British wrestling history          
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B: Bates - Bayle

Wrestling Heritage A-Z

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Bomber Bates

On returning home following service in the Second World War Manchester heavyweight John Bates trained at the YMCA and entered the world of professional wrestling.  By the end of 1946 Big Bomber Bates was a popular figure throughout the northern England and the midlands, often opposing Jack Pye, Jim Hussey, Alf Rawlings,  Jim Foy, and Izzy van Dutz amongst others. After a couple of years he could increasingly be seen in a more sinisterly guise as one of the country's top masked men, but you'll have to read The Top Twenty Masked Men to find out who he was.  John Bates passed away on 17 August 1961.

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.

Tony Bates

Without his father’s choice of work the popular light heavyweight of the southern circuit throughout the 1960s may well have never made it into the wrestling ring.

Born in Wolverhampton Tony moved to north Wales whilst young as a result of his father taking over management of an ice rink in Rhyl.

Dad's career development did everything to boost the youngster, though naturally he didn't know it at the time. Bates senior took over the running of the casino in Rochester, Kent, and brokered weekly wrestling shows with Dale Martin Promotions. That was Tony's way in to the glitzy world of professional wrestling.

Read what happened next in our Personality Parade tribute, The Casino Kid.

Read our extended tribute The Casino Kid

Alan J Batt


Brian Thurley was born in April, 1938.

When he passed away seventy two years later he was mourned as the wrestler known as Alan J. Batt, a man liked and respected by all who knew him.

As a youngster Alan had an interest in boxing which he pursued for some time before turning to wrestling. Pursuit of a professional wrestling career was put on hold until he completed nine years serving in the army.
Chelmsford's Batt worked mainly for the independent promoters in the 1970s and 1980s, though did do some work for Joint Promotions also.
Alan Batt was also the face behind numerous masks on the independent circuit, including those of the Red Demon and The Skull and The Disciple. 
Until the time of his passing Brian was a keen motor cyclist and his death was mourned by bikers around the country.
Joe Batten 

From around the mid 1930s until the 1950s Angel Face Joe Batten  seemed to be everywhere in the north and midlands. Our earliest records are from 1937, facing top class opponents such as Billy Riley, Jack Dale and Jack Atherton. Following the war he appears to have gained some poundage and regularly opposes fully blown heavyweights. A popular wrestler about whom we would very much like to learn more.

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.

Fernand Bawin

One time World welterweight champion Fernand Bawin came to British shores in 1953. He returned for further tours in 1959 and 1961, losing on television to Les Kellett in November, 1959; and to  Mick McManus in February, 1961.

Bawin was a regular worker in Germany during the 1970s, wrestling in  Hannover, Bremen and other German towns. German promoters sometimes  billed him as Mick Mac Bawin. Towards the end of the 1970s he took to officiating and  worked in Graz, Austria, as a referee for Otto Wanz.

He was one of the featured wrestlers in the Somportex Famous TV Wrestling Cards Set published in 1966 in conjunction with Dale Martin Promotions.

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Somportex Limited Famous TV Wrestlers 

No. 1 Alan Miquet
No. 2 Ivan Pervano
No. 3 Billy Two Rivers
No. 4 Rick Waldo
No. 5 Bobby Steele
No. 6 Pedro Wiracogha
No. 7 Warnia De Zaranoff
No. 8 Pat O'Conner
No. 9 Marius Servais
No. 10 Ricky Starr
No. 11 Yves Amor
No. 12 George Drake
No. 13 Doug Joyce
No. 14 Peter Szakac
No. 15 Don Eagle
No. 16 Gwyn Davies
No. 17 Mr TV Pallo
No. 18 Syed Saif Shah
No. 19 Frankie Townsend
No. 20 Ray Fury
No. 21 John Da Silva
No. 22 Honey Boy Zimba
No. 23 Ivan J. Zaranoff
No. 24 Baron Gattoni
No. 25 Lucky Simunovich
No. 26 Jose Arroyo
No. 27 Ray Apollon
No. 28 Eric Froelich
No. 29 Dangerous Danny Lynch
No. 30 Sheik Wadi Ayoub


No. 31 Danny McShain
No. 32 Spencer Churchill
No. 33 El Mansouri Bros.
No. 34 Yuri Borienko
No. 35 Josef Kovaks
No. 36 Wildcat Garcia
No. 37 Roger Delaporte
No. 38 Gordon Nelson
No. 39 Gilbert Cesca
No. 40 "Cowboy" Ken Ackles
No. 41 Axel Dieter
No. 42 Bolo Hakawa
No. 43 Steve Logan
No. 44 Gedeon Gidea
No. 45 Mick McManus
No. 46 Josef Moschi Molnar
No. 47 Le Grand Vladimir
No. 48 Bert Royal
No. 49 The Fighting Faulkners
No. 50 Prince Kumali
No. 51 Manuel Polman
No. 52 Robert Duranton
No. 53 Vic Faulkner
No. 54 Hans Streiger
No. 55 Cheif Billy White Wolf
No. 56 Fernand Bawn
No. 57 Vassilios Mantopoulos
No. 58 Jack Pesek
No. 59 Clay Thomson
No. 60 Leon Fortuna

Published by arrangement with Dale Martin Promotions Ltd.   

Remy Bayle


Apart from a stray Royal Albert Hall appearance in 1956, losing to Steve Logan, the popular French heavyweight made hist first inroad into Britain in 1960. He returned to the Royal Albert Hall in March 1960 to take on Judo Al Hayes.

Another opponent during his 1960 tour was Johnny Yearsley on television. He was to and fro between Britain and the continent between March and July 1960. Remy was then absent from British rings until 1965 when he returned for six weeks between July and September.

Opponents ranged from  the mighty to the not so mighty with Remy's winning record being far from impressive.

Bill Beaney

A lorry driver from Ashford was encouraged by Romany Riley and Mike Marino to turn professional. And he loved it. Following am amateur grounding Kent's Bill Beaney turned professional when he was just sixteen years old. It was a career that took him not only around the holiday camps and halls of the country but to Spain, the Middle East and Japan. Heavyweight Bill worked for the top independent promoters All Star, Jackie Pallo and Danny Lynch, as well as Dale Martin Promotions. Like many others in the business Bill went on to combine wrestling commitments with pub management. Forty years after it all began he told us he still wants to get his boots back on.