F: Fisher Brothers
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
London's East End is known for close knit family communities and one of those was the fighting Fishers who hailed from Poplar. Many Heritage readers will remember Arthur and Charlie, a couple of rumbustious light heavies who were still setting the rings afire in the first half of the 1960s. In the rings of south London the Fishers were very popular with fans and wrestled within the rules. Elsewhere they were not exactly villains but they were tough and rugged who more or less stayed inside the rules; hard men who gave no quarter and it wasn't unknown to find themselves admonished by the referee. The brothers had a boxing background before making money in the wrestling rings, and another thing they had in common was use of the name Sparks at the start of their careers.
Arthur was born in January, 1918, in Poplar, the son of a shipbuilder. When war broke out, in 1939, Arthur was working as a lorry driver, still a single man living at home. He was just starting out on his wrestling career in 1939 but any such plans were interrupted by the outbreak of war. At the outbreak of war Arthur was enlisted in the Army. It may well be that whilst serving Arthur was based in the north of England because we begin finding reports of him wrestling in Manchester, Newcastle and into Scotland in 1944, using the name Arthur Sparks at the time. Those reports from 1944 say the Arthur is a promising and skilful lightweight, whilst by the end of the decade he is matched with experienced men and firmly in the middleweight division. He joined a famous fighting family with big brother Charlie the British light heavyweight champion. By then most of Arthur's matches are in the south of England where he wrestled for most of his career. Never a top of the bill wrestler Arthur was a regular worker for a quarter of a century and fans have fond memories of his rugged, value for money style in both singles matches and as tag partner of brother Charlie.
Combat magazine of July 1948 said that Bert was one of the seven Fisher brothers, whilst The Wrestler magazine of May 1962 stated he had emigrated to Australia "several years ago." Other than that we can find no record of Bert Fisher's wrestling career.
Probably the most prominent of the Fisher family, four years older than Arthur. Charlie Fisher was born in 1914 and was wrestling in the All-In rings of Britain by the time he had reached his early twenties. One of the seven family Fisher brothers who started their sporting careers in a ring of a different kind, the boxing ring, and then turned to wrestling as the All In style became popular in the early 1930s.
Like the rest of the family Charlie was born in Poplar, but spent much of his life in Eltham, and was seen very much as a South London boy. A tough and rugged heavyweight, he usually just about stayed inside the rules. A report of a match in 1936 against Saxon Elliott tells us that after Charlie was disqualified he attacked the two seconds.
Following the Second World War Charlie was billed as British light heavyweight champion for a time. Charlie was one of the Fisher family who did enjoy travelling. In Britain he worked mainly in the south of England but he did travel overseas and worked on the Continent. After retiring from the ring in 1968 Charlie became a popular refreee and Master of Ceremonies for Dale Martin promotions, and could often be seen officiating on televsion.
Another of the seven Fisher boys, Eddie was wrestling by the mid 1930s and very active in the second half of the decade. We have been told he was forced out of wrestling due to injuries sustained during the Second World War.
Len was the eldest of the Fisher brothers boxed under the name Len Sparks before becoming a professional wrestler. Middleweight Len was wrestling by 1933 but seems to have done little following the war. He was serving as a referee by 1948 and was third man at Leyton Baths in the early 1960s. Another of the Fisher brothers about whom we would like to learn more.
Norman Fisher was born in Poplar, London, on 24th August, 1922. Just 17 years old at the outbreak of war he was working in a wireless shop and living at home with his parents and older brother, Arthur. We can find no record of Norman's wrestling career.
Yes, another of the fighting Fishers, Stan was forced into early retirement and went on to become a pub landlord in Essex.
Page reviewed 28/05/2019