Bob (Bill) McDonald (Stornaway)
A hard man who gained the respect of world lightweight champion Johnny Saint. Manchester' s Colin worked throughout the north and midlands for independent promoters in the late 1950s and 1960s. He was a bit of a tough nut in the ring and a man who we are told could turn his hand to all sorts of things outside. Colin and Johnny Saint became good friends in the late 1950s when both trained at Grant Foderingham's gymnasium. Colin was already a professional and was Saint's first professional opponent at Tynemouth in June, 1959. One claim to fame for this otherwise largely forgotten welterweight, he was the man who gave his young friend the idea of adopting the name Johnny Saint. Colin McDonald died suddenly at far too early an age.
The wild highlander has succeeded in the world of professional wrestling during the most difficult of decades. One of a handful of the modern day stars who has his roots well and truly in the Mountevans tradition we celebrate here Drew has found success throughout Europe and the United States. He has continued to work, and still does, throughout the latter part of the twentieth century and into the second decade of the twenty-first.
Drew was trained by middleweight Ian Law and made his debut against that other big highlander, Wild Angus, stepping in as a last minute substitute. In 1984 Drew joined Joint Promotions and in the years that followed had the dubious distinction of tagging with both Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks.Coming into British wrestling at a time when it was in decline Drew travelled the world with notable success in North America and Germany, where he is particularly popular.
Success in Britain was sustained over three decades with Drew twice holding the British heavyweight title , a lineage can be traced back to Joyce, Robinson and Assirati. Drew continues to work regularly to this day, and now passes on his knowledge to youngsters at his training school in Leeds. Surprisingly agile for a man of his size Drew would no doubt have made it to the top at any time in modern wrestling history.
We remember the buzz of excitement as the introductory music began to play. We were easily excited in the 1960s and a musical introduction was something of a rarity. We weren't so easily satisfied when it came to wrestling, and in this respect the man entering the ring never disappointed.
That man we knew as Terry McDonald, the kilted gladiator who was occasionally accompanied into the ring by his smiling young son, Tony. Kilted or not we can report that Terry was not the Scot as billed, nor was he the alleged Canadian as advertised when he worked under his real name Malcolm McGrail. Yet another persona for the busy Mancunian was masked man Doctor Death, and son Tony recalls getting upset when the fans booed his usually good guy dad, and an over-enthusiastic elderly lady stabbed him with an umbrella. That night Dr Death drove home in a very strange position due to the discomfort!
Malcolm McGrail was brought up in Manchester, the family home being in Swinton. He was an amateur wrestling coach before becoming interested in the professional side of the business and learning his trade at Manchester YMCA alongside Bill Connors and Pete Stewart who were to remain lifelong friends. Terry turned professional in 1960 and was soon working around the north, midlands and Scotland for the main independent promoters Don Robinson, Jack Taylor and Cape.
In the early days he used his birth name, Malcolm McGrail, but within a few years had adopted the identity of Terry McDonald. Opponents were most often the biggest villains on the independent circuit, the likes of Lord Bertie Topham, The Ghoul, Klondyke Bill, and Alf Cadman. When Billy Two Rivers moved across to the independents Terry McDonald was a frequent opponent. When not training at te YMCA Terry would train in his own ring at his Swinton home, and was often joined in training by Peter Stewart, Bill Connors, Tommy Mann, Abe Ginsberg, and Bobo Matu. He mixed his wrestling career with television work and appeared regularly on Coronation Street as an extra in the Rovers and also on Emmerdale, Last of the Summer Wine and Crown Court and had parts in notable dramas such as I Claudius and World at War. It was a career destined to last the best part of twenty years with Terry finally hanging up his boots in 1978. Sadly Terry McDonald passed away in 1985.