WRESTLING HERITAGE

Promoters: C - H


Wrestling Heritage Promoters A - Z


C


Jack Callaghan Junior (George Callaghan)

Jack Callaghan Junior, also known as George, and actual surname Garoghan, was of Irish stock and the son of one of the country's top boxing promoters, Jack Callaghan. Jack Jr promoted wrestling shows around the country from around 1934, venues including the Brighton Dome, Leicester's Granby Halls, Drill Hall in Coventry and The Ring in Blackfriars.

Cambrian Promotions
Promoters at the Market Hall, Abertillery, in the first half of the 1960s.

Cape Promotions (Danny Flynn and Fred Woolley)
Danny Flynn and Fred Woolley had wrestling careers dating back to the 1940s. They were highly rated wrestlers on Joint Promotions circuit from the start of the cartel until October, 1959, when like many others they became disillusioned with their pay and conditions and chose to work outside the Joint Promotion organisation. Quite a few of those wrestlers that left Joint Promotions during this period also began to promote their own shows, presumably thinking that if the money stayed in the promoter’s pocket it might as well be their pocket. Some of those wrestlers found success as promoters whilst others did not.

Woolley and Flynn, having set up base in their hometown of Salford, found a great deal of success and operated in the North and Scotland throughout the sixties and into the early seventies. Theirs were quality, reliable shows, regularly using big names  such as Dominic Pye, Dai Sullivan Mike Marino, The Wildman of Borneo, and newcomers like Johnny Saint and Al Marquette as well as visiting international stars that included Crusher Verdu and Ricky Starr.
See also Wrestling Federation of Great Britain

Eddie Capelli
See Matsport Promotions

Jack Cassidy
Wrestler Jack Cassidy was a busy promoter in south Lancashire who for nearly twenty years who ran shows in Manchester clubs and halls, often five nights a week, and it was not unusual for him to have two or even three shows on the same night. He was known for being a supporter of good causes and put on a number of shows for charity or dedicated to individuals in need. Eddie Rose told us: "My record evening with Jack was three bouts at three different clubs on one night. All three venues within twenty minutes of home – and well paid, too!" Another with fond memories was Paul Mitchell; "Good old Jack treated us well and paid good money. The Openshaw cowboy who wasn't keen on horses. What a character."

Tony Cassio
See Centurion Promotions

Centaur Promotions
1970s promotion of wrestler Adrian Street and C.L.Stephens.

Centurion Promotions
Wrestler Tony Cassio turned his hand to promoting quality shows mainly in southern England from 1967 onwards.

T.A. Chapman
Boxing promoter who introduced wrestling to Burnley with a joint wrestling/boxing show at Burnley Football Ground on 20th June 1931

Douglas Clark
The British heavyweight champion promoted wrestling in Huddersfield and Leeds.

Joe Coates
Derbyshire promoter in conjunction with Joint Promotions

Combat Promotions
A name used by Max Crabtree, working in conjunction with Relwyskow & Green in Scotland

Combat Sports 
Norfolk based wrestler Terry Goodrum was a wrestler who could create emotions like no other. He wrestled under the name Sandor Kovacs amongst others, promoted under the Combat Sports banner in the midlands during the 1970s.

George Connell
Boxing and wrestling  promoter in Belfast from 1949 and in to the early 1950s, and then in conjunction with Joint Promotions.

Continental Promotions
Manchester based 1960s independent promoters who promoted as far south as Devon and Cornwall.

Continentale Promotions
Dropkick Johnny Peters was one of the most popular wrestlers in southern rings for many years, forming a highly successful tag partnership with Dazzler Joe Cornelius. Like many others he left Joint Promotions and began both promoting, as Continentale Promotions. Eventually the hatchet was buried and Continentale Promotions reached an agreement with Joint that enabled them to work co-operatively and use Joint Promotion wrestlers on their shows.  

Gordon Corbett
See WorldWide Promotions

Sam Cowen
Sam Cowen, not to be confused with wrestler Sam Cohen, was one of the promoters at the Ardwick Stadium during the war. "It was very much a family affair," Sam's great nephew told us, as Sam co-promoted with  Louis Cowen, Maurice Cowen, Joe Cowen, possibly David Cowen too. Another family member Myra Cowen did the catering.

Will Cozzi
Well established Kent boxing promoter who introduced wrestling to Folkestone in October, 1931. He went on to promote wrestling during the 1930s and 1940saround  southern England including the Marine Gardens Pavilion, Folkestone,  and the cavalry Theatre, Canterbury.

