D: Dempsey - Destroyer
Towards the end of the 1970s there was a brief career for Wigan's middleweight, Mike Dempsey, mostly noted for being the son of the former welterweight champion, Jack Dempsey.
Our first recorded bout is in September, 1949, an advertisement for Belgium’s Martin Deneef wrestling Bert Assirati’s European Heavyweight title. Deneef was said to be 27 years old and weigh 18 stones. Further opponents included Bulldog Bill Garnon, Kiwi Kingston, The Ghoul and Giant Anaconda between 1949 and 1954. We are still seeking information about this very competent wrestler who, according to wrestlingdata.com worked under the name Bob Martin in the USA and Canada between 1946 and 1948, and in Germany and Austria from 1951 until 1959.
Bradford welterweight trained by Bernard Murray and Alan Dennison. Made his debut towards the end of 1962, but seemed to have disappeared by a year later.
The Strongman nickname was appropriate for this Northern hardnut who resembled the Mighty Atom. Smaller than he appeared on television the biceps bulged and Dennison was always willing to use his strength to overcome opponents. Born on 25th June, 1929, Alan Dennison was in his late twenties when he joined the paid ranks. After turning professional in 1958 Alan soon became a familiar face to the television fans. A one strap leotard and wristbands were the trademark of his ring attire. For many years he was one of the great bad men of the ring, but like so many the character mellowed in later years, sometimes to the point of becoming sweetily sickening. He could change his style to suit the occasion but always gave value for money. In the 1960s The Dennisons team of Alan and Syd Cooper antagonised fans, especially when matched against the blue-eyed teams like the Royal Brothers and the White Eagles. When Cooper moved South it could have been the end, but his place was admirably taken by Hooker Ted Heath, the perfect replacement. A gentle and kind man Alan’s place in the nation’s heart was demonstrated when his untimely death was announced on the national television news. He collapsed and died at the Floral Hall, Southport on 27th June, 1984 following a match with Dave Duran. Ambulancemen tried to revive him for fifteen minutes prior to his death on the way to hospital.
Vicomte Joel de Noirbreuil (Joel De Fremery)
The dashing young French viscount toured Britain twice in the mid-sixties and is seen left with an armlock on Gentleman Jim Lewis. Born in Paris and mentored by Georges Cohen, he was trained for the ring by Albert Ben Chemoul, father of the European Middleweight Champion, René, and became a favourite on French televised wrestling. 5'5" Noirbreuil wrestled all over France and tagged surprisingly with N'boa the Snakeman, see above.
On his UK tour he challenged Alan Colbeck for the European Welterweight Championship and faced many of the UK's top middle and welterweights. His sole UK tv bout was against Jon Cortez. But his record shows four 1965 losses against Jackie Pallo, all at coastal locations. Joel was back in Britain in the 1980s, dutifully losing to Rollerball Rocco on 26th August, 1981 in a World Heavy Middleweight championship contest.
George DeRelwyskow Jr
A name known to every fan of television wrestling as one half of Relwyskow and Green Promotions. Before turning his hand to wrestling promoting George was an outstanding wrestler in a short lived 1930s career.
Born to parents George and Clara DeRelwyskow on 8th January, 1914, wrestling was in young George's blood because his father was one of wrestling's all time greats. George F.W. De Relwyskow Snr, had won gold and silver medals in the 1908 Olympic Games. Naturally dad had a big influence on young George, as did the former rugby player and all-in wrestler, Douglas Clarke.
Having turned professional at twenty George gained a few years experience before defeating Rashid Anwar to take the Empire lightweight title.
Whilst his wrestling years were limited to around six years George was an immensely busy worker during this time, wrestling most nights of the week from the south west of England to the north of Scotland. He was a popular all-action wrestler famed for one of his favourite moves "The monkey climb."
But there was much more to George. Talk of hidden depths.
Secrets can be taken to the grave and that was almost the case when George died. It was a secret that had been well kept, even George's wife, Elsie, only made the discovery as she went through his papers following the death.
It transpired that, unknown to any of his friends and family, George had been a secret agent parachuted on numerous occasions behind enemy lines during the Second World War.
On the outbreak of war George signed up as a physical training instructor, and was shortly afterwards recruited by the Special Air Services. George was seconded to a section known only by the name Room 98. It is believed that George's section was involved in the training of agents in preparation for planting in the occupied countries of Europe, amongst them Odette Sansom, the French born British spy awarded the George Cross for her work behind enemy lines in the Second World War. George trained agents in unarmed combat and parachuting.
He became one of the first men to become expert in the use of plastic explosives, which he used to good effect behind the lines in Libya. In total George made more than 350 parachute drops during the war. George's war time exploits ended in 1945, when a land mine exploded as he was trying to reach Allied lines in Italy. The exploding mine destroyed the vehicle in which he was travelling, leaving George with head and leg injuries.
The injuries brought his wrestling career to an early end. In 1948 George and his wife Elsie, became licensees of the Concle Inn in Barrow. For wrestling fans that may have been for the best because following the war George and brother Doug (later a referee) turned their attention to car rallying and then to wrestling promoting. It is for his contribution to wrestling as a promoter, in which he formed a business partnership with Arthur Green, that George de Relwyskow is most often remembered.
George DeRelwyskow Jr died in January 1980.
A stocky masked heavyweight of the early 1970s, and a regular of Wryton Promotions bills, who made little impact on the national scene. We understand that underneath the mask was accomplished heavyweight wrestler Jack Fallon of Wigan. His style was unexciting, though, and the masked Destroyer failed to rival contemporaries such as The Outlaw or Kendo Nagasaki. Billy Stock, amongst a multitude of others, donned the mask and adopted the name on the independent circuit.
Page revised 13/08/2019: Addition of Martin Deneef