M: Jim McCormack
Here’s a man still remembered by all who watched or wrestled him. Remembered by the fans as a great entertainer; remembered by opponents as “A bit of hard work.” Jim McCormack's father was a Scot, a tenant farmer who moved to England to work for the Marquess of Londonderry at his stately home, Wynyard Park, in County Durham.
In the ring Jim was an impressive sight, and that was before he started wrestling. There were more than a few comments from the crowd as the kilted Jim entered the hall, resplendent in his red trunks and boots with white socks. A nice touch those boots. Red to match the trunks with a slit to expose the white socks. This was the sort of attention to detail that impressed the old time promoters, as well as the fans, and established professional wrestling as a legitimate sport.
Jim, a middleweight of around thirteen stones with black wavy hair, would leap over the top rope, a clear indication of the excitement to follow. He was trained by Jim Stockdale, a man known for establishing discipline in his young proteges, and was a popular worker for independent promoters from 1961 until 1981.
"Clean and clever" was one of those overused, often meaningless phrases used by promoters on their posters. In the case of Jim McCormack it was true. A skilful wrestler he always wrestled within the rules and was popular with fans for his fast, all action style.
A whirlwind in fact, agile and athletic if thrown out of the ring quick as a flash Jim would leap right back in. There was no letting up. It was a style usually, but not always, appreciated by opponents. They enjoyed wrestling him because of his enthusiasm, agility and professionalism, but he could be difficult to handle in the ring, with one saying that wrestling Jim was like wrestling a JCB. Another commented that should he return home bruised after a night’s wrestling his wife would take one look and say, “You’ve been on with that McCormack again.”
In the 1980s, as wrestling's popularity was going into decline, Jim was one of the many who drifted out of the wrestling scene.
Gone, but remembered by fans of the north.