Max Crabtree
See Combat Promotions, Joint Promotions, Twentieth Centrury Promotions

Jack Cullen 
See Premier Northern Wrestling Promotions

D

Jack Dale Senior
John George Abbey was born in Lambeth, London, in 1887. He was a boxing and wrestling promoter of the 1930s, father of the men who made Dale Martin Promotions arguably the most successful wrestling company in Britain. He worked in partnership with Syd Burns as B&D Promotions, mostly in the south of England. Whilst returning from a boxing show in dense fog Jack Dale and two companions were killed in a road crash on 24th March, 1936. 

Dale Martin Metro
Formed in the late 1960s Dale Martin (Metropolitan) I remember coming across Dale Martin (Metropolitan)  had offices in Bradford and London. Their Directors were a combination of Morrell/Beresford and Dale Martin personnel, that is J G Abbey, W.L.Beresford, M Judd, N Morrell.  Managing Director for (South) was J.G.Abbey, and the Managing Director for (North & Midlands) was Norman Morrell.  Dale Martin (Metropolitan) existed in parallel with Morrell-Beresford and Dale Martin.The company was wound up on 3rd December, 1973, one  year before Wryton, Best, Morrell and Beresford went into liquidation.
See also  Joint Promotions

Dale Martin Promotions
For over twenty years Dale Martin Promotions were the standard bearers of the Joint Promotion organisation. The partnership of wrestler Jack Dale (Abbey) and Les Martin incorporated their new wrestling promotion business on 9th December, 1948, though Jack Dale's father, John Abbey, had promoted boxing and wrestling until his death in a car crash in 1936. Their territory consisted of London and southern England, with Dale Martin employing more wrestlers and promoting more shows than any other promoter.

No other promoters did more to establish professional wrestling as a legitimate sport. Theirs were shows of the highest of standards and professionalism, with a higher percentage of technical bouts than seen elsewhere. Any criticism that could be made would probably be based upon the conservative nature of the business which made some shows appear unadventurous and less attractive than their northern counterparts.  Whilst publicly disparaging the challenge from independent promoter Paul Lincoln in the early 1960s they did, nevertheless, quietly allow Lincoln to nurture much of their talent, including Adrian Street, Bobby Barnes, the Cortez brothers, and the Borg twins. New talent was developed at the Dale Martin gymnasium in Brixton.

Every aspect of a Dale Martin presentation was highly polished, portraying a legitimate competitive sport  without any hint of disrepute. Directors of Dale Martin Promotions were three Abbey brothers and Les Martin:

Henry William Abbey (Billy Dale)
Henry Abbey, born 9th April, 1925, was the youngest of the Abbey brothers and known as Billy Dale. He left Dulwich College, having entered with a scholarship, in 1942 and worked momentarily for an insurance company before joining the Royal Navy. In 1950 he joined his brothers and Les Martin in Dale Martin Promotions. He remained a Director of Dale Martin Promotions until 1971 when it was taken over by the William Hill Organisation. He then became a Director, later Deputy Managing Director until he retired in 1988. Henry Abbey (Billy Dale) died on 21st October, 2013.

John Abbey (John Dale)

John Abbey, born in 1911, was the eldest of the Abbey brothers. He was working for a coal merchant in 1936 when his father was killed in a car crash. John and brother Leonard continued the promoting business following their father's death, John initially taking a lead role as Leonard was a successful wrestler known as Jack Dale.


Leonard Alfred Abbey (Jack Dale)

Len Abbey was the middle son of John and Emma, born in Croydon on 8th August, 1912. When his father was killed in 1936 Len and brother John took over their father's business interests and began promoting boxing and wrestling. It was during the war that Jack and another young wrestler, Les Martin, both of whom were serving with Streatham's Auxilary Fire Service, talked about revitalising professional wrestling when peace resumed. They promoted wartime charity shows, and this was the embryo of Dale Martin Promotions. Len, brother John and Les formed Dale Martin Promotions following the Second World War, joined in 1950 by brother Henry. Len Abbey died in 1991.


Leslie Martin
Les Martin was reputedly a low key professional wrestler towards the tail end of the 1930s. We don't doubt it, but he was low key enough for us to find no evidence. We do know he started promoting and this was where he met young Jack Dale. A friendship that changed wrestling history.

In 1964 Hurst Park Syndicate purchased Dale Martin Promotions for £307,000 (£165,000 in cash and £142,000 in shares).   As part of the deal it was agreed the Abbey brothers and Leslie Martin would continue to work for the new owners for seven years. 

Another subsidiary of Hurst Park Syndicate was Viewsport, the closed circuit company which broadcast boxing and wrestling shows around the country. Managing Director of Viewsport was Jarvis Astaire, an influential man in boxing who had shown as interest in wrestling when promoting a BBC show in 1965. Directors of Dale Martin Promotions in May, 1966, following the Hurst Park takeover, were listed as John G. Abbey (Dale), Leonard A. Abbey (Dale), C.Burkeman, Leslie L Martin, H.W.Abbey (Dale). 

