WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history 

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Heritage

 

Preston's Majestic Pride


Rajendra Singh


We vividly remember the first time we saw Rajendra Singh enter the ring. It was a majestic sight. The tall, slender Indian middleweight from Amristar made was an imposing figure,  dressed in national costume prior to his contests. 

We began to follow his career in the late 1960s, watching him on the independent bills against the likes of Hamid Ali Gill, Stoker Brooks and Bob Sherry. By then he was already experienced on Joint Promotion bills, having learned the trade after joining the ranks of amateurs at the Dale Martin gym in Brixton. 

At the time Rajendra was living in London, having been brought to Hackney when his parents came to the UK in 1948. At the time Rajendra was six years old.  

Success at school led to Rajendra passing his eleven plus, and attending the local grammar school. We recently came across this letter that 14 year old Rajendra sent to the editor of the Wrestling Ringsider. Thank goodness he received such a positive response, or the wrestling public may have been deprived of his talents!

On leaving school Rajendra started to work in a glass factory and when he was about 18 years old he began to wrestle for fun at the weekends and in the evenings. 

His interest in wrestling was inherited from his father, Mela Singh, a heavyweight wrestler in India. Before turning professional Rajendra was an accomplished amateur at The Forresters and The Sparta Amateur Wrestling Clubs, before moving on to the Dale Martin gymnasium in preparation for his professional career. 

Shortly afterwards he was signed up for Joint Promotions, working mainly in the south for Dale Martin Promotions. By the time we were watching Rajendra in the late 1960s he had moved to Preston and was working for the independent promoters. Wrestling took him around the world, and amongst the friends he made was Dr Christiaan Barnard, the pioneer of heart transplant surgery (right). Rajendra was wrestling on television in Cape Town when the doctor saw him and asked to meet, sending a car to the hotel to collect him and take Rajendra to the hospital in which he had performed the world's first heart transplant. 

Barnard was a regular at the Cape Town ringside, and was such an enthusiastic fan that when work prevented him attending he would ask a family member to go along to provide a first hand report!

Following his retirement from the ring Rajendra Singh worked as an interpreter for Lancashire Constabulary, and was the official interpreter in Preston Magistrates Court. He was also president of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Temple in Preston. 

Rajendra Singh passed away on April 4, 2012.  Letters and tributes to the press that reported his death were testament to the esteem in which he was held in the Preston community.

Thanks to one of Rajendra's sons, Ricky, for his help.The tall, slender Indian middleweight from Amristar made an imposing sight, especially when dressed in national costume prior to his contests. 

We began to follow his career in the mid 1960s, watching him on the independent bills against the likes of Hamid Ali Gill, Stoker Brooks and Bob Sherry. By then he was already experienced on Joint Promotion bills, having learned the trade after joining the ranks of amateurs at the Dale Martin gym in Brixton. 

At the time Rajendra was living in London, having been brought to Hackney when his parents came to the UK in 1948. At the time Rajendra was six years old.  

Success at school led to Rajendra passing his eleven plus, and attending the local grammar school. We recently came across this letter that 14 year old Rajendra sent to the editor of the Wrestling Ringsider. Thank goodness he received such a positive response, or the wrestling public may have been deprived of his talents!

On leaving school Rajendra started to work in a glass factory and when he was about 18 years old he began to wrestle for fun at the weekends and in the evenings. 

His interest in wrestling was inherited from his father, Mela Singh, a heavyweight wrestler in India. Before turning professional Rajendra was an accomplished amateur at The Forresters and The Sparta Amateur Wrestling Clubs, before moving on to the Dale Martin gymnasium in preparation for his professional career. 

Shortly afterwards he was signed up for Joint Promotions, working mainly in the south for Dale Martin Promotions. By the time we were watching Rajendra in the late 1960s he had moved to Preston and was working for the independent promoters. Wrestling took him around the world, and amongst the friends he made was Dr Christiaan Barnard, the pioneer of heart transplant surgery (right). Rajendra was wrestling on television in Cape Town when the doctor saw him and asked to meet, sending a car to the hotel to collect him and take Rajendra to the hospital in which he had performed the world's first heart transplant. 

Barnard was a regular at the Cape Town ringside, and was such an enthusiastic fan that when work prevented him attending he would ask a family member to go along to provide a first hand report!

Following his retirement from the ring Rajendra Singh worked as an interpreter for Lancashire Constabulary, and was the official interpreter in Preston Magistrates Court. He was also president of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Temple in Preston. 

Rajendra Singh died on April 4, 2012.  Letters and tributes to the press that reported his death were testament to the esteem in which he was held in the Preston community.

Thanks to one of Rajendra's sons, Ricky, for his help.