WRESTLING HERITAGE

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G: Gilmour - Ginsberg

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Ian Gilmour
Another of the glamour boys of British wrestling. With the gold boots, purple trunks and  ponchos it could only have been the 1970s! Yes, this was Ian Gilmour, often partnered by another popular middleweight, Jeff Kaye. Gilmour was born in Dumfries, but was more often associated with Middlesbrough, where he made his home. 

He trained at St Lukes Matmen under the watchful eye of Norman Walsh. Starting out on the professional road in July, 1962 losing to Frank Robb at Newcastle.  His speed, skill and looks were quickly to establish him as a fans favourite. Here was a boy who looked just too good to be true. 

Regular television exposure established him as a national favourite, but despite his wrestling skill he was destined to remain in the shadows of McManus and Pallo. Yet, as we’ve told readers many times before,  there would have been no McManus or Pallo without unsung  heroes such as Ian Gilmour.

In the later years of his career Ian worked for independent promoters, sometimes assuming the identity of masked men Mark Question and Kung Fu.In the later years of his career Ian worked for independent promoters, sometimes assuming the identity of masked men Mark Question and Kung Fu.

Abe Ginsberg
How could a black leather helmet arouse such anger amongst the wrestling public? 

But it did. The helmet, the leotard and the beard were enough to tell the fans that here was a first class villain even before the opening bell rang. Not long into the first round Ginsberg’s dastardly tactics would confirm the fans’ views, and soon they would be screaming at his opponent to remove the helmet. As was often the case the personality outside the ring was a very different matter. Peter Abe Ginsberg was known as a kind, generous man, with a shrewd business brain, his wife joked that Peter would have enjoyed his funeral "He'd have loved it, with all its colour and fun - a celebration of his life. The only grievance he would have had was not charging a quid at the door."  That Abe Ginsberg was a collector of antiques, a successful businessman, and a highly intelligent and well-read man will not surprise any of his fans. Nothing he did would surprise them, inside or outside the ring.

My Friend, by Tony Francis

Peter Ginsberg died on November 6th 2001,at home in Prestbury,Cheshire.

He was a remarkable man,a fine wrestler,and a terrific showman.Born in pre war Manchester,he was brought up by his Granny until he joined the Navy as a very young man. After leaving the navy,he found himself fighting on the fairgrounds against all comers,a wonderful education for the career he was about to undertake.

A chance encounter with the legendary Jack Atherton led to “ABE” becoming the founder of the legendary Black Diamonds tag team.Wrestling fans of a certain age will remember that his first partner was John Foley.a dour Wiganer,who complemented Ginsberg perfectly.His second partner was Eric Cutler,himself a highly skilled grappler,and I was honoured to be chosen as the last member,after Eddie Rose.

Peter had a special gift…when he spoke,everyone listened. I can hear him now,with that distinctive lisp,doing his Pied Piper act outside the wrestling booth that me and my partner, (the wonderful Bobby Baron) ran at the Pleasure Beach in Blackpool. He often had crowds of hundreds hanging on his every word,as he introduced the motley crowd of wrestlers awaiting challengers.

Abe Ginsberg had the Midas touch,he built up a portfolio of property in Manchester valued in the millions.He had his own show on Radio Picadilly,and also small parts in various TV shows.

I was delighted to be his best man when he married the love of his life, the beautiful Pauline, in a marvellous wedding in his home town,with the fabulous reception in a vast marquee at his home.Peter went on to father two lovely children, Adam and Beth, who were the light of his life.

It was an honour and to have known Peter Ginsberg,he taught me a lot about the wrestling business, about life,and people.

To me,he was the perfect mentor.

More importantly, he was my friend.