WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history 

B: Brecht - Brody

Wrestling Heritage A-Z

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Dany Brecht
However much the fans may have taken to the blond haired, muscular German heavyweight the promoters did him no favours at all. Unless you welcome being put in with the very best during a four day visit. Four days that included getting knocked out in front of 5,000 fans by Tibor Szakacs at the Royal Albert Hall, witnessed  by television fans nationwide losing by the odd fall to World Mid Heavyweight champion Mike Marino, and going down in the relative obscurity of the Wirina Stadium, Peterborough to the powerful Pat Roach. There was a fourth match in Southampton but we have no record of his opponent or the result.

Mike Brendel
Acclaimed as an American and a "Man Eater" Mike Brendel was, in reality an Hungarian, born with the name  Mihaly Orgovanyi, reportedly born in Erdőkürt, Hungary in 1910. Admittedly he did arrive in Britain from North America, where he had wrestled in the USA and Canada mostly using his birth name.

He came to Europe, as Mike Brendel, in the summer of 1935, wrestling in Britain and France. It was said that he arrived in Britain from a successful tour of South Africa.   Opponents included the biggest names – Dougls Clark, Karl Reginsky, Bert Assirati, and the like. He is reputed to be a fine, skilled wrestler and one of the hardedst men in the ring. He did not seem to have wrestled continuously in Britain, also spending time in France and Spain, but was seen in 1935, 1937, 1938 and 1939.

We have unconfirmed reports that he served four years in a prisoner of war camp during world war 2, following which he moved to Spain. In the 1950s he became an actor, playing mostly small roles between 1953 and 1969.

Mike Brendel died in Madrid, Spain on August 18, 1969.

 Bill Brennan
A regular worker in the 1940s and 1950s about whom we would welcome more information.

Pat Brennan
A regular worker in the 1940s and 1950s about whom we would welcome more information.

Jean Louis Breston
The Belgian colossus visited the UK in 1974 with mixed fortunes. Defeated Terry Rudge and Judd Harris in his televised contests. Harris reversed the decision off screen and the Belgian  was disqualified in contests against top rate heavyweights such as Gwyn Davies, Judd Harris and Bruno Elrington.

Rev Danny Brett
Holy Moses! A man of the cloth? Well, no we would bet our last half crown that the Rev Danny was no more than a creation of promoter Jack Taylor. The Rev Michael Brooks was indeed the genuine article, but the creation of the Reverend Danny Brett and his tag partner Reverend Mark Forrest were almost certainly more mammon than Godly. In the 1960s they toured independent rings delivering their rumbustious style of redemption to villains like the Undertakers. In singles matches Danny did wrestle some opponents of note that included Don Mendoza, Karl Von Kramer, Jack Cassidy and Azam Bholu.

Len Britton  
Len Law chose the ring name Len Britton and became one  of the stalwarts who, as wrestler and promoter,  helped get the post war UK wrestling business back onto its feet. Len trained at the John Ruskin Amateur Wrestling Club, alongside renowned amateur Stan Bissell. before before turning professional wrestler. Stories abound about Len. Driving back home with a group of fellow wrestlers one night they stopped at a transport cafe. Len, who was wearing a black high neck vest,  put on a detachable white collar, resembling a vicar. He led the way into  the Café where the drivers were eating their meal and swearing and cursing in their normal way.  Len tapped on the table and they all looked up. He said "Gentlemen can I ask you to moderate your language then I can bring in the members of my flock in for tea."  Of course they all became silent he then beckoned them to come in.  In they came, one with an arm in a sling, one with a crutch and many bandages and plasters on their faces, and real bruises. They hobbled to tables, the drivers realised they had been taken in and they laughed for a long time.  Len Britton was the brother of College Boy Charlie Law.
 
Monty Britton
Manchester's Monty Britton trained at Grant Foderingham's gymnasium in Longsight, Manchester, alongside Eddie Rose, Pete Lindberg and Ezra Francis. He was a popular worker on the independent circuit, particularly in the north of England, during the the 1960s until his retirement in the late 1970s.

A frequent and popular wrestler in North West rings in the '60s and '70s, Manchester-based Monty Britton could wrestle or mix it depending upon his opponent's approach to a bout.

He was recommended to Danny Flynn originally by Terry McDonald, the Salford heavyweight. Danny and his partner, Fred Woolley, recognised Monty's potential and sent him along to Grant Foderingham's Black Panther Gym, then located in Longsight, Manchester.
 
This was the start of a long-term association and, before long, Monty was featuring on Unique Promotions shows around Manchester, paired with the likes of Steve Allan and Mad Mike Mahoney. From this foundation, Monty eventually worked for all the major independent promoters, from Scotland down to Cornwall but the bulk of his wrestling was done locally.
 
"In those days you could wrestled virtually every night of the week in and around Manchester, a mere half an hour's travel. Why take bookings for Cardiff or Glasgow for the same money?" Monty asked.
 
He remembers and wrestled some of the legendary characters of the time:Lord Bertie Topham, the afore-mentioned Mad Mike Mahoney who was definitely unusual, to say the least, Bill Coverdale, the "early" Hans Streiger, Jack Cassidy and everybody's favourite, Chunky Hayes who had a single-decker bus in which he used to transport  the ring AND provide accommodation for the wrestlers for a week's tour of the West Country. Can you just imagine what the interior of that bus was like at the end of the week?
 
Monty is now retired and lives in Denton just outside Manchester and continues to support God's Own Team, Manchester City!

Paul Britton
Paul Britton made one televised appearance, a July 1983 odd fall loss to the Cypriot Tony Costas. In the 1980s Paul worked on Joint Promotion shows mainly in the south of England for Max Crabtree and Ken Joyce. 

Bearcat Brody (Also known as Bull Pratt)
Bull Pratt was one of an expanding number of super-sized heavyweights that came to symbolise British wrestling in the 1980s. The London based heavyweight weighed in at just over twenty-stones and made a few television appearances in the 1980s. He appeared in the last ever Dale Martin Promotions wrestling show at the Royal Albert Hall, partnering Sid Cooper and losing against Big Daddy and Greg valentine on 30th October, 1985. Later re-emerged on the British wrestling scene using the name Bearcat Brody

Page revised 05/06/2020: Addition of Rev Danny Brecht
09/05/19: Addition of Paul Britton