British wrestling history 

L: Lipman - Lombardo


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Al Lipman

Times were hard in the 1920s  and 1930s, nowhere more so than the industrial communities of Britain. Al Lipman came from a hard background, Aldgate  in London’s east end. It was a battle to survive; youngsters grew up the hard way and learned to fend for themselves at an early age. It was a childhood that well prepared curly haired Al Lipman for the wrestling world. More interested in sport than the academic subjects at school Al’s first interest was  boxing and he joined a boxing club. A near neighbour of Al  was a hard Stepney wrestler called Harry Rabin.  From boxing Al went on to wrestle, and was taught the rudiments of the sport by Harry,  Al began wrestling professionally in 1935, though we find him for the first time in November, 1937, wrestling Len Ring at Chesterfield.  Some promoters took to billing him as Canadian, but this boy was London through and through. 

Al  quickly gained a reputation as a very fast wrestler and descriptions such as “Jack in the Box”    and “Live Wire”   accompanied his name on the posters. That’s not to say he was missing out in the aggression stakes. He certainly wasn’t as he acquired a  reputation to mix it when necessary. It was the speed, though, that made him distinctive and acquired him the names ““The Aldgate Flyer” or “The Jewish Flash” 

Al’s wrestling activities were inevitably restricted, but not curtailed, during the war whilst he served for his country. When peace resumed he returned to regular wrestling activities travelling up and down the country.  Following the end of the war BBC television resumed  a series of short wrestling demonstrations. On 26th May, 1947, Mick McManus made his first television appearance, his opponent was Al Lipman. Mick and Al were set to become frequent opponents in the late 1940s, with George Kidd a memorable rival in the early 1950s.   Following his retirement Al went into business and acquired a chain of clothing shops.

Johnny Lipman

Another Aldgate flyer who was active in the 1940s and 1950s.

Johnny was one of the first wrestlers to appear on television. In August,  1947 he was in the  BBC television programme, "I Want To Be A Wrestler," alongside fellow wrestlers Vic Coleman and  Saxon Elliot  with presenter McDonald Hobley. In the same year he was again on television, this time in wrestling matches opposing Jack Quesick and Percy Pitman.

In March, 1951 Johnny was one of the eight wrestlers competing in the British Empire Middleweight Championship Tournament in Wimbledon. He lost to New Zealander Russ Bishop in a tournament won by Vic Coleman.

The Liquidator

A low key 1970s masked man for the independent promoters, or more likely a name given to numerous wrestlers wearing a mask. One Liquidator was unmasked as Bob Lincoln, and we have heard that Carl Heinz was under the hood in the 1980s. The only intriguing aspect of this masked man was that he was for some reason featured in The Wrestler magazine.A low key 1970s masked man for the independent promoters, or more likely a name given to numerous wrestlers wearing a mask. One Liquidator was unmasked as Bob Lincoln, and we have heard that Carl Heinz was under the hood in the 1980s. The only intriguing aspect of this masked man was that he was for some reason featured in The Wrestler magazine.

Jack Little

Little in name, large in stature. Stratford upon Avon's Jack Little, oft Sergeant Little, was one of Jack Taylor's heavies in the 1960s  and first opponent of Pat Roach.

Little Prince

Yorkshire's Mohammed Alam  was a man who brought a dash of colour and more than a splash of sportsmanship to the rings of the 1970s. At the time new talent was in short supply in British rings and Mohammed Alam was one of the hopes for the future.  He wrestled as the Little Prince, and his good nature in the ring made him just that for the fans who watched him in the rings of  northern England and Scotland. Apart from a good nature, and an ability to wrestle The Little Prince  was an immensely strong wrestler of short stature  with an enormous chest.  Television fans enjoyed seeing him in action well over a dozen times, including a 1981 Cup Final day drawn result with Tally Ho Kaye.

Iron Man Steve Logan

His appearance gave Steve Logan little choice, he just had to be a villain. Obligingly, he sneered at fans from behind his straggly hair, showing obvious pleasure from the delivery of lethal forearm smashes and the application of each submission hold, of which there were many. Despite being overshadowed by his high profile tag partner many consider the Brixton hard man, Steve Logan, to be far more versatile and exciting than McManus. Without the burden of a seemingly invincible record to protect, Logan was the one who could  take the chances to leave open the possibility of defeat, though it rarely happened. Logan's Cup Final Day televised 1965 bout with Ricki Starr goes down as one of the most celebrated monochrome matches ever. Defeats that did occur were often the result of disqualification, but they served only to add to his fearsome reputation, and for fans of the sixties and seventies that meant he was the hardest of hard men.  The surprising highlight of his competitive career came when in 1975 he managed to relive old foe Bert Royal of the British Heavy-Middleweight championship for a few months.

Related article: On The Trail of Steve Logan in www.wrestlingheritage.com

Steve Logan (Birmingham)

Around 1980 wrestling fans were surprised to find that the Steve Logan appearing in the ring that night was not the long haired iron man we had grown accustomed to booing but a clean-cut newcomer who was nothing like his famous namesake. Whilst we may speculate whether or not this was a promoter's ploy to mislead the fans we can offer a case in the young Birmingham wrestlers defence. Firstly, Steve Logan was his real name. Secondly, the original had retired shortly before (though many fans were unaware of this), and thirdly, the boy could wrestle. In the 1980s he continued to improve and was one of the top prospects of the decade. Had British wrestling managed to reverse it's terminal decline we may well have been cheering on British champion Steve Logan to this day. We all know that things didn't turn out quite like that. Steve wrestled throughout the 1980s, in Britain and overseas, including a spell for Stampede Wrestling in Canada. In the 1990s he turned his considerable skill to training youngsters how to wrestle and promoting professional wrestling under the KStar Promotions name. 

Guy Lombardo

Guy Lombardo was  a familiar name to wrestling fans of the 1950s. A worker for Atholl Oakeley and later Dale Martin Promotions he faced some of the best in the business - Mike Marino, Count Bartelli, Gordon Nelson and Geoff Portz.   In 1953 he wrestled Milo Popocopolis at the Royal Albert Hall, one of the last shows promoted at the venue by Atholl Oakeley.

Tiger Louis Lombardo

Muscular heavyweight of the 1960s and 1970 Tiger Louis Lombardo was another fvourite who learned the trade on the independent circuit before being signed up by Joint Promotions. Born in Jamaica, or so we w ere told, Louis lived in Birmingham and trained during his amateur days at the Birmingham Athletics Institute. A popular, strong, skilfull wrestler but he never made it into the top grade.