B: Burton - Byron
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
Middleweight wrestler from Miles Platting in Manchester. Another graduate of the Black Panther Gym in Manchester via Judo. Alec started as one of Lord Bertie Topham’s valets before embarking upon a solo career in his own right. He was a solid craftsman in the ring and, occasionally, resorted to Martial Arts skills when the situation warranted it.
Wrestled almost exclusively for Independent promoters in the North and Midlands and appeared in Scotland periodically. Memorable bouts included those against Alf Marquette, Jim Moser, Peter Lindberg, Ian St John, Brendan Moriarty and Ian ‘Mad Dog’ Wilson.
Formed a tag team in the late 60s with Eddie Rose, appearing as the Masked Barons and, for several months had the services of a masked valet (shades of Lord Bertie) who was none other than Jack Mawdesley, the referee and secretary of the A-Z Fan Club.
Alec’s ring career finished after sustaining a badly broken fibula and tibia at Orrell Rugby Club versus Jimmy Rice. (This was the occasion when the referee looked at the injury and then asked “Are you sure you can’t do another round?” as the bones stuck out of the wrestling boot).
He then purchased a couple of rings and became a regular provider of good, reliable rings at both boxing and wrestling shows. It was always a treat to travel to shows with Alec as every journey began at his house where his mum, Edie, always provided bacon sandwiches for the lads. He was a man with a good sense of fun and always with a laugh and a ‘story’ to entertain.
Tragically, Alec was killed by his own ring van when the jack collapsed on him at the M62 Birch Services near Rochdale. His funeral at Southern Cemetery was attended by hundreds of boxers, wrestlers and fans who paid their respects in the pouring rain to a good professional.
Thanks to Eddie Rose for contributing this piece about his friend, Alec Burton
Quite a few servicemen popped up to wrestle during the Second World War and disappeared following the end of hostilities. One of them was Bill Burton, a sergeant in the Army. We presume he was based in or around Newcastle as we have over a dozen records of him appearing at the New St James Hall, Newcastle, between January 1942 and December 1945. Opponents included Cyril Knowles, Jim Lewis, Jack Harris and James Blears.
Like Bill Burton (above) we suspect a wartime activities connection for Staff Sergeant Ted Burton, a low key wrestler who worked frequently at Belle Vue, Manchester, between 1942 and 1945. Opponents included Carlton Smith, Jack Harris, Hec Trudeau and Jack Beaumont.
The muscular and powerful Belgian heavyweight champion from Liege visited Britain on numerous occasions in the 1950s. Our earliest recording is a 1952 match against Dominic Pye, and the last against Tony Zale in 1959. Between times opponents included Bert Assirati, Alan Garfield, Gordon Nelson and Jack Pye.
Top rated Bradford wrestler of the 1950s and 1960s. George won the British Featherweight title at Earls Court and held the title until Joint Promotions re-organised the championships and weight divisions in 1952 and ceased recognising the weight division. Allan Best remembers George as an excellent lighter man who had some tremendous contests with fellow Bradfordian, Bernard Murray.
Mohammed Butt was one of the strongest 1980s heavyweight wrestlers. He would often give a demonstration of power lifting prior to his contests. Appeared on television against Len Hurst, John Elijah and Barry Douglas.
No one doubted Alan Butts ability to wrestle. The popular Birmingham youngster turned professional in 1961, the year after winning the British middleweight amateur championship and being the youngest member of the British wrestling team in the Rome Olympic Games. Alan lost both his Okympic matches, against Madho Singh of India and Viljo Punkari of Finland. He won the British middleweight championship in 1960.
We know precious little about heavyweight Mike Byrnes, other than he was a busy worker over a short period and was featured in the wrestling holds book "Wrestling - The Admiral Lord Mountevans Style," photographed demonsrating holds with Dave Armstrong. Mike appeared in British rings between 1940 and 1943, mostly in northern England, though we have one recorded match at Harringay against Tiger Joe Robinson. He reappeared in 1949, and was around for a couple of years, again mostly in Northern England and Scotland.
Sweet Lord Byron
See the entry for Tony Kaye
Page revised 9/5/19: Addition of Bill Burton and Ted Burton