C: Carroll - Casey

Wrestling Heritage A-Z

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 History 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 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. 

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.

Read our extended tribute: Jack Carroll

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. We confess to having no first hand experience of this villain and fall back on a 1962 report from the Norwood News to create the image: "None performed better than crew-cropped villain Ron Carroll who extracted enough hisses and boos to satisfy any Victorian melodrama with an exhibition of all the wrestling moves that are not in the book."  Nonetheless he got his come-uppance when opponent Basil Coulolias got his fifth round submission."

Norman Carter
Hailing from Batley, Yorkshire, Norman Carter was a rugged 1950s wrestler. We found him as early as 1949, wrestling Fred Unwin. Other opponents included Harry Fields, Johnny Kwango,  and Eric Taylor. Norman went on to train Lincolnshire wrestler Dave Bryson.

Francis Cartwright
One of the two Cartwright brothers, born in Wrexham, and a popular 1970s wrestler working mainly in south Wales and southern England for the independent promoters, often seen tagging with his brother, Mel.

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

Mel was born in Wrexham but based in Oxford for most of his wrestling career. He trained as an amateur in Oxford and gained a lot of experience working on the fairground booths.

Jon Casanova (Also known as Johnny Halsop)
A bit of a mystery here, but then wrestling is full of mysteries. A star in the making it seemed . And then what? A man that disappeared, even leaving his local fellow professionals flummoxed. In 2016 Eddie Rose told us he had heard a rumour that Jon Casanova was living in Bolton "He was a regular attender at Wryton Stadium on Sunday mornings for training sessions with Jack Atherton and Ken Cadman in charge. Others included Bobby Ryan, Paul Mitchell, Mark Wayne, Ian Wilson, Paul Duval, Alan Woods and Jack Fallon (plus me). If anyone is in touch with him please pass on my best wishes."

Bolton's  John Halsop 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 our wrestling 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.  We liked him. Lots of fans liked him. "His debut TV fight against Tug  Wilson  held the crowd spellbound at Wolves Civic Hal in 1972" said Peter, "A very good wrestler with a great gimmick!" according to Frank Thomas.

 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.

Bill Case
One of three brothers wrestled in the West Country in the 1930s.  Born in July, 1914 Bill worked in Plymouth Docks.  According to our records Bill was the least active of the three and does not appear to have wrestled following the Second World War. Bill Case died in 1999. 

Charlie Case
Charlie Case was born in January, 1910. He played  football for Truro City FC and was one of three brothers from the Plymouth area who wrestled mostly in Western England, though we have found him in Wales and Northern England after the end of the Second World War. . Our earliest sighting was in February, 1935 and our latest in 1950, after which he continued to referee.

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. 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. 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 famous 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.s to turn professional boxer. Tom Casey died in May, 1985.

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. David Mantell told us Steve  won the Boston AWA World (Massachusetts) Heavyweight title six times. His first win over Lou Thesz was later regarded retrospectively by the National Wrestling Alliance from the 1950s onwards as part of their title's lineage back to Hackenschmidt in 1905 (with Thesz's reign regarded as the first of six).

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.

Also see the entry for Steve McHoy.

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.