WRESTLING HERITAGE

S: Tommy Stewart

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Tommy Stewart

One of the young wrestlers coming on to the scene in the late 1970s was Nigel Hanmore from Tonbridge, known in the wrestling ring as Tommy Stewart, billed as Young Nigel on some of his earlier shows. In 1980 Young Nigel became Tommy Stewart. Although he was not one of the most familiar names on the posters at the time Tommy was one of those often unsung heroes who kept the business going through difficult times. He was active for more than twenty years though remained a name unfamiliar to those who only watched their wrestling from the comfort of their armchair, but then they missed out on so much.


Out of choice Tommy chose to work mostly for independent promoters, and much of that time was spent working on the holiday camp circuit, a place of hard graft where there was little recognition from holidaymakers, many of whom had only a passing interest in the sport. Holiday camps did bring in regular work though, a dozen or so matches a week during the quieter summer months meant a regular income. That’s not to say Tommy didn’t have the chance to work for Joint Promotions. He did, and took bookings from them during the winter months.


A chance meeting with Butcher Dave Bond while watching the wrestling at his local hall led to training at the Dale Martin gymnasium in Brixton and then closer to his home at Mel Stuart’s gym in Snodland, Kent. His break in to the professional ranks came courtesy of Jimmy Hagen who booked him for a week’s work on his holiday camp shows.


Work for Dale Martin Promotions started with a match against Michael Bennett at the Fairfields Hall. It was during this time that Max Crabtree continued his habit of re-cycling names from the past and billed Tommy as Tommy the Demon. He found a higher profile when working as Big Daddy’s tag partner, but preferred to concentrate on singles matches. In the late 1980s as control of wrestling was loosening Tommy also worked for larger independent promoters Brian Dixon, and Jackie Pallo.


In the early 1990s as wrestling declined in popularity Tommy decided enough was enough, he’d seen the best days and now was the time to call it a day. We would welcome more information and memories.


Page added 19/06/2022