Flash, bang, wallop.
The angelic looking Vic Faulkner could never have been anything but a hero.
The younger of the Royal brothers was handsome and good humoured making him a favourite of just about everyone in the 1960s and 1970s. Fortunately, the boy could wrestle too. He was one of the new breed of acrobatic speed merchants that came onto the scene in the early 1960s, replacing the skilful but slower mat based technicians of the 1950s.
Flash as he whizzed around, bang as he slammed into his luckless opponent as he propelled himself across the ring, and wallop when the forearm smash or dropkick hit the target. Fans expecting a bit of action were never disappointed.
Born in wartime Bolton on 14th June, 1944 (not July as someimes cited). Vic was the son of another wrestling great, Lew Faulkner (Hessle) and his wife, Vevey. Like his elder brother, Bert, and father Lew, Vic attended Saint Peter and Paul's RC School.
With wrestling in his blood an entry to the pro ranks could hardly have come as a surprise. Bert and Lew taught Vic how to wrestle, with his professional debut in 1960. He was a modern day master of the mat with skills learned from his father, Lew Faulkner, better known as heavyweight wrestler Vic Hessle.
Vic supplemented his skill with speed, so much so that he could be tiring to watch. A favourite move was to play “dead” up to the count of nine before springing to his feet and attacking his opponent. Highly predictable after being seen for the millionth time fans loved this ploy, though whether opponents enjoyed being humiliated is another matter.
Charisma and ability were more than enough; Vic didn't need a championship belt to secure popularity or status. Nevertheless, during his career Vic held both the British Welterweight title and the European Middleweight title; so the promoters must have liked him too.
Vic made his tv debut in 1962 against the experienced Alan Colbeck. He was back in the ring just a few months later opposing Colbeck again, but this time in television’s first tag team contest with brother Bert facing Colbeck and Ivan Penzecoff. In the years that followed Bert and Vic did more than just about anyone to popularise tag team wrestling. To say they were the country’s most popular tag team would be no exaggeration. Vic’s appearances with brother Vic, plus single contest against just about every other big name welter and middleweight wrestler resulted in more than 130 television appearances
For many years Vic was licensee of the Railway Tavern on the Wigan Road, Euxton. He later went on to work for Thwaites, the Blackburn brewery and in 1998 was named Thwaites Salesman of the Year.
The wrestling fraternity was shocked to hear of the death of Vic Faulkner on 6th July, 2017.
We end with the words of Graham Bawden: “Vic Faulkner, was amazing in the ring and always enjoyed his wrestling. Bert brought a more serious scientific side to his wrestling and it showed. Bert and Vic, two of Lancashire’s finest.”