WRESTLING HERITAGE

Promoters: A


Wrestling Heritage Promoters A - Z


A & T Promotions/Kellett and Taylor
Johnny Allan and Eric Taylor were two first class wrestlers who moved into the promotional business in the twilight years of their hugely successful professional wrestling careers. Yorkshire men Allan and Taylor presented tournaments during the 1970s, featuring not just themselves but many other big names. Both men were highly respected by those who worked for them, not just because of their wrestling knowledge, but because they were both decent, fair minded men for whom to work, “Very good promoters who were always straight and fair with the lads,” Eddie Rose said. Les Prest told us of the night the takings were very low, which some promoters would use as an excuse for paying less than agreed. When Les offered to take a cut Eric Taylor  abruptly rejected the offer and told him never to do that again as wrestlers must have more respect for their own worth.

Eddie Rose, Les Prest and Peter Preston  told us of their enjoyable  trips to the West Country working for Allan and Taylor. We are reliably informed by those who attended their shows that their matchmaking and promotional skills were much more creative than their name!  Following the retirement of Johnny Allan Les Kellett went into partnership with Eric Taylor. They promoted together for around four years. 

Henry William Abbey (Billy Dale)
See  Dale Martin Promotions

John George Abbey (Jack Dale Senior)
See  Jack Dale Senior

John Abbey (John Dale)
See  Dale Martin Promotions. 

Leonard  Alfred Abbey (Jack Dale)
See  Dale Martin Promotions

Ace Promotions
Owner of Ace Promotions Alfred Michele Allen, born Alfred Michele Apicella and changing his name in 1930, was a boxing promoter who turned to wrestling, one of his venues being the Chelsea Palace Theatre. It was here, in 1935 that he fell foul of the Sunday Observance Act and was charged of "keeping a place of entertainment," by allowing  All In Wrestling to take place on Sunday 13th October, 1935. One of the matches was between two female wrestlers, one of them wearing a mask. 

The Lord's Day Observance Act of 1781, enabled Mr Francis Kelly to claim his reward as a "Common Informer" of  a "disorderly house," or more specifically a wrestling match on a Sunday. He claimed £300 from Alf Allen, described as “keeper of the premises” for informing the court of this disorderly act, and was duly awarded the full amount, which he said he would use to pursue further acts of common informer.

Alf was landlord of the Black Prince Public House in Walworth Road, Newington, London, between 1934 and 1938. Alf Allen died on 15th February, 1959.

Ace Promotions (London) applied for a licence to stage wrestling in Rotherham in 1939. The proprietor was wrestler Johanfesson. Whether there is any connection with Alf Allen we don't know.

Ace Sports Promotions
Ace Sports Promotions were based in Leeds and were founder  members of the British Wrestling Alliance in the 1970s. They put on shows in the small halls and clubs of Yorkshire. The company operated between January 1970 and 1982. Ace was one of the main promoters of female wrestling. Directors were Ron Farrar,  wrestler Al Marshall and E. Morgan. Ron Farrar was married to BWA Ladies Champion, Sue Britton.
See also British Wrestling Alliance

A.C.S. Promotions
1930s promoters in Blackburn.

Action Promotions
Action Promotions came into existence in 1978 owned by Harold Weller,  an independent promoter in Manchester and south east Lancashire and a member of the British Wrestling Alliance. He had his own gym and played a major part in popularising female wrestling. Following the closure of the Kings Hall at Belle Vue Harold promoted shows in Belle Vue's Cumberland Suite.
See also British Wrestling Alliance

A.D. & Promotions
1970s Fareham based promoters who were member of the British Wrestling Alliance
See also British Wrestling Alliance

All Star Promotions/Wrestling Enterprises
In October, 1970 a young man named Brian Dixon, who had until recently run the A-Z Wrestling Fan Club, left his job as a second at Liverpool Stadium and promoted himself to owner of Wrestling Enterprises of Birkenhead. 
 
He immediately attracted a number of main event performers, Count Bartelli and Syed Saif Shah amongst them. The concept seemed simple; put on a good show and then put on an even better one the following month.
 
Dixon built up an enviable reputation during the 1970s presenting quality tournaments on a shoestring budget. He organised the lot. He booked the halls and the wrestlers, wrote the programmes, published a magazine called Wrestlesport and refereed on his own shows. He was probably the first promoter to learn (and many of the day never did) that ticket sales alone were insufficient to make a good profit, and sold various accessories at his tournaments.
 
During the 1970s and 1980s All Star Promotions began to attract just about every big name in British wrestling, a situation that could only have speeded up the demise of Joint Promotions. The reward for Brian Dixon’s  determination was that he eventually attained what seemed to be the unattainable. He succeeded where Paul Lincoln and Jackie Pallo had failed. Hard work, courage, ability and good fortune led to All Star finally breaking Joint Promotions stranglehold on television wrestling.
 
All Star Promotions also achieved another first when they overcame the ban on female wrestling in London and presented a tournament featuring Mitzi Mueller at the Royal Albert Hall. Unlike previous attempts to present women’s wrestling the contest went ahead unchallenged.

