A: Margerich Anaconda and  Anaconda Alan Taylor

Margerich Anaconda

One of the great names of 1930s wrestling about whom there's more mystery than any masked man. Margerich Anaconda was billed as "The Swedish Scissors King."  Well he must have been pretty good at keeping his mouth shut to keep up that pretence.

He appeared on the British wrestling scene in the 1930s, was seen around the country against all the top men throughout the decade and continued wrestling until the 1950s. A giant of a man, standing over six feet tall and weighing 17 stones, he was a national worker who travelled the length and breadth of Britain facing the biggest names of the time: Atholl Oakeley, Jack Pye, Ray St Bernard and Mitchell Gill.

Claims were made that he held World Heavyweight Champion Jack Sherry to a draw but although the two were opponents  we have been unable to verify this.

Historian Allan Best also recalls Anaconda, "The "Giant Anaconda that I watched in the 40's and 50's really was a giant, with shaven head. He often played a "heavy" in films, usually based in darkest London.I know nothing of him although he was a bill-topper. The last time that I saw him was on the pier at Fleetwood I would guess around 1945." 

Understandably his ring appearances reduced in the early 1940s during the Second World War, but the only year we  find him absent was 1943. Post war the name Anaconda remained on bills until 1954. 

Heritage member Ray  Noble was one of our members who saw Anaconda in action. He remembers the giant  wrestling former world heavyweight boxing champion Primo Carnera at Belle Vue in October, 1954. Ray was walking through the gardens at Belle Vue when he saw Carnera  standing beside a massive imitation rock. Ray remembers to this day the excitement of going over and chatting with the big Italian who towered above him. Shortly afterwards Carnera was towering over Anaconda, having won by  by a knock out.  

Margerich Anaconda was Henry John Purvis, born in London in 1895. Purvis was in the 1955 wrestling film "A Kid for Two Farthings". He was famous for the leg scissors and the the star of that film, Primo Carnera, whose ring name was The Python, a clear nod to Anaconda, also used the leg scissors. He also appeared in Hue and Cry (1947), Street of Shadows (1953) an I Am a Camera (1955).

Henry John Purvis  died in 1978.

There's much more to the private life of Anaconda. For that you will need to log in to read Ron Historyo's story of On The Trail.

Related articles: On The Trail of Anaconda

Anaconda Alan Taylor
(Also known as Alan Taylor, Seaman Tommy Watts)

Whilst those of the Grumpy Old Men era dwell on memories of the original Anaconda we have many more younger readers who remember a villainous, bearded, tattooed  heavyweight Anaconda.

He made a couple of televised appearances, a singles loss against Big Daddy at Leicester, and  27th August, 1988 when he partnered Rasputin against Big Daddy and Pat Patton. The ferocious looking man behind the beard was  Alan Taylor, a professional wrestler from 1979 until 1992.  Promoter Max Crabtree saw the potential in  the youngster and invited him along to the Dale Martin gym in Brixton to learn the professional trade. 
"WOW it was like a dream come true, after a lot of training I was given my first bout," Alan told Wrestling Heritage.

Alan turned professional in 1979, initially using the name Seaman Tommy Watts. 

Within a matter of weeks Max Crabtree had re-launched his new find as Anaconda, with opponents including  Wayne Bridges, Tony St Clair and Steve Veidor.  The name Anaconda remained with Alan for the rest of his career, working around the world, telling us , "I had a great time; the time of my life meeting wrestlers from the different places that I went to.  It was fantastic. One of the highlights was some times my dad (R.I.P.) came with me.  He was like a big kid because he was a hard man it was fantastic watching him and his face."  

Alan Taylor died of cancer on 1st September, 2012

Page added: 29/1/17

Reviewed 03/02/2022