E: Eagers - Elliott

Wrestling Heritage A - Z

Mike Eagers
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. 

Don Eagle 
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.

Vince Earnshaw
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.
Rob Hans
Flash Lee Edwards
Lee Edwards had the ability to upset the fans before he entered the ring. Long before, in fact, as his entrance was often interrupted by frequent stops to sneer at the audience and give them that familiar Lee Edwards “look.” It was a look of arrogance and conceit for those around him as he swaggered towards the ring. Once  he eventually made it in to the ring Edwards would slowly  removed his satin  robe.  As the ring lights caught the sequins of his robe and the wavy blond hair fans would have no thoughts of later more famous sequined blonds because Lee Edwards pre-dated flamboyant blonds by quite a few years. As was to be expected by his entrance Edwards wrestling style paid little attention to the rules; he was a tempestuous brawler who appeared in a hurry to end his bouts as quickly as possible. A regular in British rings from the mid 1950s onwards Edwards was at his most prominent when he became a regular on the Paul Lincoln independent shows of the early 1960s.

Vince Edwards 
A stocky blond haired 18 stone heavyweight from Manchester who was a bill topper for the independent promoters in the 1960s, opponents included Dominic Pye, Jim Foy and Wild Angus Campbell. Our earliest documented record is from September, 1960, when Vince wrestled Earl Maynard in the main event at Chester. His career lasted from the late 1950s until the late 1970s, but he remained relatively unknown in Britain as much of his work was overseas, working at times with the Bholu brothers.

Joe Egan
We have around a dozen recorded appearances in the midlands and northern England for in 1952 and 1953, opponents including Alan Colbeck, Jim Mellor and Bernard Murray. We would be interested to find if this was the same man as the famous rugby player of the 1940s and 1950s.

Wolfgang Ehrl
German Wolfgang Ehrl was a scientific wrestler who visited Britain in the mid 1950s defeating George Kidd amongst others, and often matched with far heavier opponents including the likes of Ernie Riley and Les Kellett. Ehrl's credentials were outstanding, being a silver medallist in the 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games and European champion  in 1934. Born in  Munich on 4th March, 1912, seventy seven year old Ehrl died on 11th June, 1980. 

Jim Elder
Dundee’s Scottish Lightweight Champion seemed a very promising prospect in the early 1960s; we have found his earliest appearances in 1959. A skilful wrestler he rarely travelled far south of the border. He entered wrestling following completion of his national service and trained in Dundee alongside other Scottish professional such as George Kidd, Ted Hannon and Chic Purvey. Jim’s professional career was shortened by other interests, and the world of wrestling prematurely lost another potential star. We have been told that Jim emigrated to the United States in the  1970s, last seen on the posters in 1976.
Count Eley
Teenage welterweight of the late 1950s,  said to have a judo background, billed from Italy, and likened to a young Eddie Capelli. Reality wasn’t quite as exotic as the young  Count was actually named Brian from Heanor in Derbyshire and another protege of Jack Taylor.

John Elijah (Also known as John Elisha)
One Biblical name wasn’t enough for the 17 stone Bearman from Walthamstow, who was known as both John Elijah and John Elisha. Big John turned professional in 1970, beating Bob Kirkwood at Folkestone, following an amateur career at the Sparta Wrestling Club, Shoreditch.
He shared wrestling with a job in the carpet trade, which he moved on to after working in the advertising business, and one forum wag famously commented that he looked like he had a roll of lino under each arm as he approached the ring.
His  style, relying on power holds, failed to excite fans, but he certainly had a niche as one of those valuable supporting wrestlers who were the foundation of the business. During a long and busy career he earned respect from promoters as a reliable and dependable wrestler, and genuine affection from fans around the country. 
Career highlights were challenging Bruno Elrington in Bognor Regis for the southern Area championship and wrestling Big Daddy in a clean almost technical bout on television. That year he wrestled Big Daddy many, many times.

Chick Elliott (Rotherham)

Salfordian Chick Elliott can be found under The Black Mask listing, but we have a second Chick Elliott for you.

Our second Chick Elliott was a Yorkshire lad, billed from Ilkeston but billed from Rotherham (maybe promoters thought it sounded grander). He was trained by wrestler/promoter Jack Taylor in his Derbyshire gym in the mid 1950s alongside Al Tarzo, Roy LaRue and Spike O'Reilly. We have seen him billed as Chick Elliott Junior, but are unaware of any relationship with the Salford heavyweight.

Chick dressed to impress. An impressive quiff and elaborate silk dressing gown gained him the nickname “The Liberace of Wrestling.”

A recurring back injury forced Chick into retirement from wrestling after only around eight years in the business. We have been told he got married and took up pub management in Leicester. One of the first things he did was to go out and buy a pair of Boxing gloves to hang behind the bar

Page reviewed 06/10/2019

13/08/2019: Vince Edwards and Vince Earnshaw added