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J: Jowett - Jungle Boy

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Terry Jowett

For many fans Terry Jowett lived in the shadows of his tag partner Johnny Eagles. Eagles was the more experienced of the two, and it was he that gave the name to their successful tag partnership, the White Eagles.  None would say, though, that Jowett gave less than 100% and matched his illustrious partner in every aspect. Many would say that Jowett was the real worker of the team. Terry was one of the bright young stars of the early 1960s, a classy wrestler whose career stretched from the early sixties late into the 1980s. If covering your body in tattoos is considered a gimmick then Jowett was a gimmicky wrestler. The truth is he relied on nothing more wrestling ability and speed to make him a popular middleweight. He turned to wrestling following national service, losing to York’s Jim Grosert in that first professional bout. The first few years were spent gaining experience and it was a surprise to many when Eagles chose the inexperienced Jowett as his tag partner. That it was  a good choice is  beyond question.

Tom Jowett

Popular welterweight of the 1970s Tom Jowett began learning to wrestle as an amateur in 1965 at the Leeds Athletic Institute and later at the Doncaster YMCA. Tom turned professional in 1969 initially for the independent promotions. Hoping to work for Joint Promotions  Tom approached promoter George de Relwyskow who agreed to prepare the youngster.  It wasn't until the spring of 1971 that Tom got his chance for Joint Promotions. He soon became a regular worker throughout the north of England and Scotland,  He tagged  with Pat Lee as The Dons.

Bill Joyce

Read our extended tribute in Shining Stars: The Shy Shooter of the North

Brendan Joyce

We have just half a dozen bouts recorded for Brendan Joyce in the early 1960s, all of them in Smethwick.

Doug Joyce (also known as Whipper Wilson)

Doug Joyce was the Canadian-born mid-heavyweight title challenger from Rushden, the rule-bending brother of rule-abiding Ken. He was also mischieviously and misleadingly billed also as Whipper Wilson, deliberately to confuse with fellow Canadian world champion Whipper Billy Watson.  One of Doug’s major claims to fame was the time he flew headlong out of the ring in a televised bout only to smash right into Kent Walton causing him to have three stitches in the wound.

Joyce made his professional debut in 1948, closer to the lightweight division in those days than the heavyweight into which he blossomed. Early opponents included Jack Queseck, Pat Kloke, Johnny Lipman and Jim Mellor. 

During the 1950s Doug was a run of the mill light heavyweight until he shaved his head and changed his style. The result was an aggressive whirlwind with the ability to arouse hostile emotions amongst the fans.  He remained a significant figure in British wrestling until the 1970s.

Ken Joyce

Mention of the name Ken Joyce brings to mind one of the most skilled and respected wrestlers who brought credibility to our sport for more than three decades. A master of the counter hold Ken was reputed to have a solution for just about every wrestling hold conceivable. Like most of the lighter men of his class his entire career was spent way down the bill, often opening tournaments to entertain the fans with a bit of wizardry and prepare them for the colour and excitement to come. In other words, a man who deserves more recognition and celebration than many of those who come more readily to mind.

Born in Britain Ken was often associated with Canada because the family emigrated shortly after he was born in April, 1923. The family returned to Britain in 1936 when father Harry brought a group of Canadian wrestlers to Britain, amongst them a young Whipper Billy Watson.  Ken was already a skilled amateur wrestler. Although it has been reported that Ken turned professional in 1941, in Belfast against South African Ronnie Hurst we find find him (and brother Doug) wrestling regularly in Britain from April, 1948, the start of a long association with Dale Martin Promotions. One opponent that soon cropped up in the records, with whom Ken will be forever associated, is Eddie Capelli, with whom he tagged and claimed the European welterweight championship. On other occasions ken tagged with older brother, Doug, though the more aggressive and rugged style of Doug’s made them an incongruous pairing.

In 1959 Ken, along with George Kidd, Joe D’Orazio and Eddie Capelli, deserted Joint Promotions and went to work for the independents. He returned to Joint Promotions at the beginning of 1962 to continue an association that extended into the 1970s as a fine wrestler, and later referee.

Ken continued his involvement in British wrestling as a promoter and head of Devereux Promotions, a first class company started by Herbert Devereux, later taken over by his son Charles. Whilst Devereux strongly stated their credentials as independent promoters for much of their existence they had a close working relationship with Joint Promotions. This arrangement meant that Devereux fans were able to watch both independent and Joint Promotion wrestlers on the same bill, resulting in some extraordinary shows.

Related article: The Haunting in Armchair Corner at www.wrestlingheritage.com

Colin Joynson

Read our extended tribute in Shining Stars: The Bulldog Breed

Luis Enrique Edo Juan 

A trio of visits were made to the Uk between 1964 and 1966 by this popular Spanish heavyweight imported by Arthur Green on behalf of Joint Promotions.  A tall, skilful wrestler he came to our shores following a couple of  years experience in France. Apart from wrestling Edo Juan also played classical pieces on the piano and had studied law in Spain before turning professional wrestler.  In 1968 and 1970 he wrestled in Japan for the International Wrestling Enterprise (IWE) promotion, using the name Enrque Edo. David Sutherland recalls, “When Barry Douglas  fought Robert Duranton on television and the latter's servant began interfering it was Enrique Edo Juan who ran into the ring to help Douglas out. I saw Enrique once at Newcastle where he was most charming and friendly but claimed not to speak any English yet a few weeks later The Wrestler did a feature on him saying he was fluent in our language.”

Frank Judson

Frank Judson, born Frank Jedlenski, set foot in Britain for the first time in February, 1934, having crossed the Atlantic on the Europa with his friend Ivan Seric (Jack Sherry). Thirty-seven years old Frank did not wrestle in Britain at that time but was en-route to Johannesburg in South Africa. He returned to New York in July and was not back in Britain until 1936 when he  had only a few matches. He brought good  credentials as  trainer of wrestling at Harvard University.  By then he had been wrestling professionally for more than ten years, starting out in 1922. A very promising career was hampered by serious injury in the mid 1920s. For a while it remained very doubtful that he would return to the ring. He did make it back, but reports are that he no longer had the potential to make it to the top. In Britain he was given the opportunity to unmask the Masked Wrestler, who had been doing the rounds and unbeaten for about a year. Judson did his duty and revealed the face of the familiar Louis Pergantes after just fourteen minutes of wrestling..

Maurice Jung

In October 1970 French wrestler Maurice Jung, the self styled French Hippy was kind enough to pop over from his Parisien home to lose  to Jackie Pallo at the Royal Albert. He made a colourful sight in  his only London appearance with his bright blue tights, yellow silk tassles and an assortment of beads and bracelets. Pallo finished him off in the fourth round with a piledriver.

Jungle Boy

See the entry for The Mighty Chang