R: Rudd - Rylands
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
Jack “Izzy” Rudd was a powerful, strong stocky light heavyweight of London in the 1930s who never really seemed to extend beyond the supporting role of enhancing the reputation of the stars. Opponents included Atholl Oakeley, Golden Hawk and White Owl. Having repeatedly carried White Owl to the side of the ring and deliberately thrown him over the top rope fans at Nottingham cheered when White Owl returned the favour, with Rudd counted out by the referee.
Post war we find Jimmy Rudd working the professional rings of northern England against the likes of Tiger Woods, Jim Mellor and Carlton Smith. We can only guess that this was the same RAF airman who, during the war, performed exhibition matches with another young airman by the name of Mick McManus. We have no further information but would like to know more.
An often overlooked wrestler who looked the part. Forgotten by many fans, respected and remembered by colleagues. Terry was a long-term career mid-heavyweight who could wrestle clean or dirty, bald or hairy, tanned or pale. Blocked at the Royal Albert Hall by Mike Marino in his title bid, this was the story in the over-crowded Mid-Heavyweight division all along for the this London born wrestler.
Terry turned professional in the late 1960s, quickly gaining experience and weight before taking part in the German summer tournaments, and was in time he was to find himself working frequently overseas. As he matured Terry developed a harder edge style which didn't endear him to fans. David Franklin remembers; “The wrestler who returned to Britain from these foreign travels was unrecognisable to those who remembered the handsome young prospect of a few years earlier. The hair was gone and he had put in a couple of stones of solid muscle, but most of all he had now developed an aggressive attitude that stayed with him for the rest of his career.”
Another wrestler who went in to pub management on retirement. Can claim one of the most outrageous quotes in wrestling (if we can believe The Wrestler magazine): that his toughest opponent was Tornado Torontos!
David Franklin again: “However let’s now remember all those great matches. He was a top professional who was never in a bad match. Terry Rudge guaranteed you a great contest and his win/loss record was highly creditable for somebody who fought all the very best although never really a big star name himself.”
We saw Birmingham middleweight Billy Ryan a couple of times in the early 1970s, against Sabu (Gurdial Singh) and Earl McCready in the independent rings. We remember a skilful, fast and popular wrestler, and have since been told, but not confirmed, that he was the son of veteran heavyweight Harry Yardley.
His stylistic manoeuvres, speed and agility made him a fans favourite, never more so than in his clashes with Jim Breaks. They had some great matches around the country, matching one another with speed and skill, and delighting the fans when Bobby would outwit the Yorkshire man who would oblige with one of the tantrums that he made his own.
Bobo Matu, as well as his father, Stand Rylands, were influential in preparing Bobby for his professional debut, against Sid Cooper. In the years that followed he developed into a first class lightweight, whose epic battles with Jim Breaks are remembered to this day.
In the early to mid 1970s the British and European lightweight titles moved freely between Breaks and Ryan, with fans rarely being more delighted than the four occasions they witnessed Bobby snatch one or the other of those titles from the Bradford man.
Television exposure gave him national popularity though Bobby worked mainly in the midlands and north of England for Wryton Promotions.
We are certain that Bobby Ryan could have remained one of the top men in the lightweight division until the sport went into near terminal decline at the end of the 1980ss but Bobby chose premature retirement from the ring in 1982. Fans were shockened and saddened at his departure from the ring when he was at the top of his profession, but Bobby's decision does mean that all our memories are golden ones.
Tiger Jimmy Ryan
Ex-boxer from Cashel, Co.Tipperary who turned professional welterweight wrestler in 1959 and claimed many a notable scalp during his ten years in the game, including Jack Dempsey and Tommy Mann - though he was more likely to end up disqualified than ever feature in a bout with a clear cut result. The self-proclaimed Irish Welterweight Champion was perhaps taking revenge on Dempsey who had caused him to lose his front teeth from a drop-kick in an early encounter.
Moved to Croydon in 1966 and tagged with Ivan Penzecoff in The Rebels until they turned upon each other during a match to end the association. Later tagged with Peter Rann in The Rioteers.
Bulked up to light-heavyweight and then disappeared abruptly and unheralded about 1971. He had always suffered from injuries, particularly to the eyes, and was a regular bleeder. The sudden curtailment of his career was due to hip injury. Went on to become a security officer.
Pat (Paddy) Ryan
We have found a handful of reports on Ireland's Pat Ryan with contests between 1934 and 1951 He was said to be a fast and skilful wrestler and in a match against Philo Vance fans were said to be thrilled by the speed of the bout At times he often showed a rather different temperament, on one occasion Pat was disqualified and then said to "get to grips" with the referee, and following another match, after being knocked out, attempted to hit his opponent with a glass bottle.
Born in Hudderfield in 1945 and trained by Ian St John the Yorkshireman had moved to the Isle of Man before making his professional debut. He was in his mid twenties when we last saw him in action and longing for his big chance on the mainland.
Fortunately for Sean there was a healthy wrestling scene in the Isle of Man at the time with a dozen or so youngsters training together and working regularly with weekly shows during the summer season.
Sean was one of these dozen or so youngsters who trained regularly at the George Barnabus wrestling club. When he was deemed ready to set foot in the profeesional ring Sean'made his debut against fellow Manx man Leon Ski at the Isle of Man Holiday Centre.
Sean was a clean and skilful wrestler who was very popular with fans.
We last saw Sean wrestling around the Isle of Magic some forty years ago, and would welcome news of what happened next.
A man remembered fondly by many fans as a television referee and, notably, the third man in the ring for the Count Bartelli versus Kendo Nagasaki loser to unmask match at Hanley. From Stoke on trent, Staffordshire, George William Stanley Rylands was born on 30th June, 1923. He was a contemporary of Jim Mellor, and the two of them trained together at the boxing and wrestling gym behind The Black Boy Public House in Cobridge. We find Stan wrestling in 1947 shortly after leaving the Royal Navy, opponents that included Red Callaghan, Alan Colbeck, Tommy Mann and Danny Flynn. Whilst those men went on to long and illustrious careers Stan was not so fortunate. Stan's wrestling career was cut short by a broken leg, which led to his career as the third man in the ring. As the resident referee at the Victoria Hall in Hanley it was Stan on duty to referee the 1966 match in which Kendo Nagasaki defeated Count Bartelli. We owe more gratitude to Stan, and wife Doris who he married in 1945, as they also bestowed on the grateful wrestling public his son, Bobby Ryan. Stan Rylands died in September, 1982.