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C: Carroll - Casey

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Jack Carroll

Jack Carroll was an 11 stone wrestler from Hindley, Wigan in Lancashire. He came from a famous wrestling family, being the nephew of Joe Caroll, a 19th century world champion.  Ron Historyo uncovered  grandfather Joe in an exhibition match with world champion Tom Connors in December, 1892.

Jack was a pioneer from the early 20th century century, and in 1908 (photo left) was wrestling alongside his famous uncle and was known as “Young Whistler.” Around the same time Jack was appearing at the Alhambra Theatre in London, with many of his matches reported in the national press.

Being born in Wigan Jack, like his grandfather, was well schooled in Lancashire Catch-as-Catch-Can style. There are reports of Jack wrestling  Austria’s Henry Irslinger, India's  Buttan Singh American  Wayne Ketoen of America in the 1920s at Wigan's Central Park.

In December, 1931, newspapers reported that Jack had returned from a tour  of the United States and was now taking part in All-In wrestling contests.  We have reports of a match in  November, 1931, when Jack drew with the veteran German lightweight Peter Gotz. Another report tells of Jack retiring injured against the great Harold Angus.  Photo on the right is Jack in 1933.

In a 1947 article, “The British Heavyweight Champion” Charles Mascall records that  Peter Gotz and Jack Carroll were responsible for instructing Bert Assirati in the tricks of the professional game.

For all his wrestling credentials  it appears that Jack was not averse to profiting from the less seemly aspects of All-In wrestling, with a report of Jack taking on lady wrestler Miss England, and losing for attempting to choke her.

Ron Carroll

Irishman who turned from boxing to a 1960s life as a professional wrestler, often tagging with fellow Irishman, Pat Kloke, as The Emeralds.

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.

Memories of Francis P. Blake, M.C.

Francis was  always impeccably turned out, crisp white hankie in his top pocket with a stiff collar etc. Francis was very serious, often stern but humourous with it. If the crowds were getting impatient waiting for wrestlers Francis would often dance, sing us 'Tiptoe through the tulips' then quip 'Hurry up Seconds, Wheel em in'? His humour would get better after the interval, Francis accepting kind offers for tots of Whisky or Brandy!  For some unexplained reason Francis would always wear his slippers in the Ring. A noisy group at the ringside, including myself would heckle 'Blakey, where's your mug of Horlicks'..... A Great character, who really entertained the Seaside Crowds.

Peter M

Norman Carter

Hailing from Batley, Yorkshire, Norman Carter was a rugged 1950s heavyweight with epic battles against the Pyes, Dennis Mitchell, Mike Delaney and Cyril Morris. His career spanned twenty years and he went on to train Dave Bryson

Please get in touch if you can provide more information. 

Francis Catwright

Popular 1970s wrestler working mainly in south Wales and southern England for the independent promoters, often seen tagging with his brother, Mel.

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.

The Raffle

The raffle would be drawn before the final bout of the evening. Plenty of tickets were always sold and there tended to be as many as 12 prizes, so lots of fans got to win something.  The choice backchat of wrestling fans towards wrestlers was unleashed on the winners as any attractive girl, person with a limp, or anyone dressed in anything but boring grey would become the butt of "good-natured" heckling as they took their what seemed endless walk up to the ring.

There was often controversy over who had won and frequently two spectators stood on the ring apron eyeballing each other, each armed with the winning number.  It would then transpire that one had "32 tangerine" whilst the other had "32 mandarin" while Charlie Fisher had called out "32 orange."  Charlie always got in a flummox, and would lose his rag as the fans shouted ironic comments about piss ups in breweries.

Charlie would also get angry if he saw any cheating going on, but he was a tad paranoid and saw evil all around. The raffle was a great fun event in itself, and there was always an unclaimed ticket to add further controversy.  Just as the MC called on the picker to pick again, someone would shout out that the prize should be given "to a child;  an old lady;  back to the charity."  The MC would hurriedly try to hop onto this bandwagon of generosity that hadn't come naturally to him.

