WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history 

K:  Kangaroo Kennedy


Kangaroo Kennedy


Also known as Clyde Hurle


In the early 1960s promoter Paul Lincoln challenged the near monopoly of Dale Martin Promotions in southern England by creatively engaging a surprisingly small roster of veterans, newcomers and ovserseas visitors. When it came to the visitors Paul Lincoln certainly knew how to pick them; Ricky Starr, Quasimodo, Les Blousons Noir and Professor Adiwasser were all tempted to our shores. One of the best was Australian Kangaroo Kennedy, who would help to pack Lincoln’s halls as he tackled with the likes of Doctor Death, Gori Ed Mangotich, Quasimodo and Docker Don Stedman.

Lincoln brought Kennedy to Britain in 1964. His already colourful stable of wrestlers was joined by  a blond haired man climbing into the ring carrying a boomerang.  The man carrying the boomerang, which we all found pretty exotic back in 1964,  and unimaginitively named Kangaroo Kennedy. was  Australian Clyde Hurle.

In the case of Kennedy Lincoln knew just what he was bringing in to the country because the two men had a shared past. He knew that Kennedy was a skilled wrestler, with bags of experience an engaging personality and an exciting style that was not always to the fans liking. Both men came from Sydney, Australia, where they had started their wrestling career. Although Lincoln had left his home country in 1951, travelled almost directly to Britain and stayed put, Kangaroo Kennedy was a man forever on the move. Here was a man who lived out of a suitcase, trusted and respected by promoters all over the world.
Kangaroo Kennedy had all the prerequisites of a pro wrestler – he was big, skilfull, had the looks and a style that could arouse the emotions of the fans, “A rugged nightmare he is proving a nightmare to English officials” proclaimed the Paul Lincoln publicity machine.

He was an experienced wrestler when he visited Britain in 1964 for Paul Lincoln Management. Opponents included most of the Lincoln wrestlers such as Judo Al Hayes, Ray Hunter and Mike Marino.  As so often happened Joint Promotions stepped in to entice the pick of the Lincoln men, and this was the case when Kangaroo Kennedy went over to Joint Promotions in the Autumn of 1965, bringhing him into competition with top Joint men Billy Joyce, Dennis Mitchell and Bruno Elrington. What was a surprise to many British fans was that this wasn’t the Australian's first visit to Britain, he had wrestled in the country in 1955, using his family name of Clyde Hurle.

Back home Kangaroo Kennedy was a mainstay of George Gardiner’s promotions in the 1950s and 1960s. We have found him in on 20th  September, 1951, wrestling Leo Jensen in his hometown of Sydney.  In 1957 and 1958 he wrestled in the United States, in California, Texas and Hawaii. He returned to the United States in 1962 and 1964, and also worked extensively in Canada, sometimes using the name Clyde Kennedy.  Between those trips he maneaged to fit in a visit to Pakistan, where we find Kangaroo Kennedy wrestling in March, 1963 with Akram and Aslam Pahalawan amongst his opponents. We told you this man travelled.

In Britain he was billed as Australian heavyweight champion, and for once there was some truth in the billing. He was the last holder of the Australian heavyweight title which had existed since 1933. He never the the title, it just faded away when the American promoters took over the business. Following his time in Britain he returned to Australia before quickly moving on to Canada, the USA and a strenuous  tour  of Japan working practically every night between the end of March and beginning of May, 1966..

He returned to Australia where we last found him active in 1969. He retained an interest in wrestling, particularly helping youngsters, and continued to give demonstrations of his wrestling skills to youth clubs.

Kangaroo Kennedy, born 6th March, 1926,  died in Sydney on 19th October, 2002  aged 76.

Page added 18/10/2020