L: Steve Logan

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Steve Logan

His appearance gave Steve Logan little choice, he just had to be a villain. Obligingly, he sneered at fans from behind his straggly hair, showing obvious pleasure from the delivery of lethal forearm smashes and the application of each submission hold, of which there were many. Despite being overshadowed by his high profile tag partner many consider the Brixton hard man, Steve Logan, to be far more versatile and exciting than McManus. Without the burden of a seemingly invincible record to protect Logan was the one who could  take the chances to leave open the possibility of defeat, though it rarely happened. 

Logan's Cup Final Day televised 1965 bout with Ricki Starr goes down as one of the most celebrated monochrome matches ever. Defeats that did occur were often the result of disqualification, but they served only to add to his fearsome reputation, and for fans of the sixties and seventies that meant he was the hardest of hard men.  The surprising highlight of his competitive career came when in 1975 he managed to relive old foe Bert Royal of the British Heavy-Middleweight championship for a few months.

Ron Historyo takes up the story ....

Steve Logan - Iron In The Genes

by Ron Historyo

The last time I saw Steve Logan was about 1990; I had two young daughters going on a fairground ride on the promenade at Morecambe. The old guy turned round, scruffy blue jeans on, tired shoes and a red tracksuit top. Stiff long black hair almost as though he still used Brylcreem. The jaw struck me first, I knew this man. Reaching for my money I realised that I did not know him personally. We were almost exact in height and for a moment I wondered why he looked so washed out. He had faded as we all do, at that time I was built more powerful than he. Was he a mean Hombre? I don't think so.

What struck me was not so much a miserable man, but a sad man. I may as well have been a cardboard cut out, there was no eye contact on his part. On that basis I decided not to engage him on wrestling and who he was, maybe I am too introvert. To this very day I regret my decision. I had watched The Iron Man many times on TV and many times in the flesh and he was a favourite. O.K. not in my top ten, but there are so many, but I always enjoyed his bouts.

I cast my mind back to gran watching any opponent of Logan's on TV, with her fists clenched and getting angrier by the minute, shouting “Go on, give him some back, he's a dirty beggar.”

He sure sold his Modus Operandi to my gran, she fell for it.

Yes Steve's time as a wrestler had gone and today I am able to equate that he was about 68. My money dropped into one of those leather sacks like the bus conductors used to have and he about turned and remained in his trance. His star had burned so bright. He seemed to have little interest in life, just going through the motions. What could he at that moment he have been thinking about? We will never know.

Why he was in Morecambe? I only gave the vaguest thought, but ahead I can now answer some of this.

Many years later I was to revisit wrestling as Ron Historyo to find that between all of us who use the Forum, very little was known about Steve Logan.

Anglo Italian thought his name might have been John, he might be Irish or Italian in decent or even Mick McManus's brother. His wife was Hazel, but no Steve Logan married a Hazel and no Hazel Logan dies up in her homeland area near Morecambe where we have a Steve Logan dying in 2003 with a date of birth as 13 May 1922.

Despite that date of birth, we have no Steve Logan being born then in London or anywhere else. We have the Iron Man wrestling about 1950, certainly after Mick McManus and Bert Royal who started in the 1940's and others like Colbeck and Kidd and Kellett.

He was 28, why did he start so late? Yes he was in the  forces in the war but why the delay?

Apart from a few early bills, this is not a story about Logan wrestling and we also have the story how he was Joe D'Orazio's friend, his schoolboy days and was well connected with Dale Martins. This is really just about who was Steve Logan and, where  he sprung up from. Like Bill Benny and Bomber Bates, Steve Logan up until now had been a man of mystery.

Thanks to the catalyst of the Heritage Forum and the witty Matey Dave, the Wrestlers Reunion was coming up and our own Hack asked old Joe D'Orazio to shed some light.

Joe, in his wheel chair wrote down the name John Logland and suggested born in Bermondsey. Said also that Logan's father was Dutch.

With that clue boy Historyo was away and despite Joe's insistence on the spelling, the clue was enough for me to find the registration of the birth of John R Logeland  in Southwark in 1922.

Steve's father was Johannes Logeland, indeed a Dutchman who I suspect came to England in the first world war. The Netherlands, although legally neutral was in a difficult political position with it's Royal family and conflicting alliances. The Dutch Conscripted an army to oversee it's borders. Just maybe, Johannes thought it to be better off out of it all. And away from Europe. For the record Johannes was a baker of Bread and Cakes.

Logan's English mother was Fanny Henrietta Canty and they married in Whitechapel in 1919. Steve had an older sister Johanna born in Whitechapel in 1919. She went on to marry a John McDonald in 1945. Johanna worked in a sweet shop.

At the time of the second world war the Logeland's lived at 16 Ellis House in Southwark, this was on Brandon Road and sounds to me like flats. We are pretty sure Steve served in the war and next I find that in 1948 (17th June) Steve Logan boarded the Newcastle built SS Ranchi for Sidney. He was a labourer and still living at 16 Ellis House.

This I believe explains Steve's late start to wrestling. From there on we can find him wrestling here in 1950.

In 1949 a lady by the name of Hazel Hamlin married a John L Crowder in the Lancaster district. Hazel was the daughter of Richard and May Hamlin, dad being a fireman on the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. One address I have for Hazel was 2 Rose Cottage, Carnforth. Hazel was born 1931. (21st May)

Speculating that it might have been divorce, Hazel was free to marry John R Logeland again in the Lancaster District in 1952. In 1987 Hazel Logeland died in the Lancaster district.

It is now that I think I can understand that sad look that Steve Logan had, just a few years later on the sea front in Morecambe. Wife gone, wrestling career gone, no children as far as I can see. 

Going back to those Dutch roots, I can tell the reader a bit more.

Johannes Logeland was born 8th November 1874 and his hometown was the city of Zwolle,  inland from the Hook of Holland and he died in Bermondsey in 1952, the year his son married.

Steve's mother Fanny Canty was born in 1882 and died in 1960, also in Bermondsey.

Fanny was born in London and the Iron Man's maternal grandfather was a butcher from Lincolnshire whose name was John Robert Canty. I think we can assume that Steve Logan was named John R Logeland after this Grandfather.

But I have one final twist of fate for Heritage readers and it concerns that Dutch ancestry.

Over in Zwolle the paternal Grandparents had been Bernard Logeland and Arentdina Pasie who had married in Zwolle.

Bernadus Logeland had been born in Montferland 31st July 1824 to Jan Logeland and Aleida Bluemer.

Grandad had a peculiar sounding occupation.......ijzergieter.

When I looked up the translation, this was an Iron Man, yes  an iron Foundry worker.

Have we on Heritage found out how he became known as Iron Man Steve Logan?

Page reviewed 26/04/2022