WRESTLING HERITAGE

J: Jackson - Jones


Wrestling Heritage A - Z


Eddie Jackson

Nineteen year old Eddie Jackson appeared on British wrestling shows between October, 1936 and March, 1939. Newspaper reports are favourable of a skilled “Box of tricks” who wrestled high profile names that included Jack Pye, Mike Demitre, Ray St Bernard and Black Butcher Johnson. Weighing fourteen stones he was said to rely on skill rather than strength. He was advertised as a Canadian, from Newfoundland, and with the large number of North Americans in Britain at the time we have no reason to doubt it. One report describing him as “A Britisher from Newfoundland” arouses suspicion of British heritage.


Ron Jackson

Having turned professional in 1944 Ron Jackson was well placed to take advantage of the post war wrestling revival and from the end of hostilities was a regular worker in Northern rings meeting the big names that included the Pyes, The Farmer, Charlie Scott, Dave Armstrong, Ernie Baldwin and George Gregory.  


He shared his wrestling commitments with that of running an off-license in Hartlepool.  


In the early 1950s he appeared at Belle Vue almost weekly and could also be seen regularly at Blackpool Tower and Newcastle. 


Ron tagged with Arthur Jackson on occasions but we are unaware if the two of them were related.


Jacobo

Jacobo was a Spanish strongman type, domiciled in Argentina. He was trained by the Spaniard Quasimodo.


Jacobo toured the UK  early in 1974 at a time when many hispanic visitors appeared to be replacing the French and Germans who had regularly visited in the sixties. 


Quasimodo had done a good job at teaching him the wicked ways of the ring as he met with frequent disqualification. No time for disqualification at the Royal Albert Hall when Tibor chopped him down to a KO defeat on 16th January. He faired better with a KO win over Tony St Clair on television (losing via the disqualification route to Ivan Penzecoff on his other tv outing). Other opponnents included Mike Marino, Les Kellett and Billy Two Rivers during his two month tour


Jan Jacobs

The heavyweight from Johannesburg, South  Africa, visited Britain for three months between September and December 1964. Contests were mainly in the south of England for Dale Martin Promotions with opponents including Ramon Napolitano, Majid Ackra, Danny Lynch and Yuri Borienko.

 


Martimeus Jacobs

Heavyweight from Bloemfontein in South Africa visited Britain in 1955 and 1956. Opponents included Bill Howes, Mike Marino, Francis St Clair and Arthur Beaumont. He travelled extensively throughout the country.


Peter Jacobs

Born in Hendon,  London,  Peter Jacobs moved to Great Yarmouth in 1966. A fortunate move as  it was here that he met wrestler and promoter Brian Trevors.  Brian trained the fourteen stone  youngster and encouraged him to turn professional, working on the East Coast holiday camp circuit in the summer months and around southern England in the winter. 

Peter’s career started with Anglia Promotions, working the East coast holiday camps in the summer and travelling around the halls of southern England during the winter months. 

A fast wrestler for his size, a heavyweight that moved like a middleweight, Peter showed a great deal of promise in the early 1970s.  Just five years after turning professional his career came to an abrupt halt one night at the Potters Holiday camp. “My knee went the opposite way it’s supposed to do” Pete told us. Following five months on crutches and a further six months rehabilitation Pete was warned that further damage to the knee could well mean that he would be unable to walk again. A knee replacement in his mid fifties and a lot of determination  regained much of his mobility but his wrestling days were by then happy memories.

Klondyke Jake

As is one Klondyke wasn't enough we had another, Bill's wrestling brother Jake. Although overshadowed by Bill in stature and fame it is arguably Jake that had the greatest influence on British wrestling as the one who achieved  national television exposure, regularly worked the German tournaments and went on to become one of the top independent promoters. Jake, weighing over twenty stones, had greater agility than Bill and the added mobility allowed him to demonstrate more wrestling ability. Having joined the professional ranks in the early sixties he remained a prominent name on both independent and Joint Promotion shows for three decades. For the majority of this time Jake did what he did best; anger the crowd before doing the decent thing and allowing them to go home happy by getting himself disqualified or losing to the shining knight. Glory came to Klondyke Jake in September, 1975, when he defeated the legendary Count Bartelli at the Royal Albert Hall. His son carried on the family tradition of wrestling and promoting.

Eddie James

Popular northerner (billed from either Rotherham or Newcastle) Eddie James began his professional wrestling life in the independent rings around 1960 facing the likes of Alan Sergeant, Pedro the Gypsy and Brian Maxine. In 1965 he transferred to Joint Promotions, although our records show him working only for Relwyskow and Green Promotions. He made it to the back cover of The Wrestler magazine (alongside tag partner Ron Davis) in January 1967.


Jimmy James (Manchester)

Jimmy James was a wrestler working for independent promoters in the north of England in the late 1950s. Opponents included Johnny Mack, Red Callaghan, Monty Swann and Tommy Bailey. His career was cut short when he was killed in a car crash at Shotton. A memorial show in his honour was held at Ellesmere Port in 1962. See also the entry for Jon Cortez.


Mick James (Also known as Mike Jackson)

In the latter half of the 1960s Mike James (who also wrestled as Mick Jackson) seemed to be just about everywhere, well in the North and Scotland he seemed everywhere at least. A popular welterweight ho was a regular worker on Morrell and Beresford bills and seemed to have a very bright future. Hardly surprising as the young Leeds based wrestler was trained by erstwhile British champions Eric Taylor and Ernie Baldwin at Jack Lanes Wrestling Club in Leeds . His professional debut followed four years in the amateur ranks. Fast and  skilled we thought he was really going places, but lost sight of him in the early 1970s.


