L: Danny Lynch
A Gentle, Generous Giant
Dangerous Danny Lynch
The blond proud Yorkshire heavyweight (though Manchester, Lancashire claims credit for his birth) was known as Dangerous Danny, and anyone seeing him in action was never left to wonder why. We are led to believe there was also an Irish connection and a youthful Danny toured Ireland as a circus strong man, Johan Jensen (of Sweden!).
Danny was one of the most aggressive wrestlers of the sixties, tearing into opponents with a ferocity rarely seen elsewhere. When opponents retaliated Danny’s forehead had a tendency to open up and the flow of blood added to the excitement. Maybe the early "cuts" were not entirely reached by natural methods but eventually his forehead must have become susceptible to genuine damage.
A short amateur career led to preparation for life in the professional ring by Hebden Bridge's Jackie Harris. Few men in wrestling were harder than little Jackie Harris, and Danny Lynch was a most suitable pupil. His professional debut was in Edinburgh facing Cyril Knowles.
In the late 1960s Danny moved home from Shipley in Yorkshire to Ashford in Kent, where he continued to wrestle, train others and promote. Those we spoke to who knew Danny all emphasised his gentle and generous nature, keen to encourage those around him.
Never technically in the first division of heavyweights alongside Robinson, Joyce, Wall and Davies, Danny was most certainly in the first division of wrestlers who could excite the fans. Here was a first class villain whose matches were filled with excitement. One of his specialties was an overhead lift, raising a prostrate wrestler fully above his head, arms outstretched, dropping the unfortunate opponent throat down on the top rope. Ouch!
Danny teamed up with Steve Haggetty to form a formidable tag team, The Dangermen.
Danny was one of the early British globetrotters and took his special brand of hard-core violence across Europe, to the Far East and to North America. In 1969 he defeated Dave Ruhl in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to win the Calgary version of the NWA Canadian Heavyweight Title, ending Ruhl's fourth reign.
After retiring from wrestling Danny became landlord of a public house on the Stanhope estate in Ashford (what is it with wrestlers and pubs?). He later spent eight years as landlord of The Swan in Appledore.
It’s easy to say a wrestler was unique, but in Danny’s case the word is fully justified.
Danny Lynch died on 28th May 2007.
Related article: Stampede Days: Danny Lynch in www.wrestlingheritage.com