R: Llew Roberts
Llew Roberts joined the professional wrestling ranks in the early 1960s; born in 1937 he was in his mid twenties, “A bit late getting into the business” was his own admission. Late maybe, but not too late to become a favourite for the following fifteen years. Not the most readily remembered of names admittedly, as Llew did most of his work for the independent promoters. They kept the Crewe based wrestler busy, though, as it was possible to work two, occasionally three times, a night around the Manchester Clubs.
Originally from Criccieth in Wales Llew’s family moved to Crewe whilst he was a child and he attended Bedford Street School. A good natured man he had a clean, scientific style which made him a popular figure in the north and midlands during the 1960s until the late 1970s.
Perseverance was needed for Llew to succeed. Perseverance and guts. Fellow wrestler Eddie Rose told us of Llew’s difficult start; “Llew first entered the ring as a very raw but enthusiastic debutant and got a serious beating from the unflinching Jack Lang; cuts,blood, and stiches. Lang did not give him a drink of water.”
Undeterred Llew sought the advice of wrestler Alec Burton and consequently joined the gymnasium of Grant Foderingham, the Black Panther. Foderingham’s wrestling pedigree went back to the 1930s and he was responsible for training many Manchester based wrestlers of the 1960s, amongst them Pete Curry, Eddie Rose. Mike Jordan, Ezra Francis and Alf Marquette.
After a couple of years under the Black Panther’s guidance Llew could hold his own with anyone on the northern circuit, having great clashes with The Zulu, Pete Lindbergh, Mel Riss and even Jack Lang. One aspect of wrestling that Llew did not take to was tag team wrestling, which he avoided on all occasions unless called in as a last minute substitute.
Apart from coming across Llew in the wrestling ring we also found his name in wrestling publications as a photographer.
Llew worked for independent promoters for most of his career, including Jack Oatley, Jack Cassidy, Unique Promotions and John Ford. Eventually he was invited to work for Joint Promotions, mostly for Wryton Promotions, where he faced the likes of Jackie Robinson, Alan Wood and Len Ironside. A serious head injury occurred during a bout against Ray Steele at Cardiff resulting in hospitalisation for some time.
Injuries aside they were good years for Llew, finally hanging up his boots around 1977.
Llew Roberts died on 12th January, 2015.
Page added 10/08/2019