H: Hardy - Harris
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
Birmingham lightweight Richard Hardy worked for the independent promoters in the 1970s.
The light heavyweight from Heywood turned professional following the second world war. In the late 1940s and 1950s he travelled up and down the country from Edinburgh to Plymouth wrestling the likes of Danny Flynn, Alf Cadman, Reg Williams and Jack Beaumont. Following the formation of Joint Promotions Bill was signed up by Joint Promotions and even made it to the Royal Albert Hall. Bill remained a busy worker until our last recorded match in 1964. He left one very worthwhile legacy, training the classy welterweight Terry Nylands.
Another “Irishman” on the independent circuit of the 1960s. Chances are he was more familiar with the streets of the West Midlands than any Irish town, because Cobber was from Nuneaton in Warwickshire. He learned to wrestle under the tutelage of Freddie Barnes at his gym in St Peters School in Yardley Street, Hillfields, Coventry. Cobber could, at times, be seen tag partnering another of Freddie’s men, Mick Macalasky (who wrestled as Sheamus O’Reilly), claimants of the Irish Tag Team Championship!
There was a short lived wrestling career for Glen Harris, the youngest son of the Plymouth Rock, Jackie Harris, and kid brother of heavyweight Judd Harris. Unfortunately for wrestling fans he was lost to the British army, serving for twenty years, initially in tanks and, following a road accident in Germany in a British army Land Rover, served in the medical corps. Glen Harris passed away in 2007.
Jackie Harris (Also known as Zoag Ffeiner)
Jackie Harris was “The Plymouth Rock.” Not of big stature he was certainly a very hard man who was held in fear by men twice his size. The exploits of Jackie Harris are talked about when wrestlers gather together to this day.
Although billed from Plymouth Jackie was actually born in Yorkshire, in Hebden Bridge, towards the end of the first world war before moving to the West country.
He began wrestling in 1935, adopting the name Bombardier Harris during the 1940s. He became even more exotic for a time in the early 1950's, using the name Zoag Ffenier.
His long career ended in 1963 when a ring accident resulted in a broken neck.
After retiring from active wrestling Jackie Harris became a popular referee, working for promoter Max Crabtree amongst others.
He was the father of Glen, Judd and Mike, all of who made their way in the wrestling world.
Jackie Harris died in 1968.
Big Jim Harris
The muscular and powerful American heavyweight, known also as The Mississpi Mauler came to Britain in 1981 to develop the skills learned in his apprenticeship years following a professional debut(as Sugar Bear harris) in 1978. He was a significant and powerful presence on the British scene developing some of the characteristics that were to take him on to greater fame when he returned to the United States as Kamala, the Ugandan cannibal. Whilst in Britain Harris defeated most of those in his path, many of whom were hardly top notch, but did come a cropper when facing more robust opponents such as Marty Jones, Pat Roach. Big Daddy, Mal Kirk, Wayne Bridges and an unfortunate March 1982 ending against Kwik Kik Lee when he broke his ankle. A sad footnote to Jim Harris' visit is that he was due to meet Mike Marino at Folkestone on 24th August 1981, the night that Marino was taken ill and died.
Judd Harris (Also known as Gunboat Harris, Baron Von Schultz)
Our memories of Judd Harris in the 1960s are of him reappearing sporadically when we were told that he had just returned from various exotic parts of the world. Fans of the late 1970s remember him as Gunboat Harris, and in the1980s he was transformed into Baron Von Schultz . Either way he is remembered as a bigm bruising heavyweight who turned to wrestling following a dalliance, like his father, with boxing. Father was the Plymouth Rock, Jackie Harris. Born in Plymouth Judd was brought up in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. On leaving school he joined the Royal Navy which not only enabled him to see the world but did add to his ring persona as the heavily tattooed, globe trotting wrestling sailor. On leaing the navy Judd turned professional, making his debut against Lee Sharoon.
Another of the famous wrestling family from Plymouth and latterly Hebden Bridge, Mick is the eldest son of the Pymouth Rock, Jackie Harris, and older brother of Judd. He emigrated to Australia where he wrestled under the name Peter Gabb.