B: Robby Baron
An amateur wrestler since he was 11 Robby had found his ways around the wrestling halls working as a second for Lincoln. Fred Barnes, wrestling correspondent of the Coventry Standard wrote how impressed he was with Robby, "Here is a boy who really learned his chosen profession before stepping into the ring." That learning was at the Symbic Amateur Wrestling Club in Dulwich under the guidance of John Harris.
His speed, skill and youthful looks made him an immediate favourite throughout the south. To be honest, although his debut was in Glasgow, he rarely ventured far north.
The transferrence of his talent to Dale Martin Promotions went smoothly enough, he was an immediate favourite as he took on a mixture of the Lincoln men with whom he had travelled and DM regulars like Peter Szakacs and Bernard Murray. The lanky weleterweigh was billed as Young Robby, with Dale Martin's insisting he was one of the youngest wrsetlers and ignoring his five years experience. As noted in our Armchair Corner review Glass Ceilings and Hush Money eight years later Kent Walton was still going on about Robby'e inexperience despite having been a professional for a dozen years and transformed by then into Robby Baron.
That was the thing with Robby. He just wasn't allowed to grow old. He was talented, and athletic, but well in to the 1970s he remained in the promising newcomer category although he deserved much more.
From his television debut against Ray McGuire in November, 1968 he was a fovourite in almost forty televised matches but done no favours against mostly other lesser celebrated men and the occasional loss against more high profile stars such as Johnny Saint, Mick McManus and a 2-0 defeat by an elderly Johnny Kwango. Robby Baron deserved so much more.
Robby was closely associated with Mick McManus throughout his career, driving the main eventer around in his heyday, with recompense of an appearance on the day’s number one tv show, the Generation Game, -as usual with McManus. Maybe that is a secret to Tobby's never ending supporting role. McManus preferred tp go on second, allowing an early drive home. Consequently driver Robby would have to be fixed in the opening match.
Despite filling out to more than 13stones in the 1970s Robby continued to be billed against mostly lighter men with little recognistion of his physical development. Overseas his maturity seemed appreciated more, wrestling heavier men and even defeating Ricky Starr in Austria, which would have been unheard of in Britain. The penny finally dropped when he was partnered with Steve Viedor at the Royal Albert Hall, only to disappear shortly afterwards.
Robby Baron died in September, 2010.
I met his mum Joy and they lived above the pub for about 2 years with their large white poodle Vienna. They then moved to The Queens Head pub in Green St Green near Orpington Kent. I stayed in touch with them and eventually went to live with them with my girlfriend. I did the bar work and she did the food. He was a wonderful host and we had many regulars and I still remember his great laugh. I eventually left for pastures new but still kept in touch with him.
He really was a lovely man and the community got to know, love and respect him. He would talk about Wrestling if you asked him but he never bragged or became big headed. I got the impression that the promoters made the money and no wrestler became as rich as today's TV Sports stars. I still have the 7 inch vinyl record he gave me on Pye Records of When We All Go in the ring to the tune of When All The Saints. He is a great loss as a wrestler, friend and person.