Mike Hallinan shared a photograph from his collection of Jack wearing a belt. The photograph is dated 1932 and was included in an article printed in the Sporting Arena in May, 1936 and reprinted below.
Although the most successful of professional wrestlers would wrestle five or six nights a week the champions would defend their championships only sporadically, once a month at the most, and often less frequently. In August, 1935, we find reference to a lightweight championship contest at Liverpool. We don't have a result for the match, but it does at least confirm some promoters recognised Jack as a British professional champion. The significance of this is that promoters would only permit champions they felt worthy of the title and were able to protect the integrity of holder and belt in the event of an opportunistic challenger attempting to take liberties.
Contestants were hard men and some of the matches were very violent, resulting in many councils banning wrestling in their halls. Accidents did happen, and injuries did occur.
One such occasion was in August, 1935, when Jack dislocated his shoulder whilst wrestling Syd Ingleson. Jack's seven year old daughter, Doris, was at ringside and witnessed her father thrown from the ring and injured.
Whilst many opponents were run-of-the mill he could, and did compete with some of those acknowledged as the very best, men like former Olympic wrestlers Harold Angus, Joe Reid and Norman Morrell.
Against Morrell, a competitor in the 1936 Olympic Games, the Morecambe Guardian reported:
"The best bout of the evening was between the two lightweights, Norman Morrell, who has represented England in the Olympic Games, and Jack Alker, the Lancashire Champion. For sheer clever wrestling this bout would be hard to beat. The two wrestlers gave a fine exhibition of scientific wrestling."
Similar comments could be found elsewhere:
"The contest between Jack Alker and Vince St Ajax was the most exciting bout."
(Derbyshire Times 17th April, 1936).
"Where serious wrestling was concerned the contest lost heavily by comparison with Babe Saxon and Jack Alker, ex British lightweight title holder."
(Nottingham Evening Post 19th October, 1937)
"After one of the best and most sporting contests seen at the Majestic Jack Alker beat Billy Dean by two falls to one. All the falls were cleverly obtained."
(Lancashire Evening Post 21st October, 1938)
In 1939 Jack was living in Tolker Street in Ince, still working as a coal hewer and still wrestling. A skilled, hard working man who used his not inconsiderable talents to provide for his family. Family consisted of his wife, Molly, a son of Molly's from her previous marriage, and their daughter, Doris.
With the outbreak of the Second World War wrestling tournaments in southern England were greatly reduced, but less so in the north. Wrestling proved useful as the Government sought to portray life as normal at home. Twice a week wrestling shows continued at Belle Vue, Manchester, and weekly in Newcastle, both halls at which Jack was well known. The Majestic Ice Rink at Preston and Madeley Street Baths, Hull were other regular venues for Jack where wrestling continued for much of the War.
We come across Jack wrestling for the last time in February 1947 at Blackpool Tower. By then he was forty years old and maybe it was just a case of time catching up with him.
Jack Alker died on 25th September, 1961, a few hours after one of his best friends, Scotty Ambrose.