British wrestling history 
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M: morris - Munroe

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Cyril Morris
Heywood's Cyril Morris was a wrestler with outstanding amateur credentials who went on to learn the rough and tough of Lancashire catch wrestling. Nonetheless, he brought to the wrestling rings of the 1940s a pure and scientific style  that went down well with the fans. Weighing in at around fourteen stones he became a regular feature of rings in the late 1940s, opposing fellow northerners Jack Keegan,  George Goldie, Val Cerino and the like. He was also one of the earliest opponents for the newly hooded Count Bartelli,  recently returned from service in the far east in 1948. Coincidentally he was also one of the first opponents for Bartelli's hooded protege, Kendo Nagasaki, in 1965. 

During his  twenty year career he ventured northwards into Scotland but rarely seems to have travelled south of Birmingham. Cyril was the first opponent Albert Wall when the Doncaster man made his professional debut. In the early 1960s he pulled on a mask of his own,  Billed as "A Master of Wrestling", The Professor first appeared in rings during the Autumn of 1962, and remained undefeated with mask intact for several years. Heritage member Adrian Pollard said:" Clad from top to toe in red and claiming to be the Master of the 'Art of Scientific Wrestling' this Professor put together quite a String of Victories! Arriving to the Ring in Academic Gown and Mortar Board-He proved to be an unusual sight indeed!"

David Sutherland also saw Cyril Morris wrestling in a mask, "I was quite surprised to see a masked man who wrestled within the rules. Secondly it was widely accepted that the man under the mask was Cyril Morris. I never saw Mr Morris wrestle without the mask but the lady who sat behind me had The Professor pegged as Cyril Morris from the way he stood in the corner in between rounds, a significant stance with all his weight on his forward facing right leg."

Cyril Morris  was a favourite of Wryton Promotions, and was wrestling right up to his sudden death in 1968, also refereeing for Wryton  towards the end of his career

Jumping Jim Moser
Read our extended tribute: A Prince Amongst Men

Geoff Morris
The wrestling world may well have forgotten Geoff Morris had it not been for Eddie Caldwell who wrote about the man who claimed to be Britain’s strongest pensioner in 1972. At the time sixty eight year old Geoff was touring the north performing his strong man feats. In the days before he became one of the world’s great strand pullers, and that’s according to the great David Gentle. In 1957 we find him world champion bar and nail breaker. Geoff was an all-in wrestler of the 1930s, training with Billy Riley and sharing a  ring with the likes of Jack Alker, Black Butcher Johnson and Jack Atherton. Geoff concentrated on body building after retiring from the ring. Geoff Morris died in 1977.

Alan  Muir
Bonnie Alan Muir was the “Prince Charming” of the mat world. An Australian from Melbourne, born as Alan Holmes on 28th November, 1907, he educated was at the prestigious Melbourne Grammar School, his father had plans that Alan should become a doctor, following in his own footsteps.  Alan would have none of it and became a clerk in an accounts department. As an amateur wrestler he won  the Victoria heavyweight championship in 1929 and 1930, and was runner up in the 1930 Australian championship.

Abruptly leaving his job as a clerk he travelled to America to learn the professional style, making his debut in October, 1930.He returned to Australia briefly in 1932-33 and  was a  finalist with Tom Lurich for the newly created version of the Australian Heavyweight title at Leichhardt  Stadium. Lurich emerged the winner and Alan Muir set off on  his travels once again to arrive in Britain in May, 1935. King Curtis, Bulldog Bill Garnon, Jack Sherry all faced the skillful Australian, who by 1938 was claiming the title of British heavyweight champion. With the outbreak of war he returned to Australia to serve in the Australian Air Force.

In 1942 he wrestled Leo Jensen for a version of the Australian heavyweight title vacated by Fred Atkins. Again Alan came off second best. Indeed we are told he challenged almost every champion during the decade but was always the bridesmaid and never the bride.