In 1971 the William Hill organisation bought Hurst Park (and consequently Dale Martin and Viewsport) , shortly after which William Hill became part of the Sears Holdings. At the time of the William Hill takeover Jarvis Astaire was Managing Director of Hurst Park. Not long afterward, with their seven years contract ended, all had changed and Directors of Dale Martin in were William George McManus, Michael Judd and Jarvis Astaire. Dale Martin Promotions endured until 1992 when it was dissolved.
See also British Wrestling Promoters Association, Joint Promotions

Conrad Davis
Birmingham's Conrad Davis, the cigar smoking czar of the second city and owner of the Embassy skating rink where he staged his weekly wrestling shows. 

He  promoted independently as part of the BWF and later in conjunction with Joint Promotions. An astute promoter when Dwight J Ingleburgh told him he was going to shave his beard Conrad told him not to do so. Well, not until he'd arranged a match with bearded Stan Furness - loser to shave his beard!
See also British Wrestling Federation

Tony DeMarto
Tony DeMarto was the Italian Thunderbolt and a name that went all the way back to the 1930s. Here was a man who had shared a ring with the likes of Mario Magisti and Tommy Rigby. Walthamstow based Tony retired and went into the catering business and promoting wrestling in London and around Southern England during the 1960s. He was well respected as a fair promoter by all those who worked for him.

Den Promotions
Den Promotions staged shows in and around Sussex in the 1960s,  including a weekly event at Selsey Bill holiday camp on the south coast. The company was owned by two wrestlers, Eric Dudley, The Yorkshire Kid and Steve Stephenson, who wrestled as Steve Courage. Den Promotions courted controversy in the early 1960s by promoting female wrestling contests, which were at the time banned by local councils up and down the country. 

Ann DeRelwyskow
See Relwyskow & Green

George DeRelwyskow Junior 
See Relwyskow & Green

G.F.H DeRelwyskow
See Relwyskow Promotions

Devereux Promotions
A first class wrestling promotion started by Herbert Devereux, later taken over by his son Charles, and eventually bought by Harry Joyce. On his return to Britain from Canada in 1936 Harry Joyce occasionally wrestled but was mostly involved in the management of the business. Our member TheWrestlingNick discovered Harry's involvement in wrestling management in Northern Ireland around 1940. Post war Harry became a promoter in Northamptonshire, eventually taking over Devereux Promotions. He was involved in wrestling promoting until his death in 1965, when his son ken took over.
Whilst Devereux strongly stated their credentials as independent promoters for much of their existence they had a close working relationship with Joint Promotions. This arrangement meant that Devereux fans were able to watch both independent and Joint Promotion wrestlers on the same bill, resulting in some extraordinary shows.  Renowned for shows of a very high standard, which were second to none. 
See also British Wrestling Federation

Jeff Dickson
Jeff Dickson was one of quite a few boxing promoters turned to professional wrestling, allured by the growth of the sport and the abiity to pay wrestlers much less whilst employing them far more frequently. Jefferson Davis Dickson Jr., was born in in Natchez, Missouri, USA, gaining fame outside France as a boxing promoter primarily in France from 1924 onwards, where he owned the  Palais des Sports de Grenelle. Elsewhere around Europe he promoted boxing in Britain, Belgium, Germany and Spain.  

Jeff Dickson  showed  an interest in professional wrestling from the outset in 1930. He planned to put on Britain's first All-In wrestling show  at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on 31st October, 1930. Amongst those trained and ready to go were Garnon, Oakeley, a Doncaster miner by the name of Jack Pye, amateur champion Billy Riley, Anglo Italian Bert Assirati, and Londoner Norman Ansell. The show failed to materialise due to negative publicity and the failure  to acquire the necessary work permits for the overseas wrestlers. From then on Dickson had a luke warm relationship with wrestling in Britain, but had more success promoting in Paris. In 1943 Jeff Dickson was lost in action whilst serving in the U.S. Air Force.

Joe D'Orazio
See Matsport Promotions

Ian Dowland
See Solent Wrestling Promotions

Dunscot Promotions
1970s and 1980s Dundee based promoters who were member of the British Wrestling Alliance. We suspect this may have been run by Dundee wrestler Dave Kearnday (Dave Kidney). His daughter, Lady Dawn, featured on their programmes.
See also British Wrestling Alliance

E

Gerald Egan
Boxing promoter from Cork promoted at the Ulster Hall, Belfast in 1951.

Ellis Promotions
Wrestler Tony Kolokotroni worked the independent rings of southern England in the 1960s. At other times, as Tony Ellis, he worked behind the scenes as a fight arranger on numerous films and acted on tv as a supporting role actor in programmes that included The Avengers and Corination Street. Tony Ellis also  staged wrestling shows, mainly in London, featuring big names such as Count Bartelli in aid of charities for those facing difficulties in society.

