M: Skull Murphy

Skull Murphy

Steve Young, Dave Young

We all had our favourites and showed our allegiance by collecting autographs and buying photographs. Not many want as far as wrestling enthusiast Benjamin Alexander, above proudly displaying his tattoo of Skull Murphy.

As soon as he made his television debut in April, 1968 against Mike Eagers the fans warmed to Steve Young, the wrestling name assumed by Plymouth’s Peter Northey. He was bright, he was exciting, he was a breath of fresh air. Further television appearances followed against Colin Joynson, Alan Dennison, Pete Stewart, Les Kellett and a tag partnership with Adrian Street that lost to the Royal Brothers. Twenty years later when wrestling disappeared from ITV screens, he was still entertaining us, but with a difference.

Little did we guess in those faraway days that the blond haired Steve Young, a skilled technical wrestler, would metamorphosis into something not unlike his dad, Roy Bull Davis, and become known to us all as Skull Murphy. Skull Murphy was a shaven headed assassin, nothing at all like the nice young boy we had cheered.

That is not to say that Murphy was in any way a mere imitation. Certainly not. We loved to watch dad wrestle, but Skull more than competently kept up the family traditions in the world of professional wrestling.

Steve Young had made quite an impression when he entered the professional ranks. Many fans would have been disappointed when he left Joint Promotion rings to work for the independents. It was promoter Max Crabree that brought him back to Joint rings in the early 1980s, giving him a totally new personality with a not so original name (there was an American one) Skull Murphy. By now he had filled out to become a leading figure in the heavyweight division, at one time partnering Dave Fit Finlay in tag action. On the 9th November 1982 Murphy and Finlay defeated the team of Johnny and Peter Wilson at Croydon in the final of the World of Sport Tag team Tournament. The team regularly tagged together until around 1986., though did still pair together occasionally after that.

For more than thirty years he enraged fans as one of the greatest bad men of the late twentieth century. It was not until 25th March 1995, in a match held at Norwich, that Skull would taste championship glory as he defeated Alan Kilby for the British Light Heavyweight title. Murphy held this championship until September 1995 when in a rematch with Kilby he was to lose the belt to the Sheffield wrestler.

His unpredictable nature made all his bouts all-action affairs, and one of the few wrestlers able to please fans of the Mountevans era and those of the new millennium.

Page added 10/07/2022