C: Clark - Cohen
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
Ron Clark (Also known as Marcel Carpentier, Dick Harrison, Dick the Bruiser, Samurai Warrior)
Regrettably we never saw Ron Clark in action despite reading of his exploits regularly in the pages of Ringsport magazine. A regular feature on wrestling in East Anglia recorded the latest news of Ron and his wrestling brother, Bill Clark, known collectively as the Lincolnshire Poachers. It was Bill Clark that trained Ron, who turned professional in 1973, initially working on the camps of the east coast before going on to wrestle in halls for promoters, Brian Dixon, Jackie Pallo, Neil Sands, and Joint Promotion members.
Unsurprisingly, the two were not actual brothers as Ron was Dick Harrison, a name he was to use in later years, going on to become Dick the Bruiser.
John Clarke was the eldest of the two Clarke brothers from Borrowby, a village near Thirsk. A rough pair who did little to endear themselves to fans. Although he did wrestle in singles matches he was often seen in action with brother Rob in a pairing known as both "The Yorkshire Farmers" and "The Invaders." The two brothers were trained by the Blue Angel, Jim Stockdale, and turned professional in 1967 and had a fairly short career of about ten years, with westling activities were limited to the north east of England and Scotland. At the time of writing in 2013 John remains living in Borrowby with his wife Shirley, parents of two children.
Middlesbrough wrestler who wrestled Jimmy Devlin on one of the BBCs rare showings of professional wrestling, from Southend. Milton was the younger brother of Ray Clarke, and shared his wrestling commitments with his day job of motor mechanic. A popular young wrestlers renowned for his sportsmanlike tactics.
Ray Clarke (Middlesbrough)
Middlesbrough's Ray Clarke was a popular middleweight for a short time in the 1960s, and the older brother of Milton Clarke. Ray turned professional for Scarborough promoter Don Robinson, which led to work for Paul Lincoln Management and the move to Joint Promotions. Ray had other business interests and we guess this is why he disappeared from our rings.
Ray Clarke (New Zealand)
New Zealand farmer Ray Clarke came to Europe in 1949. Standing over six feet tall he quickly established himself as a top heavyweight. He tackled the best that the UK had to offer, the likes of Jack Pye, Ray St Bernard and Bert Assirati. He wrestled in Britain in the early fifties, before setting off back to New Zealand in 1953, wrestling en route in Mexico and Canada. returning to New Zealand in 1953, where he wrestled for another couple of years before joining the police force.
Rob Clarke was the youngest of the two Clarke brothers from Borrowby,born in 1948. A rough pair who did little to endear themselves to fans. At fourteen Rob began working on a farm, and has been involved in some form of manual work all his life. It was a lifestyle that made him exceptionally strong and earned the nickname “Two Man Bob” because he was said to have the strength of two men. Although he did wrestle in singles matches he was often seen in action with brother John in a pairing known as both "The Yorkshire Farmers" and "The Invaders." The two brothers were trained by the Blue Angel, Jim Stockdale, and turned professional in 1967. Wrestling activities were limited to the north east of England and Scotland. Only seemed to be around until the early 1970s. At the time of writing (2013) Rob is happily married to his wife of forty-eight years, parents of three daughters.
London based Jamaican heavyweight Rick Clarke was known as Stedman. He had a short lived career for Dale Martin Promotions in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Born in January 1934, Stedman Clarke died on on 3rd August, 2011, aged 77.
Blond haired Steve Clements came from famous stock, being the son of Huddersfield’s Ted Beresford. It was his wrestling skill, though, that made him such a popular and successful wrestler. In the 1960s he gained fame as a popular welterweight and as partner to Mick McMichael in the Yorkshire Terriers tag team. In 1969 he went to Mexico where 46000 fans saw him defeat Karloffe Lagarde in the Pueblo stadium, Mexico, to take the World welterweight title. Shortly afterwards he travelled to the USA where he partnered Don Greene to take the Tennessee Tag Team Championships. On returning to the UK he weighed over 14 stones, three stones more than when he had left. Tragedy lay in store and a sparkling career remained tragically unfulfilled due to Steve’s untimely death in a road accident.
