Mike Eagers was a popular 1960s middleweight, billed and living in Sheffield but we have unconfirmed reports he was born in Blackpool and moved to Sheffield when he was three years old. On leaving school he became a joiner and learned to wrestle in his spare time.
He turned professional in 1965,. Television exposure came early in his career. His fast, clean style was an immediate hit with viewers, cheering him on against the bad boys Mick McManus and Jackie Pallo.
No gimmicks, no illusions, just a well trained professional wrestler who entertained fans with his know-how. That training came at Ernie Baldwin’s Tingley gymnasium.
Mike was a real golden boy of the 1960s, and was voted by TV viewers as the one to wear the World of Sport Gold Cloak on no fewer than three occasions. Nevertheless, Mike was pulled by promoter Norman Morrell from a tv bout against Mick McManus and replaced by Peter Preston in the infamous double cross. Officially Mike was injured at the time, but our records suggest his injury enabled him to be pretty active elsewhere at the time!
Not only was Mike a popular and talented singles wrestler he also formed a popular tag partnership with Harry Kendall. With both wrestlers being deaf they called themselves The Silent Ones.
After a whirlwind start, and having established himself as one of the best middleweights fans were shocked in July 1969 when Eagers announced he was retiring from the ring to devote his time to church work. In an interview with The People he said that his religious convictions prevented him from continuing to hurt people and was joining the Jehovah Witness movement. He made his last ring appearance in August, 1969, working full time as a joiner and voluntarily teaching young, deaf Jehovah Witness followers
It was hard to believe that such a promising career could be curtailed so abruptly. No one has left his fans simply clamouring for more.
Made a couple of television appearances in the autumn of 1986, one in which he tagged with Johnny Wilson, and the second facing Birmingham's Steve Logan. Not to be confused with the original and highly acclaimed Don Eagle, who died in 1966.
Mir Zaffer Ealam
Pakistani Welterweight who made the first of three televised appearances against Jim Breaks in 1963, the following year versus Bob Archer O'Brien and in 1966 knocked out Tony Borg when the Maltese wrestler made his 1966 televised debut.
1950s Yorkshire heavyweight from Huddersfield. Vince was the brother of Huddersfield rugby player Terry Earnshaw. Opponents included Arthur Jackson, Jack Atherton Vic Stewart and Dave Valentine.
Ebony Kid (Also known as Al Diamond)
Doncaster's Ernie Bowman was trained in the early 1970s by Yorkshire wrestler/promoter Cyril Knowles. In the mid 1970s he began wrestling for Cyril and independent promoters of the north. After a couple of years he was signed up by Max Crabtree for Joint Promotions where he sometimes used the name Al Diamond (not to be confused with a 1950s Canadian heavyweight of that name).
His career continued well into the 1990s. The Ebony kid died of cancer in December 2013. Photo (left) was taken when we met Ernie at the Leeds reunion in 2011, on the right he is in action against Red Brocco, and the poster features him using the name Ebony Kid on a Joint Promotions show.
Heritage reader Rob Hans wrote:
Ernie was an employee of mine in the late eighties. A lovely bloke, he was a driver for a waste management company I was brought in to manage, he worked with a guy called Dave Adams (who also wrestled under the name `Grizzly Adams`).
Ernie was hard-working, loyal and a devoted dad. All the people I inherited at that particular depot were lazy and worked to meet their own agenda, and ended up gone. Except Ernie.
I put him through his Class 1 HGV (which he failed about eight times!) but you couldn`t give up on the guy as he was just so willing and enthusiastic he was a pleasure to have around. What you saw was what you got.
Ernie became a friend, rather than an employee, and he came up from Askern near Doncaster to Halifax to do some plastering for me. He brought his daughter with him and she was amazed at the hills where we are (Askern being very flat). She was an absolute credit to him.
We eventually lost touch (as you do....), but I often wondered where he was and tried to track him down with little success. Anyone meeting him just couldn`t help but be captivated by his massive beaming grin and smile, and his huge and hearty laugh.
I never saw him wrestle, but a quarter of a century on, I still feel a better person for meeting him, and that applies to very few people I`ve met, believe me.