A bundle of dynamite yet a hard wrestler the 1980s, from Douglas in the Isle of Man. Chris was an all action wrestler trained by Ted Bectey, mentor of Dynamite Kid, after Ted moved to the Isle of Man. He made two television showings, losing to Richie Brooks after taking the opening fall, and then unluckily losing to Alan Kilby in a British light heavyweight championship clash at Keighley in September, 1988. Had wrestling on television continued we are sure Chris Cougar would have become a popular and well known name.
Popular Southampton lightweight wrestler of the 1960s and 1970s who trained at Bruno Elrington's gym in Portsmouth. Bob was a popular worker around the south of England, billed as British lightweight champion by members of the British Wrestling Association. Bob lived in Soberton Heath which is near Wickham in Hampshire (between Southampton & Portsmouth) and began life working for the independent promoters. He met Joint opposition in the form of Zoltan Boscick, Steve Grey and Clive Myers whilst working for Devereaux Promotions, but preferred life on the opposition circuit where he promoted his own shows under the Intercontinental Promotions banner. A short story about Bob, passed on by Ian Dowland, who owned Solent Wrestling Promotions, “Bob’s wife came from Yorkshire, and whilst they were on holiday visiting her family Bob went training at a gym in Leeds that he used to attend, he was training with Al Marshall, who was an Ace Promotions wrestler. Bob was practicing his ‘drop kick’ when it went wrong and knocked out Al Marshall’s teeth, I believe that Al lost about three teeth.”
Steve Stephenson was landlord of the Red Lion public house in Wadhurst, Sussex. When he wasn't he was Steve Courage the wrestler. The name Courage came from the brewer that served the pub, Courage. Whilst landlord of the Red Lion Steve met a young wrestler called Eric Dudley. The two became friends and Steve agreed to open a wrestling gym on the premises, as long as Eric taught him to wrestle. Deal done, and Steve Stephenson became Steve Courage the wrestler, as we ll as one half (along with Eric) of Den Promotions, training local lads and promoting shows in Sussex.
Big Bill Coverdale (Also known as The Ghoul, Pachyderm)
A first degree heavyweight villain, Big Bill was a headliner from the war years until the 1960s. Eddie Rose described Bill as a softly spoken, pigeon-toed, portly Mancunian with a lot of hidden menace. Bill had been in the Paras in WW2 (“the heaviest paratrooper in the services”) and Cowboy Jack Cassidy always joked (very gently if Bill was in earshot) that too many parachute jumps caused Bill's apparently deformed toes and feet. During the Second World war Bill took part in airborn landings in France and Holland.
Eddie remembers …. "In the ring Bill could work and with such nimbleness for a 17 stone heavyweight. One night after a show there was a police sergeant on duty at the venue; he reckoned he could 'have' Coverdale, what, with his experience of street thugs etc. Bill said 'Right cocker, come on' The copper lasted three seconds then hit the deck very hard: Bill let him come in, deflected his leading arm and elbowed him in the throat. Bout over! Not quite, Bill then swept his feet away, Judo style. Then he turned to us with a little grin on his face and said 'No contest!'. Priceless moment.
Bernard Hughes remembers, “I vaguely remember Bill Coverdale's physical appearance, with blond hair and that he was as tall as one of his first opponents but not as bulky. The previous week's programme, with typical understatement, had billed him as "The Biggest,Baddiest Man on the Planet" who was coming to whip The Ghoul. He was big , he was strong and he was tough- but not as big, strong or as tough as The Ghoul. So he lost!” Ironically Bill often worked as the Ghoul himself."
Bill was an "old pro" in the kindest sense of the words and an engagingly laconic travel companion. Eddie Rose remembers a short tour with him (and several others) to venues like Kings Lynn, Norwich etc in the mid-70s. I noticed he never actually ordered or paid for a meal. He nonchalantly helped himself from everyone else's plates with a "Those chips like nice, cocker. I'll try a couple." Too big to argue the toss with as he made a circuit of the all the plates on the table!l Bill is still remembered with affection in our part of the world. Bill was a Manchester-based wrestler, a Manchester City fan, and landlord of the Bridge Inn on Manchester Road, Bury in his later years.