O: Orlik - Owens
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
Heavyweight who frequently wrestled in Britain during the first half of the 1960s, including a 1961 loss to Steve Logan at the Royal Albert Hall. His career spanned more than twenty years from 1951 onwards and he died in June, 1981.
17 stones visitor from Oregon debuted in UK in October 1967 in a Lewisham bout with Johnny Yearsley, closing the win via the unusual route of a grapevine submission. His most notable British victory was a surprise Royal Albert Hall defeat of former British Heavyweight Champion, Geoff Portz. Such visitors brought to British rings useful worldwide links, Osborn being a case in point having faced Lou Thesz and Japanese champion the seven foot tall Great Babu. However, he exited from his British tour with a whimper, going down bloodied 0-2 to The Outlaw.
Londoner Eddie O'Shea was a popular middleweight across Southern England throughout the 1960s. His was another of those careers that seemed to hold promise that was never realised. His early career was dogged by injuries resulting from a car accident not long after he had turned professional. A very good amateur foundation at the United AWC led to a professional debut in the early 1960s, and Eddie was soon a favourite around Dale Martin Halls. In the years that followed he moved through the ranks from lightweight to light heavy, a regular worker mainly in southern England.
Our memories of rumbustious Manchester heavyweight Shaun O'Shea are in exciting bouts against some of the biggest and baddest on the independent circuit - Big Bill Coverdale and The Monster. Little did we know at the time that his pedigree went back more than twenty years to the Second World War. Shaun was also one of the myriad of Manchester based independent promoters of the 1960s. Here is a man who deserves recognition, and we would like to learn more.
Wandsworth's Chic Osmond worked regularly on Joint Promotion bills of the late 1950s and early 1960s, tangling with the likes of Pallo, McManus and Capelli. His main claim to fame seems to be that Adrian Street names him as his greatest influence, having trained him in the ways of the professional world at the London YMCA.
Fiery young Irish wrestler came onto the scene in 1978. A frequent worker with a less than impressive record, subject to a surprising number of straight falls defeats. Fans found him entertaining and welcomed his place on the bill. Made three television appearances and sadly passed away in 2005. More information welcome.
“The Lancashire Ace” from Leigh, weighed around 12 stones. Our first recorded appearance is in September, 1932, and the last in December, 1939. Our impression is that Jack was a more than capable catch wrestler who never rose above a supporting role yet was acknowledged as one of the country’s best middle and light-heavy weights.. One discovery was a match at Preston on 21st May, 1937, when the Lancashire Daily Post reported “Capital wrestling was seen in the contest between Billy Riley and Jack Owens. Owens revealed mastery of leg holds and was too fast for the older man, who was unable to carry on after being counted out in the fourth round.”