L: Roy LaRue
Wrestling Heritage A - Z
Roy LaRue was another of the Jack Taylor Leicestershire stable of wrestlers, training and working alongside his good friends Al Tarzo and Spike O'Reilly. Roy was one of Jack's first "finds" when he opened his training school in Eldon Street, Langley Mills, training with Jack for quite a few years before Jack began promoting.
Around 1956 Jack decided that it was time for Roy to make his professional debut, and Jack's creative mind transformed the ordinary sounding Ron Houseman into the more colourful Roy LaRue. The story goes, and this is from another Taylor protege, Al Tarzo, "Jack was in his kitchen putting together one of his first wrestling bills and dreaming up colourful names. He got to Ron's name and was a bit devoid of an idea then he happened to look across the kitchen and looked at the gas cooker. "BINGO" it was a De LaRue, and there you have it."
It was a name that fitted because Ron Houseman was a charismatic character. Roy came from the Derbyshire village of Pinxton and was born in 1933, the son of Dorothy and Benjamin who worked in the coal industry. Ron too was destined to work down the pits. It was here he met Alan Bingham, who became a close friend and training partner at Jack Taylor’s gym. Alan and Roy were very close, with Alan being best man at Ron’s wedding and godfather to his eldest daughter.
Roy, a very strong and powerful twelve stoner, was one of Taylor’s best proteges. Within a short time he was working regularly for the opposition promoters with opponents that included Eddie Capelli, Jack Taylor, Frank O'Donnell and, of course, Al Tarzo. Typical of Taylor he handed Ron Houseman a new nationality; it was usually Roy LaRue of South Africa, sometimes Canada, and occasionally France or even Ireland. Roy was a fans' favourite wherever he appeared, with a large following at the Granby Halls, Leicester.
Roy was heavily involved in fighting for better pay and condition for wrestlers and this may well have had a negative impact on his career progression. His career lasted into the early 1970s.
Away from the ring Ron owned his own business and was an action man who enjoyed parachuting, flying and gliding.
The last we heard of Roy LaRue was in 1988. His wife had died in October of the previous year and Ron had decided to take stock of his life. He had taken dramatic action and had sold his business of washing machine repairs, his house and three cars. With the capital released Ron had purchased a yacht and was planning to sail around the world, revisiting places he had been with his wife and new discoveries.