D: Ray Diamond
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
(Also known as Ian Glasper, The White Angel)
Whatever the identity he assumed Ray Diamond was not as man to be messed with. At Ferryhill Grammar School he was PE teacher Mr Glasper (Ian) but once in the ring he was transformed into Ray Diamond, the popular Middlesbrough wrestler. Unless, of course, it was one of the nights that he donned a mask and the character of the White Angel, aided by his female assistant in her revealing costume.
A larger than life character from Upper Weardale in the north east of England Ian Glasper was born in 1938. He started to wrestle in whilst serving in the Durham Light Infantry. He was helped along the route to the professional ring by Middlesbrough's Norman Walsh.
Ray turned professional in 1964, working mainly in the north of England mainly for independent promoters that included Don Robinson, Jim Stockdale, Allan & Taylor, and Cyril Knowles. Ray also promoted his own wrestling shows. Dwight J Ingleburgh recalled working for Ray, "He put on a show at at his school. Naturally he wanted to look good in front of his pupils. During the match he obviously wasn't content with the way it was going and whispered to me that I should grab the bell and hit him with it. The trouble was the bell struck harder than intended and blood poured from his forehead. I was concerned, but he loved it and paid me a bit extra after the bloodied school hero took the win."
In 1964 Ray had a stint of a few months working for Joint Promotions, usually Relwyskow & Green. This gave him the opportunity to meet established wrestlers like his mentor Norman Walsh, Barry Douglas and Jess Hodgson. The problem for Ray was the demand to travel long distances placed on wrestlers by Relwyskow & Green, who had many venues in Scotland. As a recently qualified teacher he could not commit himself to long distance travel and opted to work for the independents, who were more accomodating. Ray returned to Joint Promotions in 1970 where we have found him wrestling opponents that included Geoff Portz, Albert Wall and Mal Kirk.
Then there was the third identity. Ian Glasper may not have been the original White Angel, but he certainly brought a touch of originality with his female assistant.
Teaching, wrestling, that was not enough for this busy man. His interest in sport extended further into establishing his own sports company, Dunelm Sports.
Long after retiring from wrestling Ian Glasper went into social care working for home care companies providing suppport in the home for those who need it. Most of his clients lived in isolated villages and it is widely known that on one occasion he walked eight miles through snow to reach vulnerable people in the higher parts of the dale.
Friends, family and the wrestling fraternity were shocked in January 2012 when 73 years old Ian Glasper was killed in a car crash. It transpired that he had been taken ill whilst driving close to his home. Trubutes poured in for the gentle giant.
Ray Diamond died on 4th January, 2012.
Page added 06/06/2021