Empress Promotions
See Tony Scarlo

F

Ron Farrar
See Ace Sports Promotions

Percy Felton
After less successful attempts by various others Chelmsford's Percy Felton took over wrestling at Chelmsford Corn Exchange in 1938 and established it as a regular and successful venue following the war.

Danny Flynn
See Cape Promotions and Brandane Promotions

George Ford
Cornish boxing promoter who was one of the pioneer wrestling promoters of Cornwall, beginning in 1934. Venues included: Penzance: Town Hall, Chyandour.

John Ford
A reliable Stoke on Trent promoter who staged shows in the smaller halls and clubs of the Potteries during the 1970s. We understand that John went on to organise the Miss Stoke on Trent competition.Eddie Rose said of his time working for John Ford, "He  presented good quality shows that gave opportunity and experience to young wrestlers, and also to experienced ring warriors. You always felt you were working for a man who loved wrestling and paid good a wage for an honest shift."

Ezra Francis
Another of wrestling’s colourful characters Ezra promoted in a number of Manchester clubs in the 1960s and 1970s. Not all were the most refined establishments, and we recommend seeking out Eddie Rose’s books to read more about Ezra.

G

G & N Promotions
Promoting at the Seymour Hall, London,  in October 1952 and still putting on shows there in 1958. We would like to learn more.

Gamewell Promotions
This Norwich based outfit stretches the very edges of the Wrestling Heritages timescale, coming into existence during the mid 1980s. We think it deserves a mention because it embodies so much of the heritage we seek to preserve. Run by Trevor Denny, known to many as a referee and MC on All Star shows,  Gamewell Promotions used many of wrestlers nurtured by Brian Trevors.  Shows were presented in East Anglian holiday camps and small public halls. Amongst those appearing were established stars such as Brian Maxine, Mal Sanders, and Neil Sands as well as youngster such as Ivan Trevors, Sandon Kovacs, Steve Quintain, Jimmy Ocean, Colin Craig, Johnny Silver, Tony Barron, Robin Howard, Andy Bloomfield and Eddie McCracken,  and Ricky Knight. Gamewell Promotions continued operating until the early 1990s. With thanks to reader Andrew Bloomfield.

GHJ
In the early 1960s George Wright, Harry Strickland and a wrestler known as Sergeant Johnnie Lawlor joined up to promote wrestling at the Marine Pavilion, Fleetwood and the Pontins Holiday Camp in Blackpool. They took their initials and GHJ International Promotions were formed.

Globe Promotions
See Norman Morrell Ltd, Morrell Beresford Promotions, Globe Promotions

George Grant
George Grant was an Edinburgh boxing promoter and licensee of the Music Hall, Edinburgh who set up in opposition to the established Relwyskow Promotions in 1938 in Edinburgh and Dundee. In the late 1940s he co-prooted with Relwyskow at the Caird Hall, Dundee.

Arthur Green
See Relwyskow & Green

Jack Green
Jack Green was the father of Arthur Green and a boxing promoter who worked in association with George DeRelwyskow Sr.

Bob Gregory
Wrestler Bob Gregory was matchmaker at the London Club (Lanes Club) and also promoted his own shows. In 1936 a "Common Informer" was awarded £200 from Gregory, who had promoted wrestling on Sunday. Gregory wrote to the King about his perceived injustice. The Home Secretary intervened and the £200 penalty was halved to £100. 
Eric Kitchener, the "Common Informer" went on to claim a further £850 against the London Evening Standard because they had advertised Gregory's tournament. Despite awarding the claim the judge did question whether Mr Kitchener's motives were to purify the British Sunday or just make a few bob. 

H

Jimmy Hagan
See Solent Wrestling Promotions

Hardwick Promotions
In the 1970s coach excursion owner Harry Lightfoot promoted as Hardwick Promotions around county Durham at places like St Johns Chapel, Newton Aycliffe, Spennymoor and Gateshead Tyne and Wear. The Hardwick Promotions Gym was based at Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield.

J.Hart
One half of B&H Promotions, the other half being Jack Dale Sr

Chunky Hayes
Dennis Hayes was one of wrestling’s characters and a man who played an important role in the wrestling scene.  Born in Wombwell, a mining town near Barnsley he had a background in boxing before turning to wrestling. After moving to Gloucestershire he began promoting shows and used the biggest names on the independent circuit, including Dwight J Ingleburgh and Karl Von Kramer.  He is fondly spoken of by those who remember him.  Wherever those that knew him gather together  the stories about Chunky begin to flow, often about the rickety bus in which he transported his workers,  or the instruction to wrestlers staying at his home to not leave their bedroom because  he let the alsatians loose at night for security, and a good few stories we wouldn’t dare to repeat.

Al Hollamby
See Verdun-Leslie Promotions
 

Page added 06/02/2022