C: Conlon - Conroy
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
A scowling, tough guy of a wrestler who worked the rings of usually southern England during the 1960s and 1970s. A welterweight from London he was a good worker who failed to make it into the top notch in those days of immense competition . Not so much a villain, but the look of a villain who knew how to rile the fans. Probably mostly remembered when he joined forces with Chris Bailey as the Artful Dodgers tag team. Whilst in the merchant navy Dick got interested in wrestling after making friends with the professional Bob Taylor. Dick turned professional for one of the independent promoters, and was surprised to discover when making his debut that he was billed as the Lightweight champion of Spain!
Related article: The Haunting in Armchair Corner at www.wrestlingheritage.com
It would be so easy to fall into the trap of rolling out a list of stereotypical labels to describe the Irish born Kevin Conneely. We won't. We will just tell you of the joy the Liverpool wrestler's appearance could bring to fans. A great wrestler and comedian of the ring. Liverpool wrestler Kevin Conneely began his career with the independent promoters in the 1960s, coming first to our attention on an independent show against masked man Mitzuko Chango in 1965. By then he had around four years experience against top opposition men such as Jack and Ray Taylor, Johnny Saint and Bill Tunney. In 1969 he was signed up by Wryton Promotions and was an immediate success in Joint Promotion rings, with fans appreciating the combination of wrestling ability and humour. He was to remain a popular figure on Joint Promotion bills throughout the 1970s, returning to the independents in the 1980s. Kevin Conneely sadly died on holiday in Thailand in 2004.
Our comment that Bill Connor had a well worn face are uttered only with warmth for a fine wrestler that we always enjoyed watching. His wiry body zipped round the ring, slowing down just enough to reveal a grin as he had outfoxed his opponent yet again. An ex paratrooper from Salford Bill learned to wrestled at the Manco Amateur Wrestling Club in Stretford. His first love was boxing but Bill was encouraged to try his hand at pro wrestling by Ken Cadman. Like so many Lancashire lads he was taught the professional side of the business at the Wryton Stadium, Bolton, turning professional after a decade in the amateur ranks. Bill was a regular worker, mainly for Wryton Promotions, for around ten years before disappearing in the mid 1970s. Outside the ring Bill ws a builder by trade.
Martin “Chopper” Conroy (Cordite Conroy, Jim Conroy)
One of wrestling's pioneers going back to the all-in days of the 1930s Wigan's Martin Conroy was one of the most enduring and cherished stars of the wrestling ring. Most readers remember him as one of their favourite referees or Master of Ceremonies. A few will remember him as Chopper Conroy the wrestler, and even older ones as Cordite Conroy, the alleged Australian hard man.
By whatever name he was known Mr Conroy had a long and proud wrestling tradition, turning professional in 1931, and clashing with pre war stars King Curtis, Jack Pye, Jim Wango, Norman the Butcher and the like.
Our earliest recorded matches are in the north of England with more in and around London in the mid 1930s, which coincides with a report we received that away from the ring in the 1930s Cordite Conroy was a part time physical education teacher. A respected man throughout his career Martin was one of the featured wrestlers in a vintage wrestling promotion series of cards by Wryton Promotions entitled "Stars of the Ring." He was also one of the two featured wrestlers in the book "Know Your Wrestling Holds."
Martin more or less took a break from the wrestling to serve during the second world war, returning to the ring in peace time to wrestle for almost twenty more years until he finally retired in 1963.
He went on to become a top referee and trainer for Wryton Promotions, before moving onto the management board and bringing the likes of Johnny Saint, Al Marquette and Wild Angus over to Joint Promotions.
A man who devoted his life to wrestling, fondly remembered by those in the wrestling fraternity, he passed away whilst holidaying in Majorca.
Page reviewed: 3/4/19