A: Ray Apollon

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Ray Apollon

The Black Prince

A man with a presence. That was Ray Apollon. This man was big, in a muscular sort of way. When Ray Apollon was in the ring the ring shook. A very powerful and strong heavyweight. He was a Trinadian though he was actually born in New York, where his father was working at the time. The name on the birth certificate was Cyril Joseph and he came in to this world on 26th April,1924. The family returned to Trinidad when he was two years old and settled in  Belmont.

This man was brain not brawn. A well educated man with an honours degree from the Howard University in Washington D.C. he followed in his father's footsteps and studied medicine. Ray pursued his interest in weightlifting and wrestling whilst at university in Washington and continued when moving to Paris to further his studies where he was awarded a Diploma in the French language from the Sorbonne in Paris. Medicine was not to be his chosen path, however, as the wrestling bug took hold and Cyril Joseph became wrestler Ray Apollon.

He turned professional in June, 1952, and came to the UK for the first time in December of that year. From then on it was a case of moving back and fro between Britain and the Continent. In December 1954 Ray made his first appearance at the Royal Albert Hall, a drawn match against Dave Armstrong. He was back for the 1956 Royal Albert Hall Heavyweight Tournament, beating Ali Riza Bey in the first round and eliminated by Jose Olivera in the semi final.

Ray Apollon moved around the ring with some grace for a man of his size. Known as the Black Prince he met big names of the day such as Ernest Baldwin, Francis St Clair Gregory, Jack Pye, Zebra Kid and Mike Marino. For thirteen years he topped bills around the country, popular with fans who appreciated his skill and agility for such a big man.

With 1950s and 1960s wrestling success that brought fame throughout Europe and North America Ray Apollon spent five years living in Germany before settling in Trinidad. Back in his home country he remained a force in professional wrestling as a wrestler and promoter.

Ray Apollon died on 4th February, 1997.

Page added 05/02/2022

Reviewed 19/04/2022