S: Sandy Soutar
Sandy Soutar is the sort of wrestler we love at Wrestling Heritage. When we started the site one of our aims was to celebrate the lesser known names who devoted much of their life to wrestling and were important cogs in making the business work. Enter the likes of Sandy Soutar, a man who could do the business and deserves to be celebrated and remembered.
Rugged, and bearded Sandy Soutar was a hard man who could produce the goods and mix it with the best. he produced plenty of action for his legion of Scottish fans, usually opposing the invading forces from south of the border.
Sandy Soutar was born into a farming family, one of seven children, in Abernyte, Perthshire. He went into the family business as a poultry famer and a time as a telegraphist in the Royal Signals. Shooting, fishing and swimming, Sandy was a country boy. But never one to remain idle he had another interest. That was wrestling.
Sandy joined the North End Club in Dundee to learn amateur wrestling. Whilst there he met George Kidd, one of the greatest Scottish wrestlers. Sandy talked and worked out with the professionals and they persuaded him that he was good enough to make it in the professional ring. Sandy was keen to follow their advice but a sensible head on his shoulders told him to keep it on a semi professional basis and continue with his poultry farming business. Initially he worked for the independent promoters and was crowned Scottish Mid Heavyweight Champion.
Eventually Sandy was signed up to work for Joint promotions. Life wasn't easy for Scottish wrestlers. The distance between venues was much greater than in England and the density of population less than England meant more sporadic shows at most halls.
Many Scottish wrestlers, such as George Kidd, Ian Campbell, Clay Thomson and Chic Purvey had forsaken their country in search of greater opportunities. This was a price too great to pay for Sandy; he had a family and business, and despite requests from his promoter George deRelwyskow he resisted moves to Leeds and based himself in Scotland. That almost certainly meant less work, but Sandy was nevertheless a regular worker for Joint Promotions from the mid 1960s until mid 1970s.
Sandy wasn't the first in the family to follow that route. Sandy's brother had wrestled for George DeRelwyskow in the 1940s, tussling with the likes of Tony Lawrence and Carlton Smith . Sandy's brother, Robert, also used the name Sandy Soutar as a ring name, but their careers didn't overlap.
In the ring fans liked nothing more than to see the younger Sandy in the opposite corner of visiting sassenachs Alan Dennison, Mark Rocco and Dave Barrie. The best match of all, he told us was the night he met fellow Scot Lee Thomas at the Caird Hall in Dundee. There was great rivalry between the two of them in the late 1970s, the two of them having trained together at the North End Club. It was always Sandy's hope that he would one day hold Lee's Scottish light heavyweight belt.
"I loved the wrestling," said Sandy, but everything has to end. Sandy fought his last fight in 1985 at the Caird Hall Dundee, his opponent fittingly being Lee Thomas.
Sandy Soutar died peacefully on 30th June, 2019. aged 81.
Page added 27/07/2019