S: Silcock - Sinclair
Wrestling Heritage A - Z
Son of Bob Silcock young Bill followed his dad into both his trades, making his wrestling debut in the Isle of Man and running a fruit stall on Wigan market. That professional debut was at Laxey Glen in June, 1956, against a heavier opponent, Alec Bray. Bill surprisingly won that encounter with falls in the fourth and sixth round against Bray's opener in the third.
Bob Silcock (Also known as The Blue Mask)
Bob Silcock was a market trader in Wigan during the day (he took the business over from his dad) whilst at night travelled the country as a professional wrestler. Bob's twenty year career started in the 1930s, Ron Historyo discovered him in 1933, and he wrestled some of the best in the business, either under his own name or the hooded Red or Blue Mask. He resumed his career following the Second World War, having served in the Royal Air Force.
Ron Historyo said, "Bob Silcock was a great showman wrestler who deserves an extended write up so as to take his place on Heritage as one of the great Wiganers."
So, naturally, Ron put things write and you can read our extended tribute in On The Trail of Bob Silcock.
Related article: On The Trail of Bob Silcock on www.wrestlingheritage.com
Born in December, 1943, Ricky Silver was one of those who brought our wrestling heritage years to a close. Richard Winter learned the trade in the wrestling booths of southern England in the late 1960s and 1970s. Heritage member Joe King recalls seeing Ricky, Johnny Kincaid and Me Stuart king on the booth for a local man, George Sanders, He went on to work for Dale Martin Promotions, with career highlights at the Royal Albert Hall and wrestling Mick McManus on television. Ricky Silver continued wrestling until around 1998.Terry Cristel told us, "I had many bouts with Ricky, who was a great entertainer."
Joss Simms was a middleweight from Sale who appeared on the scene in 1935, billed from the outset as (possibly the first and maybe the last) middleweight champion of Cheshire. Matches were confined to northern England, usually in a supporting role with opponents that included Milio Popocopolis, Joe Reid and Doulas The Turk. Our last sighting was at Hull in January, 1946.
1960s and 1970s welterweight from Witton Gilbert, near Durham City. A popular good guy in the ring Alan wrestled for both independent promoters and Morrell-Beresford. When not wrestling he could often be seen as the third man in the ring.
Fans adored the handsome Yugoslavian born six foot two inches tall visitor, Zivko “Lucky” Simunovich, who reached British shores in the early 1960s. Having moved from his native Yugoslavia to Honolulu whilst a teenager in the 1930s Simunovich played American football professionally for the Hawaiian warriors before joining the police force as a motor cycle patrolman and eventually entered the professional wrestling ranks as a result of the encouragement of American promoter Al Karasick. That professional debut was in 1943 and Lucky soon gained experience both in Hawaii and mainland United States. Lucky and Bobby Bruns were the first holders of the NWA Hawaii tag team championship (in 1952), a title they were to hold three times. He toured the world as a wrestler, including not only visits to the UK, but also Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, and throughout Europe.
Our memories of John Sinclair are of a heavyweight willing to mix it with the likes of Klondyke Bill, The Ghoul and other villains of the 1960s/70s independent circuit.
On one occasion we witnessed him tagging with Klondyke Jake as a substitute for Bill. John was none too pleased He was a man who at least appeared to take his wrestling very seriously. A good, workmanlike 15 stoner who was taken on by Joint Promotions, and then we heard no more.
Lord Bertie Sinclair
With top hat and monocle John Walsh looked the part as he assumed the persona of Lord Bertie Sinclair in the northern rings of 1970s and 1980s independent promoters. Beneath the costume was John Welsh who began his wrestling career in 1958, working for numerous promoters around the North East.
A tool maker by trade John emigrated to the United States with his work in 1967, staying for three years until he returned to Britain in 1970. Back in Britain he resumed his career working for opposition promoters Don Robinson, Brian Dixon and Eric Taylor and John Allan.
John also worked on Ron Taylor's boxing booth, and remembers the day he met Muhammed Ali when the World champion boxer visited the North East. After many years in the ring, at 48 years of age, the knocks began to take their toll and Lord Bertie Sinclair called it a day.
We are pleased he still remembers the good old days as an enthusiastic member of Wrestling Heritage.