C: Charlton - Clark
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
The Australian (welterweight champion we were told) came to Britain as part of an extended world tour that included New Zealand, South Africa and mainland Europe. He worked in Dale Martin rings during the summer of 1970 and into the winter month, leaving Britain in January 1971. Made little impact against the established British names of Boscik, Maxine, Cooper and the like.
Dentist turned wrestler Jesus Chausson was born in Bilbao with French and Spanish parentage. A European mid heavyweight champion claimant was one of the top Spanish wrestlers of the 1950s and 1960s. He visited Britain in the late 1950s and early 1960s, facing top class opposition such as Alan Garfield and Joe Cornelius with a Royal Albert Hall match against Billy Howes.
A hard and skilful wrestler (because he was from Riley's gym) but one of the lesser known men from Wigan. A railway man by day Jack was quite late in life when he took up wrestling, turning professional when he was around 30 years old. He wrestled professionally from the early 1950s until 1968. He had a reputation for being a very difficult opponent as it seemed to Jack that fans should get what they thought they saw. In other words, when it looked like it was hurting, it was!
Rene Ben Chemoul
One of the great technical wrestlers to pay fleeting visits to the UK from his home country of France. Rene Ben Chemoul was introduced to wrestling by his father Albert, who was a wrestler also. A prisoner of war during the Second World War he pursued an interest in wrestling following liberation and turned professional in 1947. Rene Ben Chemoul made the first of many visits to Britain just four years later. Twice holder of the World lightweight title (winning and losing it again to George Kidd in 1950, and later in the decade taking it from Fransico Ramirez), Rene later increased his poundage to twice hold the European middleweight championship, again losing the title to Kidd in 1963. In 1959 he toured the United States along with fellow Frenchman Gilbert Le Duc. Rene Ben Chemoul passed away in September 2010, aged 85.
Charlie Chetwynd was a heavyweight boxer from Leicester, active from 1924 until 1933. With wrestling gaining popularity and his 84 match career reaching an inevitable conclusion with a defeat by Tommy Farr in September, 1933, Charlie turned his attention to wrestling. We have found him wrestling Francis St Clair Gregory in April, 1934, with further matches against Zarynoff and Jim Anderson. It appears to have been a short foray into wrestling, with our last sighting in April, 1935.
See the sentry for Alan Bardouille
The wild barefooted Peruvian mid heavyweight ruffled a few fans on his way to the occasional victory or more likely disqualification during his six week 1974 visit from mid November. Well, Kent Walton told us he didn't understand English or British rules. Yeah Kent! Not overly impressive during his tour his most memorable moment was most likely a Royal Albert Hall loss against Steve Veidor. Made a couple of television appearances, losing to Pete Roberts by a disqualification and kayoed by Mike Marino.
One time World Junior Heavyweight champion the Los Angeles heavyweight strutted his way around the rings when he visited the United Kingdom in 1954. Opponents included Tony Mancelli, Ernest Baldwin, Black Butcher Johnson and Jack Pye. Already an experienced forty something, or more specifically 45 year old Ted was a genuinely international star who was a top liner in both the United States and Australia. Following his retirement he went on to minor roles in films and television. Ted Christy passed away on 11th September, 1976.
Sheffield heavyweight Max Churchill worked for the independent promoters in the 1960s. Max was also known as a comedian and singer on the cabaret circuit around the working men's clubs of northern England.
See the sentry for Neil Sands
The fans loved “The Cover Man” as he posed to listen to their cheers before tackling the latest bad guy. Spencer Churchill, the Kew light heavyweight, turned to wrestling following success as diver and a body builder, and won the title “Britain’s Best Developed Man” in 1954. To say that he was a body builder is something of an understatement as Churchill was one of the most popular and well known body builders in the country, known as “Mr Muscles Unlimited.” He learned to wrestle at Tottenham Court Rangers Amateur Wrestling Club, and then turned professional aged twenty, losing to drop kick expert Johnny Peters at the Royal Pier Pavilion, Southampton. Although never a top of the bill performer Spencer Churchill remained a popular and well respected wrestler for two decades. Bodybuilders Roger Green, Reg Trood and Bob Sweeney all testified to the immense influence of Spencer Churchill in their decision to take up wrestlers.
What a character! Five foot two, bleached blond hair, strong an an ox, Johnny was a bin man for Stockport Corporation, a job that kept him as fit as the legendary butcher's dog. And he was deaf and dumb. No matter, he could make his point quite lucidly and never let his condition handicap him.
Eddie Rose told us he wrestled Johnny on several occasions and it was a no-win situation as he outweighed Johnny by a good three stone and audiences always sided with such an under dog. He fought most lightweights (and heavier) including Wally Delmar, Shem Singh, Jim Reid and Joe Bevan and his bouts with Tiger Delmonte were classics of their type!
Johnny was a big friend of Mike Landis, the Greek promoter and three-way conversations between those two and a third party often ran into the realms of fantasy as Mike's English was poor and his accent heavy. Mike always introduced Johnny, quite deadpan, as "my interpreter".
Johnny was one of the old school: a tough little man with a big heart and no small amount of skill and another product of the Black Panther gym in Manchester.
Bill Clark (King Kendo)
Bill Clark was born in 1938, making his professional debut in 1965 at the Boston Drill Hall against Adolf Dabrowski. He had judo and weight lifting background, being a member of the Boston Weight Training Club and Boston Judo Club.
From almost the start of his career he proudly proclaimed himself as Eastern Counties Heavyweight Champion, often on shows he promoted himself under the Star Promotions banner. In many of those shows he was partnered by his "wrestling brother" Ron Clark (Dick Harrison) as one half of the Boston Poachers tag team.
Bill's activities were to become known to a much wider audience under a very different guise..
Much maligned by fans of the original Kendo Nagasaki King Kendo was an allegedly poor imitation of the real thing. But then who wouldn't have been? His costume was a cut-price version of Nagasaki's, with a shortened sword, mis shapen visor and a simple red cape. Behind the mask on most occasions was Lincolnshire heavyweight Bill Clark, famously unmasked by the real Kendo on All Star Promotion bills in a series of loser to unmask contests in 1981. King Kendo only came to the fore in Joint Promotion rings when Nagasaki moved across to work for the independents in the mid 1980s. This brought King Kendo television exposure between 1986 and 1988, including the inevitable loss for partner Masked Spoiler and himself against Big Daddy and Andy Blair.
David Mantell told us that in 1982 Bill Clark wrestled as the Red Devil and was, said David, "Victim of perhaps the most humiliating unmasking ever - after the match Big Daddy grabbed him from behind in a headlock and practically ravished him out of the mask!"
As a footnote, and stepping outside the Heritage years we believe that shortly before Kendo Nagasaki's retirement in 1993 he parted company with manager Lloyd Ryan who conveniently took over management of Kendo Nagasaki. Kendo and Lloyd then re-enacted most of Nagasaki's feuds from 1994 to 1996, but by then Dale Preston was believed to be the man behind the mask.
Bill Clark died in 2018.
Page revised 9/6/2019: Addition of Charlie Chetwynd