T: Townsend - trujillo
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
The 1960s was the decade of a popular musical revolution and the years during which wrestling reached a mass appeal peak.One man combined them both, and that man was The Fighting Marine, Frankie Townsend. American heavyweight wrestler and former marine Frankie visited the UK during the winter of 1961-2. Known in the USA as the “Singing Wrestler” he released a UK record, “I’m the Greatest.” Fora man of 6'4" and weighing around eighteen stone he was surprisingly nimble and his drop-kicks caused something of a talking point amongst Brtish fans. He came to Britain with a record that included drawn verdicts against Lou Thesz and Pat O'Connor at their best. Following his UK tour he went on to tour Japan in 1963 before meeting an untimely death in a 1965 boating accident, aged just 32.
We have good memories of a clean and skilful Merseyside based welterweight working for the independents in the 1960s. That’s about all. We would like to learn more.
Questions were raised in the Talk Wrestling Forum, but few answers forthcoming about this wrestler who appeared in British rings in 1957 and 1958. We would welcome more information.
He was known as “The Keighley Strong Boy,” and for good reason, but Brian Trevors combined his strength with a great deal of wrestling skill. He attributed his amazingly strong stomach muscles to his employment as a timber feller before he took up wrestling. Trevors was known for his feats of strength, such as breaking six inch nails with his hands and, unbelievable as it may sound, placing a halfpenny in his eye and bending it by closing his eye! Heritage members told us of Brian's reputation for being able to tense his neck and waist to resist being put in a Boston Crab. Ian Pringle recalls, “I can remember him well at St James Hall, Newcastle, being held by his legs by his opponent with his head on the mat and being wheeled around the mat like a wheelbarrow.” Brian lost at the Royal Albert Hall against Mick McManus and was a popular wrestler on television. A regular worker for Joint Promotions in the 1950s and 1960s he moved to Norfolk in the late 1960s where he opened a wrestling gymnasium in Fleggburgh. Brian was responsible for bringing into the wrestling world men such as Bad Bill Pye, John L Hagger, and Stephen St John. He became a well respected promoter, under the banner Anglia Promotions, and put on shows throughout the east of England.
Respected wrestler of the 1980s, and unsurprisingly so because Ivan was trained by his father , strongman Brian Trevors. Ivan was immersed in wrestling from an early age with his father's gym training some of the top wrestlers in East Anglia. A television win over Jimmy Ocean and participation in the ensuing Battle Royle brought him to the attention of fans nationwide.
Diminuitive French lightweight Claude Trigeaud stood only 5'7” tall and made a two week visit to to Britain in January 1964, getting time off from his work as a postman apparently. The young Frenchman was twenty-four years old at the time and had been a professional for six years, working in France and Belgium. He made little impression against mid class opposition. Brother of Roger Trigeaud.
Roger Trigeaud (Cheri Bibi)
Heavily built French heavyweight villain who made a short visit to Britain in September, 1957. Appeared in the 1961 film, World by Night, with Jacky Corn. He reappeared as a veteran aged 38 in his 1963 visit to Britain, tackling the likes of Judo Al Hayes and Bob Anthony. Born in Canapville on 7th April 1925 he was seventy years old when he passed away in Cannes on 19th February, 1996, aged 70. Roger Trigeaud was better known around Europe as Cheri Bibi.
Read our extended tribute: The Classical Stylist
Hec (Manolo) Trudeau
Hec Trudeau appeared out of the blue towards the end of 1937. Wrestling mostly in the north, often as Manolo Trudeau, he could be found facing lighter heavyweight like Jack Pye, Tony Baer, Tony Mancelli and Jack Atherton. Another early opponent was Canadian Billy Waton. The imaginative British promoters had him arriving from South America, Belgium, France, Austria, take your pick. He did have international connections and Ron Historyo has traced him back to the United States and Canada. It seems that Trudeau was most likely a Canadian, and it was there he returned to live following the Second World War. Unearth the story of this man who seemed to be from just about everywhere in our On the Trail series.
The South American mid heavyweight bad boy visited Europe and Britain in 1967 and 1968. Faced quality opponents but frequently ended up on the wrong side of the decision, often via a disqualification. Whilst KO'd by Mike Marino at the Royal Albert facing the World Mid heavyweight Champion with the title at stake may have been considered a highlight, but then a straight falls defeat by Johnny Czeslaw must have been the low point.