British wrestling history 
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H: Haward - Heffernan

Wrestling Heritage A-Z

Hurricane Keith Haward (Also known as Pete Heywood)
Hurricane Keith could well have been a household name for years to come had it not been for the demise of tv wrestling. In the 1980s he was one of the few new entrants that didn't just ooze class but could engage the fans; a wonderful antidote to the shenanigans going on in many matches at the time..

Keith Haward was born on 28th June, 1951. He came to the professional ring with first class amateur credentials, having  represented his country in the 1976 Olympic Games in  Montreal and the 1978 Commonwealth Games. In the Olympics Keith lost his first two matches to the Romanian Marin Pircalabu and Jarmo Overmark of Finland,  leading to his elimination., but won a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games  Turning  professional  he soon became Hurricane Haward and by the early 1980s he was established as a top class professional.

He was three times holder of the European Middleweight title as the belt was passed between Keith, Mal Sanders and Clive Myers between 1979 and 1987. 

But fans will be most likely to remember him in action with Jon Cortez - one of the most frequent match-ups in wrestling history.

Jack Hayden
Our knowledge of Jack Hayden is limited, but we have uncovered a substantial number of contests between December, 1936 and December, 1943 to make him worthy of inclusion and further investigation.  Said to be a heavyweight and usually billed from New Zealand or Australia, though we have one reference to Manchester. In the seven years of wrestling almost all matches were in Northern England, and suggest a Manchester abode seems likely.  Searches for an Australian or New Zealander of that name proved futile. An Australian boxer of that name can be ruled out due to an overlap of dates.. We do find a Jack Hayden wrestling in Australia in 1952. Irrespective of any connections we can tell you that reports suggest Jack Hayden was a rough wrestler, frequently disqualified. One report tells of Jack attacking the referee repeatedly as early as the first round.
Judo Al Hayes 
Read our extended tribute: Close To Perfection

Buster Hayes
George Andrew Hayes hit Britain in March, 1937. He arrived ,in Liverpool from Nova Scotia, accompanied by his friend Carl Van Wurden. He was 29 years old and wrestled in Britain for just over a year, using the names Buster and Butcher Hayes. He departed from Southampton on 16th  April, 1938, destined for New York. Ron Historyo has discovered that Buster and Carl Van Wurden were regular opponents, working together in Blackpool, Exeter, Newcastle, and no doubt many other places.

Chunky Hayes
One of wrestling’s characters who didn’t make it to the big time but played an important role in the wrestling scene.  

Born in Wombwell, a mining town near Barnsley Chunky had a background training boxers before turning to wrestling. 

As a promoter he used the biggest names on the independent circuit, including Dwight J Ingleburgh and Karl Von Kramer.  Chunky was a driving force behind women’s wrestling in the 1960s, Naughty Nancy Barton and Lolita Loren amongst his proteges. He is fondly spoken of by those who remember him.  Wherever those that knew him gather together  the stories about Chunky begin to flow, often about the rickety bus in which he transported his workers,  the wig he wore in the ring, or the instruction to wrestlers staying at his home to not leave their bedroom because  he let the alsations loose at night for security, and a good few stories we wouldn’t dare to repeat.

Tony  Hayhurst

A young farmer from Milnthorpe in Westmorland who found success in the Cumberland and Westmorland style, in which he was champion. Not surprising really as he was from the family of legendary Cumberland and Westmorland wrestler Gilpin Bland. Tony took up Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling in 1949, and won the Under 18 Championship at Armathwaite in 1953, and the 14st title at Dalston in 1957. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Edgar, who was a Cumberland and Westmorland champion for many years. Tony's C&W success was followed by a short lived professional career that began in January 1962 and was cut short by injury a few months later. The Hayhurst family is still actively involved in Cumberland and Westmorland style wrestling.

Tony Hayhurst died in 2018.

Johnny Hayles
See the entry for  John Kowalski

The Headhunter
See the entry for  N'Boa The Snakeman

Ted Heath
Read our extended tribute: Hooker

Joe Heaton
See the entry for   Jose Cadiz

Roy Heffernan
One half of the world famous Fabulous Kangaroos tag team, Roy Heffernan, visited Britain in 1953 and again in 1955. The 1953 tour was mainly in Northern England but in 1955 he travelled more extensively. Opponents included Jack Pye, Dave Armstrong and a Royal Albert Hall bout with the German Hermann Iffland.

In 1957 Heffernan went to Canada to work for Stu Hart’s Stampede Promotion. It was here he was re-acquainted with Al Costello and the two of them formed the Fabulous Kangaroos tag team. From 1957 until 1965, Heffernan and Costello played a leading role in popularising tag team wrestling. When the tag partnership ended Heffernan returned to Australia in 1965 where he continued wrestling for WCW as a villain, appearing in main events on par with the visiting American  stars, with wins over Curtis Iaukea and Karl Gotch. Later demoted, quite wrongly in some eyes, to a preliminary worker Roy was required to do his duty when facing American visitors. He retired in 1972, becoming a referee for the WCW and on the club circuit. A brief comeback in 1973 and began promoting independently in 1975.

Roy Heffernan died of a heart attack in Sydney on 24th September, 2002, aged 67.
Page updated 06/01/2020: Roy Heffernan entry revised