K: Koltschak - Koroschenko
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
A once member of the French Foreign Legion the blonde haired German from Berlin visited Britain in the 1950s. The first visit was for a week in April 1952, with opponents Mike Marino, Bert Assirati, and Mick Casey.
Erich Koltschak returned in October 1957, the start of frequent visits during the remainder of the decade. Other than a few contests in the biggest halls of the north, Manchester's Belle Vue, Newcastle's St James Hall and Liverpool Stadium, matches were mainly in the south of England for Dale Martin Promotions.
Opponents were invariably top notch and included men of the calibre of Alan Garfield, Jack Pye, Gordon Nelson, Ray Apollon, Billy Joyce, Geoff Portz, Dara Singh and Tony Mancelli. The Italian Thunderbolt Mancelli had the distinction of unhinging a couple of Erich's teeth when they collided with his elbow.
1950s heavyweight visited Britain for a month in 1954, mainly in the south facing Mike Marino, Alf Rawlings, Don Stedman and Tony Mancelli. Worked in France as Eddy Kopoanian.
Here's a one off. Literally.
Heritage member PF1 remembered The Kopite for posterity. Just the one match in the professional ring, at the wonderful Liverpool Stadium no less, enough to make it into the A-Z. He was John Gorma who was timekeeper at the Floral Hall in Southport who had a disagreement with Count Bartelli on a Wednesday night show. Developments were made on the Friday evening when we are told Gorman pulled on a mask. PF1 tells the story: "Count Bartelli was due to fight Phil Pearson, the Kopite got in the ring with the White mask on and challenged Count Bartelli. He fought the Kopite first, after throwing him out the ring, he then beat Phil Pearson. Gorman's first name was John, he was a good friend of mine who I haven't heard from for many years. He may have done bits before this but he never really said, and never said anything after the Bartelli episode. Wrestling would be held at the Floral Hall Southport on a Wednesday evening, and most times you would get the same wrestlers on the Liverpool Stadium the following Friday night, with the locations being very close. You would find that the seconds and stewards that worked in Floral Hall Southport would also work in the Liverpool Stadium in some capacity. They had the disagreement in Southport on the Wednesday night, and two nights later Gorman was a steward in the Liverpool Stadium. Count Bartelli was on last against Phil Pearson, when Phil Pearson was making is way to the ring from the dressing room, Gorman joins him wearing a white mask he got in the ring and challenged Count Bartelli. Then things turned very nasty Count Bartelli throwing him out the ring and then he went on to beat Phil Pearson.
Middleweight of the 1960s and 1970s worked for the independent promoters mainly in the south of England.
Al Korman came to Britain, when he was just eighteen years old, at the start of his wrestling career. The Jewish heavyweight from Toronto travelled here and worked with his friend Whipper Watson between 1936 and 1939. He learnt the trade in Britain's all-in rings before taking his newly acquired skills back across the Atlantic.
Returned to Canada with the second world war looming, serving in the Royal Canadian Navy during hostilities. His career continued post war in North America until the mid 1950s, with his time shared with restaurant management in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Czech strongman was first seen in British rings in 1939. He fought with the British army in the Western desert and wrestled in Britain in 1946 before moving to Australia to open a restaurant.