D: Joe D'Orazio
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Most of those fans that still remember Joe think of the dapper referee who kept control of thousands of contests in the 1960s and 1970s. Before that Joe was a very popular wrestler who followed his cousin, Mike Marino, into the wrestling business.
With Italian parents Joe’s family name was Giusseppe Augusto Antonio Loreto Mario Scala. We can see why he shortened it! D'Orazio was his wife's maiden name. He was born in Bermondsey on 27th July, 1922 and turned professional fairly late in life as a result of a diversion called World War 2. Joe’s professional debut, in 1948 at Poole was against the visiting New Zealander, Russ Bishop. Jackie Pallo, Steve Logan, Vic Coleman, Johnny Peters and most other big names opposed Joe in his thirteen year career which reached an end in 1968 with a serious back injury.
Next came Joe's fondly remembered career as a referee, a stalwart amongst Dale Martin Promotions, and a regular referee at the Royal Albert Hall and across Europe. Behind the scenes Joe penned much of the Dale Martin promotional material under the name of Bob Scala, and co-authored “The Who’s Who of Wrestling,” a book of pen portraits of many big names, but mysteriously omitting some of the names that fans of the time expected.
Apart from wrestling and writing Joe's other loves are oil painting, reading and poetry. Two sportsmen admired by Joe are Yukio Tani, the Japanese judo expert who toured the music halls for many years, and the Olympic athlete Jesse Owens.
Page added 22/05/2019