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D: Dean - Delmar

Wrestling Heritage A-Z

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Aussie Dean

See the entry for  Otto Acron

Danny Dean

Irish 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.

Dennis Dean

Australian light heavyweight Dennis Dean was born in Hobart in 1934. A collection of jobs that included Sheep shearing and cattle driving led up to a professional wrestling career that began in Sydney in 1954. Five years later, in the Autumn of 1959, he made his debut for Joint Promotions and was set to become a full time worker,  mainly in the south, for the next half dozen years. In 1962 he followed in the footsteps of numerous other Joint Promotion workers and moved over to the independents. He continued to work regularly until the end of 1965 but disappeared from the circuit following the Paul Lincoln merger with Dale Martin in January, 1966. On occasions he would tag with fellow Australian, Aussie Dean (known in Joint Promotion rings as Otto Acron) and also worked with Otto as part of his circus strong man act, when they were known as the Acron brothers. The two of them bought a Russian brown bear, who Dennis named Igor, and they would wrestle him as part of their circus act.

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 holidy 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.

Deep River

Gian Chand was a colourful character who we remember first seeing in the summer of 1969 whilst working for Wryton Promotions, though he had been working for the independent promoters in the midlands for a few years before then. He was known as Deep River and  worked for the independent and Joint Promotions from the 1960s until the 1980s, the move from the independents to Joint Promotions coming in April, 1969 under the guidance of Wryton promotions Director Martin Conroy. Deep River's opponents included some of the top lightweights, Johnny Saint, Jim Breaks and Zoltan Boscik amongst them, and we remember a cracking bout with Boscik in Southport during the summer of 1971. An all action wrestler with a rather nifty drop kick speciality. Despite the occasional win over the big names, and frequent victories over others, Deep River was never given the "big push" by the promoters. Still working for Joint Promotions in 1976 he was  back with the independents by 1978. We find him for the last time in November, 1983, losing to World champion Johnny Saint in Birmingham. There may have been a few more matches following that, but retirement came soon afterwards.  Gian Chand went on to become licensee of a public house in the Hockley area of Birmingham. He died in 1990, survived by his wife and three children.

Joel DeFremery

See the entry for  Vicomte Joel de Noirbreuil

Lucien DeGroote 

1959 heavyweight visitor who met the big  named UK heavyweights such as Dennis Mitchell, Tibor Szakacs and Billy Joyce

Gerry DeJager

He looked in trouble, but then delivered the kind of magic that was not an illusion. Without warning, and seemingly from any direction South African Gerry de Jager would execute  a perfectly placed  drop-kick. 

Although a master of all the holds for Gerry the drop-kick was his jewel in the crown, delivered with a speed that meant it was always a surprise weapon used to devastating effect. 

He was a big, powerful man and his speciality combined that power with a natural agility and speed that belied his stature.   The popular 1960s heavyweight was said to have the fastest knock-out win on record, just twelve seconds. 

Born in the Orange Free State, South Africa Gerry worked on his father's farm as a youngster, building up the strength and physique that was to prove invaluable in his chosen career. Gerry took up amateur wrestling in 1945, turned professional in 1948 and came to Britain in 1951. 

For the best part  of the next twenty years but always returned to Britain where he was welcomed by fans.  

Guy De John

See the entry for  Jack Taylor

Mike Delaney

Irish all-in wrestler of the 1930s with a career spanning over twenty years which continued  post war until the mid 1950s, and later as referee

Roger Delaporte

Visitors from across the English Channel were common throughout the twentieth century. Roger Delaporte was a first class villainous French wrestler who came our way for a month in the spring of 1958.  

Roger travelled extensively during his visit, even venturing across the sea to Northern Ireland to go down to Dennis Mitchell. 

Opponents were of the highest calibre: Mitchell, Dazzler Joe Cornelius, Mike Marino,  Tibor Szakacs amongst them.

Two years later Roger Delaported  was to become one of the top promoters in France, a position he was to hold for a quarter of a century. He could still be seen in the ring on occasions, officiating as referee.

When not wrestling Roger  appeared in a number of French films, authored numerous books and was a restaurateur. 

Roger Delaporte died in 2009, aged 81.  

Tiger DeLisle

French wrestler Tiger Tim DeLisle was born in Marseilles  on 7th May, 1905, but moved to Montreal in Canada  when he was just six years old. He took up amateur wrestling aged seventeen and seven years later turned professional, having been taught the professional style by Eugene Tremblay, one of the world's top lightweights at the time.   Our earliest record of the Tiger in Britain is in March, 1933, and from then on he seems to be a permanent fixture until shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.  One of the lighter men Tiger had some cracking bouts in Britain against Harold Angus and Mike Howley. Enjoyed and respected by the fans his rough style, sometimes outside the rules, did little to endear him to the British public. From the autumn of 1939 and throughout the Second World War DeLisle wrestled in Canada. He returned to Britain following the second world war in 1948 and 1949, with our last recorded match in Canada in 1955.

Wally Delmar

Wally was a one-eyed exiled Channel Islander who lived near Strangeways Prison in Manchester. Five and half feet tall (he said) and a typical bantam cock of a lightweight bristling with ideas and ambition. he trained at the Balck Panther gym and wrestled just about everyone under fourteen stone: Ian St John, Johnny Clancy, Tiger Delmonte, Ali Gil, Shem Singh, Mark Wayne, Mad Dog Wilson, Eddie Rose, Cyril Knowles, Jack Dempsey, Gustav LeBrun and, I do belive, Johnny Saint in a tag bout.


Wally worked on Matt Moran's fairground wrestling booth for years and could handle himself in a tight spot against any one. His unfulfilled ambition was to get in the ring with Mick McManus. He did once jump the ring on Jackie Pallo and they had a ten second dust-up before being separated by the referee and seconds.


Wally had lost the sight of his left eye and being driven by him to wrestling shows always filled the lads with trepidation as he was forever turning round to engage the back seat passengers in conversation. No real worries he was a lorry driver by profession. After training he loved nothing better than a couple of pints of Tetley bitter and a good old yarn about past bouts.