D: Davies - Deconinck
Killer Ken Davies (Tredegar)
In the 1960s and 1970s a bald headed, mean looking welterweight more than slightly annoyed fans in the midlands and Wales. He was Killer Ken Davies, and apart from the name there was little similarity with the heavyweight of the same name. This Killer Ken, billed from Tredegar, was a long time Welsh welterweight champion and a 1962 win over Cheshire’s Ken Else grabbed for him the independent promoters British welterweight crown. He was introduced to wrestling whilst working down the coal mines where he met another Welsh wrestler, John Paul. Turning professional in 1959 it was the beginning of a successful career in which he gained the respect of colleagues and is still spoken of as a hard man to beat. Al Tarzo worked with Ken, "Ken was a guy that could get the crowd wound up in a big way, I remember a show at Tamworth when he had the crowd crying for his blood. When he came back to the dressing room his back was covered with his own blood. A woman in the front row got to the ringside and attacked him with her shoe. He had holes in his back from her stiletto heels to prove it." It is one of wrestling's mysteries why Killer Ken worked only for the opposition promoters and was never attracted to Joint Promotions. Maybe someone out there can tell us.
The muscular young middleweight from Rotherham started out around 1959 and was around the rings quite a bit until the late sixties. Opponents included Leon Fortuna, Linde Caulder, Jon Cortez, Jim Breaks and both of the St Clair boys.
Nottingham's Peter Deakin followed a route not dissimilar to that of Spencer Churchill, Earl Maynard and John Lees into professional wrestling, being a body builder of international repute. Well, not dissimilar except the latter three did not own a chip shop in Nottingham.
In 1956 and 1957 he was placed 4th in the Mr Britain competition, 5th in 1958. In 1956 he came 4th in the amateur Mr Universe competition, the year that John Lees was runner-up. In 1957 independent promoters gave him the opportunity to show his skills in the pro wrestling ring, surprisingly being billed as Wonder Boy rather than the name by which he was nationally known.
By the end of 1958 he had been signed up by Joint Promotions and was immediately pitched in with the top names of the day, and holding his own with them. He stepped up a gear in 1959 when he took part in the Royal Albert Hall heavyweight tournament and television exposure came in April, 1960, in a bout with Welsh heavyweight Gwyn Davies.
In November, 1961 tragedy struck Peter when a ring injury resulted in a damaged knee and a premature end to a promising career.
Peter Deakin died on 5th May, 2012.
Alf "Man Mountain" Dean
Alf “Man Mountain” Dean is something of a mystery. One of those wrestling conundrums that we haven’t even started to unravel. We first became aware of him when we read a 1961 Sunday newspaper expose of professional wrestling where Man Mountain Dean revealed all. But this wasn’t Frank Simmons Leavitt, the famous American Man Mountain, who had died in 1953 anyway. This was Alf Dean, who claimed to have been an All-In wrestler. Searches for information about Alf Dean discovered that he was a small part actor. With only a handful of findings our Man Mountain, and even those were not definitely Alf, we would have concluded that any involvement in pro wrestling was extremely limited. Maybe it was, but we were surprised to find that Alfred James Dean listed his occupation as Professional wrestler and wire worker in the 1939 census. His date of birth was given as 20th April, 1915. His given address at the time was listed as H M Prison, Wandsworth, London, which may have accounted for his limited wrestling appearances.
We have scant information about this Irish heritage welterweight with a judo background who, between 1954 and 1956, faced opponents including the experienced Arthur Fisher and Bob Archer O'Brien as well as new kids on the block like Jackie Pallo and Peter Rann. We would welcome more information from anyone in the know.
We have a run of matches for heavyweight Desmond Dean, who was said to be from South Africa, between April 1947 and February, 1948. Opponents included Jack Pye, Hassan Ali Bey, Dave Armstrong and Vic Hessle. We would welcome more information.
Gypsy Dean was a fairly undistinguished wrestler of the 1930s. No, it wasn’t his wrestling or boxing abilities that brought him to our attention. In 1949 Robert Bulbrook, the gas worker from the Old Kent Road, received a standing ovation at the Conservative Party Conference as they welcomed a working class man to their ranks. In the 1955 and 1959 General Elections he stood as Conservative candidate in the Kensington North constituency, coming second to Labour’s George Rogers. He was known as a vigorous opponent of nationalisation. Gypsy Dean was born on 24th January, 1898 and died on 11th February, 1960.
Ian Doc Dean
Ian Doc Dean just scraped into the Heritage Years of Wrestling by virtue of making his debut in his mid teens, at fourteen according to some accounts. By the summer of 1987, as he turned seventeen on the 3rd July, he was already working full time touring the holiday camps of Britain with Robbie Brookside and Steve Regal.
The partnership and friendship with Robbie Brookside was to endure through the years as they became the top tag team in the country. The Liverpool Lads. Tag teams didn't get any bigger, or more popular than Robbie and The Doc in the late 1980s and 1990s, travelling the country and beating the Superfly team of Ricky Knight and Jimmy Ocean to win the ASW Tag Team Championship. In individual competition Doc Dean twice won the ASW British welterweight title between 1990 and 1993.
With opportunities for wrestlers in Britain reducing dramatically in the mid 1990s Ian and Robbie made their way to the United States, making his WCW debut in 1997. Ian also worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling, competing in the Best of the Super Junior IV tournament in 1997.
Robbie Brookside returned to Britain whilst Doc Dean settled in the United States. The sad news was received on 14th August, 2018, that he had died, aged just 48 years old.
Mike “Man Mountain” Dean
Bearded heavyweight villain from Garforth weighed in around the twenty stones mark. He was one of a number of 1980s super sized heavyweights caught up in the Big Daddy parade of fall guys. We own up to not having seen him first hand and may be doing him an injustice. We would welcome further information.
French middleweight made numerous visits to Britain in 1954, 1956 and 1957. Worked mostly in the north of England with opponents including Harry Fields, Jack Dempse, Tommy Mann and Bert Royal.
Belgian champion visited Britain in 1952; opponents included George Kidd, Carlton Smith, and Mick McManus.
01/08/2019: Roy Bull Davis moved to his own page, Eric Day transferred to his own page, Eric Deakin transferred to D: Deakin
05/09/2018: Dennis Dean updated
23/06/2019: Addition of Alf Man Mountain Dean, Desmond Dean, Mike “Man Mountain” Dean, Paul Debusne, Roland Deconinck