J: Jons - Jourlin
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
Transatlantic travel was something of a rarity in the 1950s, but that didn’t stop London’s physical cultural marvel, David Jons, travelling to the USA and challenging the great Lou Thesz for his world heavyweight crown.
Although unlucky against Thesz the Londoner did go on to gain success in the United States, and held the Mid Western Heavyweight Title for some time after defeating Billy Goetz.. Prior to his wrestling career Muscle clad Jons won the “Mr London” title, and his muscular frame added to his appeal as a wrestler.
David was born on 5th February, 1922. He served in the Royal Air Force during the war. With such a splendid physique he was encouraged by Les Martin to take up wrestling and turned professional in 1947.
He proved something of a sensation as soon as he turned professional, with wins over many established stars leading to the chance to challenge Bert Assirati for the heavyweight crown at Ipswich in March, 1949.
We have around a dozen bouts recorded of Crawley's Joe Jordan in 1962-1963, all of them in the south for Dale Martin Promotions. Opponents included Ray Fury, Tug Holton and Harry Kendall.
The blond hair, athletic, muscular physique and pronounced cheek bones were sufficient to transform Streatham’s Fred Storer into the far more exotic sounding Kurt Jorgens. Billed as the “Swedish Wonder Boy,” Jorgens became a regular on the independent bills of London and the South East during the late 1950s. A frequent opponent was his old rival, Bert Lamb, whilst other opponents went on to gain greater fame than was destined for Fred. One fan with memories of Kurt told us that his over-riding recollection was of fans screaming abuse at the heavyweight villain as he punished Lamb by working on an old leg injury, something that seemed to happen with some regularity.
Born in 1933 Fred Storer turned professional in his mid twenties, having received encouragement from no less a man than the legendary Bert Assirati. In the colourful world of professional wrestling promoters were always seeking ways to add a touch of colour and glamour and Fred’s Scandinavian like appearance naturally led to the creation of Kurt Jorgens. Looks like his would be wasted on a simple Fred Storer when he could easily adopt a new nationality and the name of a famous film star. He trained in the now demolished boxing and wrestling gymnasium that could be found behind “The Gun” public house on Church Street, Croydon, and now the home of regular rock concerts. Despite frequent work Fred was to remain one of the lesser lights; one of the infantry without whom the likes of McManus, Pallo and all the other stars could not have existed. Called Fred or Kurt this Londoner is one of the unsung heroes that enriched Britain’s wrestling heritage.
Kurt Jorgens died in May, 2018.
One of the great names in French wrestling and a visitor to Britain in the late 1940s and 1950s. Born on 1st December, 1904 in Tare, Rhone, he won his first French championship in 1926 in the Greco-Roman style, winning the free style championship the following year. He was to go on to win a total of 15 French championship titles in both styles.
He represented France in the 1928 and 1936 Olympic Games, placed fourth on both occasions. He competed in the European championships from 1927 until 1945, after which he turned professional. He wrestled in Britain infrequently, mainly in the south of England.