Akala Jan
Born in Calcutta , Jan wrestled in India before she came with her family to Scotland. Her first appearance in Britain  was for Ace Promotions when  in May 1975 at Pudsey Civic Centre she was in a mixed tag contest partnering Billy Donnegan against Sue Brittain and Mike Demain  losing by straight falls.

In  November 1957 in   Bradford   she defeated Sue Brittain, a regular opponent, for the BWA title losing it to Brittain  ten days  later in Huddersfield.

Throughout her career she worked across the country in singles, tag, mixed tag and no rules contests .  After a short retirement, in the 1980s she again worked regularly with Brittain who was by now Lady Satan.

Known as a good and loyal worker whose speciality was a nerve hold and who could brawl with the best,  Jan died after a stroke following routine surgery in 2005. She was fifty-eight years old.
Contributed by James Morton

Carl Jason (Also known as Carl McGrath)

Carl Jason (the family name is McGrath)  is a Merseyside wrestler who trained at Crosby Amateur Wrestling Club before turning professional in 1972. His career endured into the 1990s, though his involvement in training youngsters endured much longer and only a few years ago we heard he was still teaching wrestling on his summertime return visits to Britain from his home in Spain.  


Alf Jenkins (Also known as Jimmy Johnson)

One of the pre war wrestlers of the All-In style Alf Jenkins began appearing on northern bills in 1938. Alf was the first professional opponent of Wigan maestro Jack Dempsey in Belfast on 19th July, 1946. In the months and years following the war  Jenkins became a regular feature on bills in the North and Midlands, wrestling the likes of Tommy Nelson and Tommy Demon. In the late 1940s and early 1950s he could be seen regularly at “The Bloodtub,” formally known as the Ardwick Stadium, Manchester. We also have record of Alf using the name Jimmy ,Johnson in the 1950s, always in Ramsgate and Margate. He was  certainly a man who knew what he was doing, with wins over Mel Riss and Carlton Smith, and draws against George Kidd and Bob Archer O'Brien.


Gentleman Jim

A busy worker in the 1930s Gentleman Jim was a hairdresser of Finchley, London. Born on 25th March, 1908 with the name of James Patrick Mooney. We have found him wrestling throughout the country from 1932 until 1938.

Klondyke Jim
Wrestling promoters did have a tendency to capitalise on succcess. With Klondyke Bill and Klondyke Jake having become top drawing names on independent programmes from the mid 1960s promoter Bill Clark concluded there was room for another Klondyke. We didn’t see Klondyke Jim in action and so can make no comment on his performance. He was a lorry driver from the Lincolnshire village of East Elloe by the name of Jim Deans. Born in 1947 Jim started wrestling in the early 1970s, tipping the scales at anything up to a claimed 30 stones he was certainly a big lad who must have weighed well over twenty. Klondyke Jim  travelled extensively through the 1970s and 1980s including a visit to Sweden. 

Darkie Johnson (Also known as Little Larry)
One wrestler, two names, and precious little information. The name Darkie Johnson cropped up first, as early as November, 1933. He’s said to be from Manchester, works only in the north of England and the promoters advertise him as English Bantamweight  Champion in April, 1935, a title he lost to Joe Reid at Preston on 31st May, 1935. Less than two months later, again at Preston, Reid is said to have relinquished the title and Johnson is holder once again. If ever there was reason for us not to get too tied up with pro wrestling title nonsense this seems good enough. Other opponents included Johnny Summers, Pat Magee Jack Alker and Alf Jenkins.

In July, 1940 it is announced that Darkie Johnson is known as Little Larry, now from Wigan,  in Manchester, Nottingham, Chesterfield, Blackburn and New Brighton. We have uncovered fewer appearances of Larry, but a continued championship web. In August, 1938, he is billed as British featherweight and lightweight champion. In April, 1939 he successfully defended the British and European lightweight title against Shell Shellaker. Little Larry is described as “fast, furious and skilful,” Darkie was “little and hard.”

Ron Johnson
A first rate heavyweight from Hartlepool who worked on bills throughout the north from 1946 until 1961.  Ron was small as a youngster until he joined the Horden health and Strength Club. This built him up to a well proportioned, muscular teenager. He took up amateur boxing and was the middleweight champion of his station whilst serving as a P.T. instructor in the R.A.F.  On leaving the army he took up wrestling and turned professional shortly after the war. For well over a decade Ron wrestled mostly in northern England and Scotland against first rate opponents that included the likes of Billy Joyce, Francis St Clair Gregory, Eric Taylor and Billy Howes. Following his retirement he went on to become a referee in Joint Promotion rings. 

Barry Jones (Also known as Seaman Tommy Watts)
1970s Portsmouth wrestler Barry Jones was trained by Bruno Elrington alongside the Wilson brothers, one of whom he faced, and went down to,  at  the Royal Albert Hall in October 1979. Barry also used the name Seaman Tommy Watts (previously used by Mal Kirk).

Gorilla  Jones
One of the pioneers of 1930s wrestling. Advertised variously from America, South Africa, London and Wigan the frequent wrestling commitments of “The Cave Man of the Ring” suggest the latter is, unsurprisingly, closest to the mark. With a reputation of a very strong wrestler he was reported to have given class acts such as Harold Angus, Richard Wills and Jack Dale a hard time.  On  one occasion having defeated Jack Dale on falls Dale was reported to have attacked referee Phil Meader, with first Jones, and then members of the audience intervening before order was restored.