discover the muscular Dave Starr in the 1950s as Herculean Dave Starr
with wins over Doug Joyce, Jack Atherton and (an admittedly young) Gwyn
Davies. The boy must have had something.
certainly did. Those muscles were due to a long time interest in body
building. Leeds born in 1920, as David Cohen, his enthusiasm for body
building led to him successfully encouraging 16 year old Reg Park to
take up the sport. Until he met, and began training under the guidance
of David Cohen, Park’s only sporting interest had been football. Park
went on to become Mr Britain and Mr Universe.
1952 it was a change of name, to Dave Starr, and a change of sport to
professional wrestling. We come across him for the first time in May,
1952, wrestling Abdul the Turk. Other opponents included Dennis
Mitchell, Jim Anderson and Ernest Baldwin. Leeds Town Hall was a
favourite venue, and it was here that Dave wrestled on the same bill as
World Heavyweight Champion Frank Sexton in Septembe, 1952. The venture
into wrestling was short lived, around two years, despite making an
impression with his fine physique and wins over established stars in
Britain and Germany.
Starr had bigger things on his mind. Another change of name, to David
Morgan, and the opening in the early 1960s of The David Morgan Health
Club, in Hanover Square, Mayfair, London. Not just any old club; this
was the club to be seen at. The Dave Morgan Health Club gained some fame
and was frequented by celebrities of the day, such as Engelbert
Humperdinck, Marlon Brando, Andy Williams, Bruce Forsyth, Jimmy Tarbuck,
Rod Steiger and Richard Harris, until closure in 1975.
Dave Starr died in London in 2011 aged 91.