One Man and His Belt
Goldbelt Brian Maxine
When Brian Maxine clinched the British welterweight championship with an eighth round submission over Alan Sergeant on 30th September, 1969, most wrestling pundits forecast that his reign would be little more than a flash in the pan.
Legends, however, are not made of flashes in the proverbial pan, and entertaining fans for five decades cannot be described as a flash in the pan by anyone.
Goldbelt Maxine didn’t just hold on to the title that he won at Croydon on that historical night, but he added a second Mountevans belt, the middleweight title, less than two years later, thereby becoming the first wrestler to simultaneously hold titles in both divisions.
No one, except the man himself, forecast that almost forty years on he would have remained the proud possessor of the Mountevans belt that was first fastened around his waist all those years ago.
Here is a wrestler who can boast of wrestling at the highest level in each of five decades.
No other can claim to have been part of the 1960s spirit of innovation that led to wrestling becoming Britain’s most popular indoor spectator sport and also part of the twenty-first century wrestling scene.
These are the credentials of the man that told us just to call him Goldbelt.
Brian Maxine was born in Liverpool on 13th August 1938. His older brother by three years, Alfred, was also to go on to become a professional wrestler. Whilst a child the family moved to Ellesmere Port, the Cheshire town with which he was associated by most wrestling fans.
Brian had an interest in boxing, but he turned to wrestling to make a living. We first find his name on the wrestling posters in 1962. Working for independent promoters the young twenty-something found himself learning the trade against the likes of Jim Mellor, Shem Singh, Johnny Saint and Jon Cortez.
During those first few years when he was learning the trade there were few, if any, that saw the potential of the youngster from Ellesmere Port. With a couple of years experience under his belt Brian was signed up to work for Joint Promotions. His first television appearance arrived in 1965. Dale Martin Promotions did him no favours at all, matching Brian against Mick McManus, with the inevitable consequence.
There were the occasional tell-tale signs, like a KO win over World Champion Jim Lewis, and a draw with Mick McManus, but there was little that made the youngster stand out from the crowd. He gradually made an impression on fans, and some muted that here was a man destined to replace Mick McManus as Britain’s top villain. For most of the 1960s that was not a view shared by promoters and, though remaining a regular worker, Brian was not given the necessary push to catapult him to the top.
All that was about to change in 1969. A failed attempt, earlier in the year, to wrest the welterweight crown from popular champion Alan Sergeant, had done nothing to alert the fans to the cataclysmic event they were about to witness. At his second attempt, at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon on 30th September, 1969, Maxine took the title from the Romford champion. It took eight rounds for the belt to change hands. An opening fall with Brian countering Sergeant’s fifth round fall with submissions in rounds seven and eight.
Title do change hands, and so, albeit a surprise, the result wasn’t particularly out of the ordinary for the fans that night, most thinking Sergeant would regain the title t some future date. Until …. The day following the title change the metamorphosis began.
The fairly ordinary tough-guy, Brian Maxine was transformed into Goldbelt Maxine. Toughness became ruthlessness, confidence became arrogance, and leaflets were tossed at the ringside fans proclaiming the new champion’s talents and predicting the longevity of his reign. Business cards were issued giving contact details of Goldbelt Maxine, British champion.
Not to mention the gold crown, and the regal robes. No wrestler did more to promote himself than Brian Goldbelt Maxine, and the fans sat up and took notice. Then booed and jeered him as he made his entrance to the ring. What most impressed the fans, though, was the way Maxine destroyed all challengers. No champion was more active than Goldbelt Maxine.
Yet that was not the end of the story. Nowhere near. In June 1971 fans in Wolverhampton witnessed Maxine’s destruction of the middleweight champion, Clayton Thomson, to add another belt and more credibility to his frequent and vociferous claims that he was the greatest. With one fall apiece as they entered the sixth round it was Thomson that was uncharacteristically disqualified to bring to an end the five year reign that had begun in 1966 when he had defeated Bert Royal at the Nottingham Ice Rink.
With the addition of the middleweight championship to his collection Brian relinquished the welterweight crown and concentrated on the middleweight division. His propulsion to legendary status was to be completed over the next twenty years, only Adrian Street a competitor in terms of longevity. In October, 1988 Brian, still at the top, still a champion, wrestled on television for the last time, well over seventy appearances. With wrestling on the decline his appearances became rarer, but well into the twentieth century he was still appearing on wrestling bills, and still Goldbelt, a wrestling legend.