Anglo Italian

Mel Cartwright

Popular 1970s wrestler working mainly in south Wales and southern England for the independent promoters, often seen tagging with his brother, Francis.

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.

Wrestling Memories

In the 1960's I went to Ilford football ground to watch a charity football match between the All Star Wrestlers and a University side, I wasn't really interested in the football, I only went to see the wrestlers. I can't even remember who won the match.

In the wrestlers team were Al Hayes, Alan Miquet, Jon Cortez and Leon Fortuna, I believe Mike Marino may have been there, the rest of the team I can't remember. 

Tom H

Jon Casanova (Johnny Halsop)

Bolton's Johnny Halsop was another of the trainees at the Wryton Stadium under the watchful eyes of Alf Cadman and Martin Conroy. He was quietly making his way on Wryton Promotion bills when BBC television launched their 1971 series Casanova.

Taking the opportunity that presented itself Johnny Halsop bought some flashy gear and was soon transformed into Jon Casanova. It was a successful transition and for a short time Casanova seemed to be everywhere. He met rising stars of the day such as Marty Jones and Mark Rocco as well as established stars like Les Kellett and Adrian Street.

At the Royal Albert Hall in December 1972 he held Jim Breaks to a one fall apiece draw. Made his television debut in April 1972 against Tug Wilson and went on to have television wins over Marty Jones whilst losing against Mark Rocco, Jackie Pallo and Ivan Penzecoff.

As speedily as he had exploded onto our wrestling radar he disappeared again at the end of 1973; we welcome news of what became of him.

Ron Case 

One time boxer from Plymouth turned to professional wrestling in the mid 1930s  along with his brothers, Bill and Charlie. Wrestled as a light heavyweight  mostly in the west of England, with reports of a skilful wrestler but never more than a supporting player.

Mick Casey

“ A Goliath of a Man” proclaimed the posters.

Mick Casey was a very strong Irish heavyweight wrestler from Sneem in County Kerry was one of the famous rowing and fighting family active in the  1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

Mick Casey was trained by brother Paddy and began wrestling in Britain in 1943. Prior to that he (and his brothers) had gained success in other sports, notably rowing.

Legends in their own land Mick and his brothers Steve, Tommy and Paddy won the All England rowing championships and were favourites to win a rowing medal in the Berlin Olympics until prevented from taking part due to Steve, Tommy and Paddy having wrestled professionally.

Paddy Casey

One of the fanous fighting Casey clan from Sneem in Ireland Paddy was Irish heavyweight champion and wrestled in Britain during the 1930s until an injury to his back enforced premature retirement and cancellation of his plans to join brother Steve in the USA. Paddy and his brothers Steve, Tommy and Mick won the All England rowing championships and were favourites to win a rowing medal in the Berlin Olympics until prevented from taking part due to having wrestled professionally. After retiring from wrestling Paddy took up club management in London.  Paddy Casey, the last of the seven brothers, died in February 2002.

Steve Crusher Casey

The Casey family of Sneem were known as the toughest family on earth. They excelled in rowing, boxing, tug of war and wrestling. Steve Crusher Casey is probably the most famous of them all.

Having wrestled in Britain in the 1930s he made his way across the Atlantic where he was destined to become World Heavyweight Champion following the defeat of Lou Thesz in 1938.

Born in 1908 Steve was the eldest of the fighting Caseys. He was followed by Paddy (1910) Jack (1911) Jim (1912) Mick (1913), Tom (1914) and Dan (1917).

For good measure there were also three sisters, Mary Margaret, Josephine and Catherine.

Shown shaking hands with Bolton's George Gregory during one of his returns to Britain in 1946.

Tom Casey

One of the famous fighting and rowing Casey brothers of Sneem who wrestled in Britain during the 1930s. Tom made  the unusual move of leaving wrestling in the late 1930s to turn professional boxer. Tom Casey died in May, 1985.