Alan Bardouille, R.I.P.
27th March, 1940 - 10th September, 2021
Alfred Bardouille paid his wrestling dues under the name Alan Bardouille until he found more widespread fame as Kid Chocolate. Whatever his guise (the appalling Banana Kid was another) we considered him a pretty class act from the first time we saw him, which was in the late 1960s. Although those two names would be considered offensive these days we understand Alan chose the Kid Chocolate moniker himself in homage to a 1930s Bradford boxer of that name.
He had a thorough wrestling knowledge, which was admittedly true of most wrestlers in the 1960s, having learned at the Hill Top Wrestling Club in Bradford, mentored by erstwhile British heavyweight champion, Ernest Baldwin.
Alfred had arrived in Britain in 1956; the family settling in Bradford on arrival from his place of birth, Roseau, the capital of Dominica. We were to wait another ten years before he emerged onto the British wrestling scene in 1966, courtesy of Norman Morrell.
Experience came quickly thanks to Wryton promotions and work on the holiday camp circiuit. Alan was a regular worker for Morrell/Beresford, Wryton and Relwyskow and Green, making regular journeys north of the border as a popular member of the Eldorado All Stars Wrestling Team alongside Andy Robin, Dave Ramsden, Mick McMichael, Jim McKenzie and Ian Gilmour.
When he made his Royal Albert Hall debut against Zoltan Boscik in 1970 he was lavishly praised by reporter Russell Plummer, giving the impression he had not just discovered a new star but an entire galaxy. In the north of England and Scotland fans had known the secret of Alan Bardouille for quite a few years years before Russell!
In the pre politically correct 1970s Alan re-invented himself as Kid Chocolate and was to remain a favourite throughout the decade. He made his television debut in May, 1971, against Steve Best in Huddersfield. Most of his television exposure came under the Kid Chocolate guise, though thankfully there was never any of the ridiculous pretence (as seen with others) that he was anyone other than Alan Bardouille.
Alan was one of the most familiar faces on television in the 1970s and 1980s, appearing more than twenty-five times. Opponents included Mick McManus, Dynamite Kid, Jim Breaks, Vic Faulkner, Rollerball Rocco and John Naylor. No easy rides there. He made a number of appearances as tag partner of Big Daddy, the most high profile being an FA Cup Final day against the Masked Marauders.
Although he travelled extensively throughout his career Alan always kept a "day job," working as an engineer and welder. Following his retirement from wrestling at the end of the 1980's the story does not end. Alan and his wife, Gloria, took up pub management in Bradford.
Having lost two close family members to cancer Alan used his interest in keeping fit for the benefit of others. Alan's wife died of cancer in 2003, just a short time after the disease had killed their son, Carl, and five years after the death of her brother.
In 2006, 2007 and 2008 he ran the Great North Run in aid of Bradford Macmillan Cancer Relief. It didn't end there. In the years that have followed Alan has continued to raise funds for Macmillan and other charities.
In 2009 Alan's fund raising efforts culminated in the receipt of the B-Active award from Bradford Council for his attitude to keeping fit, teaching fitness classes, and his work for charities.
Alan Bardouille, born on 27th March, 1940; died on 10th September, 2021