C: Eddie Capelli
When we watched the wrestling in the 1960s it seemed that Eddie Capelli had been around forever. We weren't far wrong. London born Eddie Capelli was a stalwart of British wrestling for around thirty years. He was a class act and he's a man about whom we should know far more. Apart from the questionable evidence of the wrestling publications we have found no knowledge of Eddie.
The Wrestler magazine told us Eddie was born on 28th January, 1927; but even that we can't confirm and have no idea of his birth name. Genealogist Ron Historyo has not found a Capelli born on that date and the only Edward born in London on that day has been ruled out. Ron did find Eddie Capelli marrying Avril Loxton in 1981, and Eddie's widow was Avril.
We are more confident he had his first professional bout in 1947 and two years later he succeeded Harold Angus as the new British welterweight champion.
In 1949 Eddie Capelli won a tournament at Maidstone to acquire the belt that had been held by the deceased Harold. On winning the championship Eddie Capelli revealed that as a youngster it was a contest at Blackfriars between Harold and George French that had inspired him to take up wrestling.
Our confidence evaporates at that point. Many references state he lost the title to Mick McManus in 1952. Yet our research shows that McManus was billed as champion in January, 1951, and Arena magazine of February, 1951 refers to Capelli as a former champion.
We can conclude that wherever the start and end of his championship reign it was only short.
But this is wrestling, and titles didn't really matter that much.
There was one other fleeting whiff of honours. When Eddie, George Kidd and Joe D'Orazio hopped over to the independent promoters to form Matsport Promotions Eddie was again nominated British welterweight champion. When that rebellion fizzled out a unification contest with Joint Promotions champion Jack Dempsey at the Royal Albert Hall on 21st February, 1962 saw British championship aspirations once again extinguished.
In the 1960s and 1970s he remained popular, and his change of nature to become a baddie of the ring never quite seemed to ring true. Our 1960s and 1970s memories are of a good supporting role wrestler, still coasting on that championship status touted by television commentator Kent Walton.
Good guy Eddie did help raise money as part of the Lord Taverners Cricket Team. Our memories found Eddie in the preliminary contests, often providing a stepping stone for future stars, no less a star for that role.
Eddie retired from the ring around 1976. In 2003 widow Avril accepted a Hall of Fame award on his behalf from the British Wrestlers Reunion.
Page added 08/05/2022