When he retired from wrestling Alan Muir continued  as a referee. He died on 12th June, 1977.
Bruiser Ian Muir
In a world of giants and monsters Ian Muir is another under-rated star of wrestling who deserves greater attention.

He had an unquestionably great grizzly look that belied his youth, and it is no surprise he was quickly snapped up for advertising of all kinds, not to forget a small part in the film Time Bandits. In the ring, he stuck to trunks, which did a valiant job holding his stocky girth together.  

The promoters tried every nickname imaginable for this 22 stones cockney superheavyeight billed from Lanarkshire through the mid-seventies:  The Iron Duke; Bully Boy;  The Bruiser.  A wrestler remembered with fondness by those who watched him .

Heritage member Ballymoss remembers: “"Bully Boy  Muir was a first rate heel. He looked nothing else and admirably played his role, being very quick to stir up any wrestling audience. He possessed plenty of wrestling skill, but sadly his talents were probably underused.”

Unfortunately Bully Boy had the misfortune in arriving on the scene at the same time as some other  even bigger super-heavies and his fate in supporting action in tag bouts was sealed.

Nikita Mulkovich
Alex Mulko was a Canadian born heavyweight from Ontario who British fans were told was from Ukraine on his arrival in Britain. Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union in those days and consequently a fitting birthplace of a wrestling villain.

It was a character he had already developed, though he was known as Nikita Kalmikoff in Australia and the United States. Early days in North America had seen him making use of his birth name, Alex Mulko.

Whatever the name the big bearded, North American or Russian the tank sized seventeen stoner was inevitably a villain. 

A genuine international supporting bill worker Mulkovich, had turned professional around 1953, and was already known in the rings of the USA, Canada, Japan and Australia, albeit the latter being a short tour of a few weeks. 

As the Soviet alleged bad guy with the all-telling beard  numerous disqualifications were inevitable, but he was surprisingly allowed victories over Dazzler Joe Cornelius and Judo Al Hayes before being presented as the sacrificial offering to Billy Robinson at the Royal Albert Hall. 

Black Jack Mulligan
See the entry for Larry Coulton

Jimmy Munlack
Energetic Canadian settled in Britain during the 1950s, spent the winter months flying around our rings as a top middleweight and the summer months swimming and diving in aqua shows in Europe and North America. 1950s fan Raven remembers Jimmy Munlack as a "brilliant Canadian middleweight. " Raven was in attendance at the Victoria Hall, Hanley, around 1950 when Jimmy "Wrestled Jack Beaumont  in one of the most scientific bouts I have ever seen ..... Stoke on Trent had been looking forward to the match for ages.  When the great day arrived we were all bitterly disappointed when Jimmy Munlack was shown into the ring with his arm in plaster as a result of an accident in the Gym. He could not compete that night and was replaced by Bob Steele who lost to Jack Beaumont after a hard tussle. The match we had all been looking forward to subsequently took place about six weeks later.”

Alec Munro
One of the great names in Scottish wrestling. Alec Munro of Edinburgh trained at the Holyrood Club, represented his country in international competition and won the British amateur championship in London on 1st December, 1927. He also wrestled Catch as Catch Can style and wrestled professional shortly afterward. Our first record of Alec as a professional is in December, 1930, when he wrestled Harold Angus in Doncaster, and was by then billed as Scottish lightweight champion.  As a consequence of this contest Angus was stripped of his amateur status.  During the 1930s Alec wrestled, both Catch as Catch Can and All In style, against the big name lighter men – Harold Angus, Dick Wills, Billy Moores and Jack Carrol. On occasions Alec also officiated as a referee.

Not to be confused with his uncle, also Alec Munro, the policeman from Govan, who at the start of the Twentieth century wrestled Hackenschmidt, Madrali and travelled to America to face Frank Gotch.
Page revised 19/02/2020: Cyril Morris and Alan Muir entries revised