WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history 

N: Nordhoff - Nyland

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Gunther Nordhoff
German Gunther Nordhoff  visited Britain during the winter of 1960-61.   He was well known in Germany as the face for a polish commercial over many years. In the  commercial  he used the  name "Meister Propper" which he then adopted  in the ring for a short time.   A German amateur champion in 1953 he turned professional in the late 1950s, and it was the beginning of a career that was to span thirty years, working throughout Germany and Austria, notably at the  famous Heumarkt in Vienna. When he came to Britain, for Joint Promotions,  opponents included Bob Sweeney, Ernie Riley, Francis St Clair Gregory, Billy Howes and Arthur Beaumont. In the photograph Gunther is standing behind Achim Chall.

Fred Norman
We came across the Isle of Man’s Fred Norman for the first time in 1935 in a middleweight contest at Preston. Reports suggest that Fred was a fast and skilled wrestler yet also extremely rough, and could hold his own with most, including Empire Games silver medalist and renowned catch wrestler Joe Reid. Most of the matches we found were in the north of England, suggesting that this was where he was based. By 1948 we find him with increased weight with a number of matches at Belle Vue, Manchester against Francis St Clair Gregory, George Gregory, Clem Lawrence, Harry Brooks and Pat Curry. 

Stefan Novotny
We have been unable to find any biographical information on Hungarian Stefan Novotny though have a record of more than a dozen matches in Britain. All but one are appearances in 1946. We were very surprised to find a report in the Western Morning News of a contest at Plymouth twelve years earlier, 8th June, 1934, between Stefan Novotny and Harry Brooks. The match ended in a draw though it was said Brooks was the more skilful of the pair. 

Novotny returned to Britain following the Second World War. We have found records of sixteen matches between May and  December, 1946, all of them surprisingly at Belle Vue, Manchester. Although we do not have any match reports he must have improved and grown somewhat since his match with Brooks as opponents were big, powerful heavyweights that included Bert Assirati, Chick Knight, Charlie Green, Bill Garnon, and Anaconda.


Karol Nowina
Krakow's  Karol Szczerbinski took the professional name Karol Nowina after turning professional in the United States in 1929; having moved there from his native Poland five years earlier.  He wrestled in Britain in 1937, mostly in the south, but taking occasional jaunts north.

Bert Nuttall
Stockport's Bert Nuttall was the oldest of the Nuttall brothers who boxed briefly and turned to working as a policeman and professional wrestling after serving in France during the Second World War. He was a tall, slim heavyweight who wrestled throughout the north for many years, mainly for the independent promoters. In one of his Joint Promotions matches, against Ian Campbell in 1961, Bob Andrews reported, "Bert dictated much of the first two rounds, but in the third Mr.Scotland took over. He threw Bert on to a corner post and applied a back-breaker over the shoulder which forced Bert to submit. Unfortunately, Bert hurt his shoulder in this round and was unable to carry on. Ian thus gained the verdict."

Remembered by ex wrestler Eddie Rose as a quiet, well mannered man whilst neighbour and Heritage reader Ray Noble rembers "a real gentleman." 

George Nuttall
George was the younger of the Nutall brothers.  After serving in the navy  Stockport's George Nuttall turned to wrestling following a career as a professional boxer, active between 1948 and 1957. 

Whilst boxing George graced the rings of famous wrestling arenas that included the Harringay Stadium, the Nottingham Ice Rink, Manchester' Ardwick Stadium and the Royal Albert Hall.  In 1949 George was a sparring partner for British heavyweight champion Bruce Woodcock.

More greatly respected than many of the boxers that turned to wrestling George was never destined to become one of the more famous stars of the wrestling ring. 
Page revised 09/08/2020: Stefan Novotny entry revised