Following the demise of television almost all the established promoters left the business, but not Brian Dixon. Despite some very lean times he has continued to promote wrestling until the present day and is undoubtedly Britain’s top wrestling promoter. He’s a man who certainly deserves our respect for his services to wrestling. Maybe he’s not a millionaire, but he deserves to be.

AMY Promotions
Independent wrestlers Les Prest and Sean McNeill presented shows in the clubs  of Teeside and Yorkshire in the 1970s. They made use of some well known names that included Mal Kirk and John Cox. The name for the company was derived from the names of both their daughters, Amy.

Anglia Wrestling Promotions
Brian Trevors was a known as “The Keighley Strong Boy,” and was a successful wrestler for Joint Promotions who moved from Yorkshire to East Anglia in the late sixties.  Shortly afterwards he started promoting under the name Anglia Wrestling Promotions.  

Anglia soon established itself as a strong force on the East Anglian wrestling scene, winning contracts to provide regular tournaments for holiday camps in the area. 

Trevors also gained a reputation for developing young talent in the area and Anglia shows were a breeding ground for young professionals. He built up a talented stable of wrestlers that included John L. Hagger, Bad Bill Pye, Finlay Scott Strachan, Cowboy Jack Larson and Robin Hoode.

Harold Angus
Amateur wrestler Harold Angus promoted his first show at Doncaster on 15th December, 1930. Prior to the event he was informed that by going ahead with the show he would lose his amateur status, which he subsequently did.

Apollo Promotions (William Bankier)
Bankier was one of the greatest names in wrestling and most influential of the 1930s promoters. No one had a greater pedigree than William Bankier with a wrestling heritage that dated back to the beginning of the twentieth century and the famous wrestling tournaments at the Alhambra Theatre. Surprisingly you will learn little about William Bankier in Atholl Oakeley's "Blue Blood On The Mat." He  has been almost erased from history as this  one time strong man known in the early days of the Twentieth century as Apollo was a fierce rival of fellow promoter Atholl Oakeley. Oakeley makes only a couple of fleeting references to Bankier, one of them recalling the occasion, in 1936, when Jack Sherry and Bill Garnon   sued Bankier after he had challenged the claims of Sherry's championship credentials. Irrespective of Oakeley's disregard it is clear that William Bankier was one of the real pioneers of 1930s wrestling promotion, often promoting in conjunction with local partners such as John Mortimer in Portsmouth. Bankier continued to promote during the Second World War and his halls included Ulster and Kings Halls in Belfast, Blackpool Tower and Liverpool Stadium. A great pioneer whose contribution has often been overlooked.

The Apollo Promotions name resurfaced again in south Lancashire, Cheshire, Derbyshire and the north East in the 1960s.

Apollo Promotions (Stockton on Tees)
Professional wrestler and  regional promoter in the North East Jim Stockdale was something of a legend for many of those that worked for him. Jimmy Stockdale was instrumental in getting Don Robinson into the wrestling business. Jimmy “Boy” Devlin, Tommy Stones, Arthur Openshaw were amongst those Jim trained at his gymnasium behind the Grey Horse Pub, where his father Charlie Stockdale was landlord. 

Jimmy Devlin told us he would walk to the end of the earth for the man who gave him his first professional match, paid him two shillings and sixpence with the instructions that he should only keep a shilling and give the rest to his mother, or there'd be no more. 

Ashton and Hazeltine
Boxing promoters who introduced wrestling to Hartlepool at the Ice Rink on 26th February, 1932.

Bert Assirati
See Asta Promotions

ASTA Promotions
In the late 1950s Bert Assirati returned from a tour of the Far East to find that he had been stripped of his British Heavyweight championship. Confined to working for the independents Bert began promoting his own shows, and eventually went into partnership with Jack Taylor and formed ASTA Promotions. Bert was often top of the bill and his matches with Eugene Stezycki became legendary, if only for the amount of Eugene's blood that was spilled.

Jarvis Astaire
Jarvis Astaire was an entrepreneur with significant interest in both boxing and wrestling. In 1971 the William Hill organisation bought Hurst Park (and consequently Dale Martin and Viewsport). At the time of the William Hill takeover Jarvis Astaire was Managing Director of Hurst Park

Athena Promotions
1970s York based promoters who were members of the British Wrestling Alliance.
See also British Wrestling Alliance

Atlas Promotions
1970s Coventry based promoters who were members of the British Wrestling Alliance.
See also British Wrestling Alliance

Atherton & Riley
Jack Atherton and Billy Riley were two of the best known names in wrestling who promoted shows around the north of England and the midlands in association with Joint Promotions. Never directors of Joint Promotions they had an arrangement with the controlling group that allowed them to use Joint Promotion wrestlers, and combining these with new faces made  Atherton & Riley amongst the most interesting of promoters. Jack continued promoting following the retirement of Billy Riley.  Eddie Rose told us: “Jack supplied me with many bookings over the years in places as far apart as Dumfries, Derby and Redruth. He paid very good wages and expenses and it was always a learning experience working on his shows.”

Page added 05/12/2021