WRESTLING HERITAGE

C: Steve Casey of Boston

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Paul Rudderham, who wrestled as Steve Casey, has died aged 71.

2nd June 1950 - 12th February, 2022


Boston’s Steve Casey was another of the Jack Taylor lads. Jack certainly knew how to find them, though in this case Steve Casey didn’t take much looking for.

That’s because Steve, or Paul Rudderham, as he was in those days, was a wrestling mad youngster, born on 2nd June, 1950 in East Elloe district of Lincolnshire. Teenager Paul, who by then lived in London Road, Boston and attended Kitwood Boys School, would travel with his school friend Ricky Wiseman to watch Jack Taylor’s fortnightly shows at Boston’s Drill Hall.  Although they were evening shows Paul and Ricky got to the hall early, very early. We told you they were keen. They made sure to arrive before Taylor’s van with the ring arrived at the hall.  The two youngsters would then quiz the ring men as they set about transferring the ring and equipment to the hall.

After a while the ring men invited Paul and Ricky to help them unload the van. The two boys jumped at the chance, and once inside the hall took up the offer to arrange the chairs. Child labour maybe, but the lads were now part of the wrestling business and anyway it got them in to the show for free.

With the hall ready to go and time to spare Paul and Ricky would climb into the ring for their own fantasy matches involving Dr Death, Dwight J Ingleburgh, Lord Bertie Topham and  others they had seen in the hall. When Jack saw what the boys were up to he told them that if they wanted to be wrestlers they would have to learn how to do it properly. He invited them to his Saturday afternoon training sessions where they met  Mick Collins and Taffy Jenkins, who were a couple of years older and already working on Taylor’s shows.

For a few months the routine of Saturday afternoon training and helping out at the hall continued. One night as they had finished their work at the end of the show Jack Taylor handed them posters for the following week, another perk of the job. There was a tag match featuring Mick Collins and Bobby Bierne, who they knew. Their opponents were “The Boston Stumpers.”  They were obviously local as  the name  Boston Stump referred to the parish church of St Botolph. Paul and Ricky were excited at the prospect of seeing a couple of local wrestlers. 

Who were they?

Who are they? Replied Jack. It’s you two! 

Yes that was it. Paul Rudderham, who had just left school to work as a pipe fitter,  was to be a wrestler at  just sixteen years old. A new name was required, and Jack Taylor was never short of those, and this time borrowed the name of a famous Irish wrestlers now long gone. 

That was 1967 and for the remainder of the 1960s and the early 1970s Steve Casey worked for Taylor and various  independent promoters. Another wrestler and promoter who did a great deal to develop and encourage Paul was Boston Bill Clark who also put on shows around the east of England under the Starr Promotions banner.

In the second half of the 1970s Max Crabtree brought Steve over to Joint Promotions. This gave the opportunity for television work, and Steve impressed wrestling enthusiast Peter: “Two very good matches on You Tube with Steve Casey from Boston , Lincolnshire. A very impressive professional wrestler who seems to have been overshadowed by the son of Wild Angus who started as Steve Mcoy and became Steve Casey after the Linconshire wrestler retired.”  

According to television commentator Kent Walton Steve had taken a break from wrestling to join the army, but this has not been confirmed.

Although not as recognisable name as some of those we remember on Heritage Paul Rudderham, or Steve Casey, certainly did his bit. Part of the essential backbone of British wrestling that made it such a success. He has left us with two mysteries, that we hope will one day be resolved. Mick Collins told us that Paul also used the name Paul Rudean on occasions, and Heritage members have noticed a striking resemblance between Steve Casey and Lincolnshire’s Steve Stacey who was featured in The Wrestler magazine in 1972. Circumstancial evidence points to both being true.

Paul Rudderham died on 12th February, 2022 following his final fight with cancer.

Page added 13/02/2022