promotions in 1952 Alan was the first wrestler to wear the Lord Mountevans welterweight championship belt. 

Over the years Alan Colbeck held  the British championship at three different weights, light, welter and middle, as well as being a long established European welterweight champion.  In 1965, he battled Mick McManus to a draw live on television in a contest  so intense that the football score updates were not shown on the screen until it was finished.  

A national worker Alan worked in the north of England and Scotland, mostly for Morrell and Beresford, but was equally well known in southern England working for Dale Martin Promotions. He tagged for a while with Jackie Pallo in an usual cocktail, but settled down for a while in The Masters alongside Peter Preston, a formidable team in cracking bouts against the Royal brothers, White Eagles and Black Diamonds.

One of the great post war lighter weight men, testimony that the greats of the ring had no need for star spangled trunks.


Page added 1/4/19