R: Frank Rimer
The name Frank Rimer is one that will forever be inextricably linked with the British Wrestlers Reunion, an annual gathering of hundreds of former wrestlers and enthusiasts to celebrate the glory days of British wrestling. For more than a dozen years on the second Sunday in August Frank could be found dashing around, making sure everything was running to plan, pausing only to take to the microphone and smoothly move on the days events.
Frank’s involvement in the Reunion organisation began in 1997, working alongside Wayne Bridges, Joe D’Orazio and Tony Scarlo. Eventually he took the lead role in organising the event, and under his stewardship it became one of the world’s biggest reunions, second only to America’s Cauliflower Alley Club.
Managing the Kent Reunion was only one aspect of Frank’s life as his contribution to professional wrestling was varied and far reaching. Wrestler, promoter, Master of Ceremonies, referee, trainer, here was a man who did it all.
Born in 1944 Frank was brought up by his mother from nine years of age when his father was killed in a car crash. Frank Senior was just thirty-three years old when his car hit a wall in Northfleet, killing himself, his neighbour and seriously injuring their wives.
Wrestler Johnny Yearsley became a family friend after saving the eleven year old when when he got into difficulties whilst swimming. Johnny encouraged Frank with his swimming and invited him around to the gym at his home, where he learned the rudiments of wrestling.
His wrestling education continued at the Viking Amateur Wrestling Club and later the Sparta Club. The transition from the amateur ranks to the professional halls came via the fairground booths of Mickey Kylie. From the booths Frank started to receive bookings from the independent promoters around southern England. A few bookings from Joint Promotions came his way in the mid 1960s but Frank had bigger things on his mind.
In 1969 Frank, Ray Fury and Tony Scarlo formed the cheekily named Independent Joint Promotions and began to promote shows around southern England. For a few years they made quite an impact and made use of many well known names that included the Wild Man from Borneo, Butch Mason and the Borg twins.
Another string was added to his bow in 1998 when Frank and Tony Scarlo founded the Dropkixx Wrestling Academy which grew into the largest wrestling school in Britain.
We said at the outset that Frank Rimer had done it all. We haven’t even mentioned the judo, the rock ‘n’ roll promoting, karate, body building and his love of gardening.
Frank Rimer died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of the morning on 12th February, 2021.
Page added 14/02/2021