There was a very active wrestling scene in East Lancashire in the late 1960s and early 1970s, not just in cities like Blackburn but in the smaller halls of Darwen and Cole, and outdoor events such as the Burnley Horse Fair. Eddie Rose attributes much of this to the work of promoter and wrestler Sid Vickers and (only half jokingly) to the combination of wrestling with a good night out at the Cats Whiskers or a sit-in supper at John Connelly's chippy on the way home. One of the frequent workers on this northern independent scene was Burnley's Danny Clough, a very clever lightweight who could hold his own with heavier men and had a repertoire of disarmingly devious little moves with knee, foot and elbow that could bring tears to an opponents eyes.
Gary Clwyd (Also known as Gary Welsh)
Anyone that came into wrestling at the very end of the Heritage years and was still working twenty years later deserves some respect. Well Gary Clwyd, from Rhyl, did just that. Trained by Orig Williams he used a variation of names that also included Geraint Clwyd, Gary Welsh, Dunk the Clown and Gary B.Ware. That was a wide range of styles developing from the very young looking, wiry kid that made it on to ITV wrestling in August 1987, wrestling Peter Bainbridge. For those restricted to ITV wrestling that was all they saw of Gary, both men prostrate and counted out following a clash of end. Anyone watching wrestling around the halls, or with access to the S4C Welsh tv channel knew otherwise. Gary gained a few pounds and was seen on tv wrestling Tony Stewart, Jack Davey, Jimmy Ocean, Dave Finlay and Skul l Murphy. In tribute shows, post Heritage Years, Gary was transformed into Dunk the Clown and also adopted a darker persona, greasepaint added, as the villainous Gary B. Ware. Precisely when Gary finished wrestling we don't know, but we have traced him working up to January 2010, twenty three years after that ITV debut.
A famous name from the 1950s but Ernie Coates was renowned for his body building exploits, and Mr Universe competitor, that preceded a short lived wrestling career that began around 1959.
Texas Buddy Cody
The sturdy Texan heavyweight, surprisingly only five feet nine inches tall, hailed from Dallas and brought with him the sort of seemingly stereotypical American style that made him far from popular with British fans. Having turned professional in the early 1950s Cody first made it to Britain during the winter of November 1955. A knock out win over the tough as nails Wiganite Arthur Beaumont in one of his first contests was a signal to everyone that here was a man not to be taken lightly. During the following seven years Cody was to become a regular feature of British and European rings facing the biggest names of the day with mixed results and frequently falling victim of the referees disqualification verdict.
Another of the myriad of wrestlers who appeared on Dale Martin bills around 1977, heavyweight Rob Cody didn't seem to be around for long.
Micky Coen spelt his name the Irish way and he was as Irish as they come! From the West of Ireland, Micky was another product of Panther's Gym in Manchester and enjoyed a successful career with mainly independent promoters in the North West.Eddie Rose told us of his first bout with Micky, "A blistering baptism of six rounds during which I think he gave me one drink of water! He was a no frills, all-action man. Like Jimmy McCormack, he did not take a count but just bounced back up and carried on fighting."
Micky wrestled men like Billy Graham, Dave Reynolds, Brendan Moriarty, Red Naylor, Dave Grant, Tommy Bailey, El Medico and Johnny South. He was a wise lad: he put his earnings into his construction business and made a very good living for himself.
Eddie continued, "I don't know whether the lads were winding me up, but when they found outI I was on a show with him they told me all kinds of stories about him once being charged with manslaughter in court! He was nothing like that. He was a quiet, good humoured man and good company outside the ring!"
Powerful and unpredictable that was South African heavyweight Alec Simpson, billed in Britain as South African, Kenyan or Israeli, the Jewish heavyweight champion,. He worked in Britain from 1957 until 1961. Most of his contests were in southern England facing the best that promoters Dale Martin could throw at him. Sammy had turned professional in the mid 1940s and his involvement continued in the wrestling business as promoter, as well as bestowing three sons on the wrestling business.
Welsh Davey remembers Sammy's appearance in Cardiff, "My only memory of Sammy was the night at Cardiff's Drill Hall when he was roundly booed from the ring after a truly woeful performance. So atypical and strong was this response from the normally generous Cardiff crowd that MC Sammy King immediately announced that Cohen would never step inside a Cardiff ring again. And to my knowledge he kept his word."
16/08/20: Addition of Gary Clwyd