WRESTLING HERITAGE

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G: Georgieff - Ghevaert

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Ivanov Georgieff (Assen Georgieff)
A giant of a man who claimed to stand seven feet tall and weigh twenty-five stones.  Georgieff worked in Britain during 1954, known as Ivanov on Dale Martin promotions and Assen when working for the northern promoters. The Bulgarian had been around European rings for about twenty years, and we have one unconfirmed report of one appearance in Britain for Atholl Oakeley at Harringay in 1951. Opponents in his 1954 tour included Dave Armstrong, The Ghoul, Dai Sullivan and Francis St Clair Gregory. It was reported that more than 500 fans were turned away from a packed Caird Hall, Dundee in March, 1954. when Georgieff wrestled The Ghoul. For once the Ghoul met his match in the villainy stakes, with Georgieff disqualified in the second round for attempting to strangle the Ghoul.

Laurent Gerstmans
European heavyweight champion from Belgium came to Britain in 1933 to wrestle Douglas Clark at the Headingley Rugby League ground in Leeds. The match, billed as the All-In Heavyweight Championship of the World, was reported to have attracted 10,000 spectators. For a man of nineteen stones Gerstmans was said to be very nimble. The match ended in a draw after six ten minute rounds.  A return match was arranged for 24th July, which Clark won in the fourth round.European heavyweight champion from Belgium came to Britain in 1933 to wrestle Douglas Clark at the Headingley Rugby League ground in Leeds. The match, billed as the All-In Heavyweight Championship of the World, was reported to have attracted 10,000 spectators. For a man of nineteen stones Gerstmans was said to be very nimble. The match ended in a draw after six ten minute rounds.  A return match was arranged for 24th July, which Clark won in the fourth round

Claude Gessat
The black jackets worn by the fiery Claude Gessat and tag partner, Marcel Mannevau (the one with the moustache), as they swaggered towards the ring gave a far from subtle hint about their wrestling style. The two Frenchmen were disliked by the British fans from their first venture across the English channel at the invitation of independent promoter Paul Lincoln. 

Lincoln challenged the stronghold of the mighty Joint Promotions in the first half of the 1960s by carefully crafting wrestling bills from a fairly small stable of veteran wrestlers, novices and imported stars. Gessat and Mannevau were part of that appealing cocktail as they faced the good guys Kirkwood, Marino, Larsen and so on.

Like many others Joint Promotions belatedly realised the qualities of the French pair and brought them over to their rings.  British fans, or the promoters,  couldn't be bothered with the linguistic niceties of translating their "Les Blousons Noirs" name and  the two villains became collectively known as The French Teddy Boys. 

Gaston Ghevaert
French heavyweight champion brought to Britain by promoter Atholl Oakeley and spent most of 1935 working in Britain, opponents including top Britons Bulldog Bill Garnon, Ray St Bernard and George Gregory as well as international opposition Rik De Groote and Guillame Estelles. Following the Second World War Oakeley brought the French wrestler back  to wrestle in the World Heavyweight Championship tournament held at Harringay in 1947.  Gheveart beat Jim Foy  in the opening round, Francis St Clair Gregory in the quarter final, and lost to Bert Assirati in the semi final; each of them one fall contests.