WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history 

N: Nandor - N'Boa

 Wrestling Heritage A-Z


Lajko Nandor
Hungarian light heavyweight visited during the winter of 1951-2, meeting the likes of Tony Mancelli, Milo Popocpolous, light heavyweight champion Sonny Wallis and inevitably losing to Bert Assiratti.

Mustapha Nasser (Also known as Tiger Shark, Buck Dalton)
Mustapha Nasser looked the part of the archetypal villain from the middle east. Well, until he spoke that is, when the Devoniam accent from his place of birth mingled with the Lancashire twang from his new home of Manchester.

The west country town of Plymouth  was a hotbed of wrestling in the 1930s, with international stars such as Karl Pojello, Karl Reginsky and Herbie Rosenberg appearing in the twice weekly shows against the domestic talent of Pye, Assirati, Garnon and the like. This was the environment in which George Thompson, born in Devonport in 1919, grew up. Not that George had plans to become a wrestler. A 1930s teenager had other more important things on their mind and political events overtook everyone's plans with the outbreak of war in September, 1939. George was enlisted into the army and as he  had always kept himself in good shape he became a Physical Training instructor. 

Following the war George returned to Devonport where he met up with a local wrestler, Dick Rogers, known to wrestling fans as Dick the Dormouse. Dick and his wife Jessie (later to promote at Belle Vue) were at the time running a boxing  and wrestling booth in the West country. On the look out for talent Dick and Jessie encouraged George to join their troupe of wrestlers, taking on all comers as many as a dozen times a day.

Life in the booths was hard (there were usually at least three sessions a day)  irregular money and poor conditions. George was eager to move in to the professional ranks and like his friends Dick and Jessie Rogers moved to Machester where there were more opportunities for a professional wrestler.  In our earliest record of George's professional career, in 1951, he was billed as Buck Dalton, a name he had used previously in the fairground booths. 

With the growing popularity of wrestling the newly formed (in 1952) Joint Promotions organisation was searching for young prospects. By 1953 George was a regular Joint Promotions worker,  travelling up and down the country facing the likes of Alf Cadman, Alf Rawlings, Charlie Scott, Horst Hoffman and Francis Sullivan. Not that George's name was to become familiar to fans. Promoters considered George's appearance far too exotic for a George, or even a Buck. Enter the fast and aggressive Tiger Sharke. Tiger Sharke worked mainly for Wryton and Morrell Beresford Promotions (with the occasional visit into Dale Martin territory) and even a tour of India.  In 1957  he made the transition to the opposition promoters and a third incarnation, Mustapha Nasser.  Mustapha Nasser was a villain who continued to travel throughout the country working for top promoters such as Jack Taylor and Paul Lincoln facing top independents of the day.   

Mustapha Nasser  retired from the ring in 1964 whilst continuing with his work as a chef in a convalescent home. Not that his influence in wrestling disappeared as he travelled to Offam, Nr Lewes, training youngsters with an interest in Wrestling.  He passed away in 1990.

John Naylor (Also known as Golden Ace)
Standing on the top rope facing the audience, a backwards summersault on to his astonished opponent and the inevitable result was a pinfall for John Naylor. Such moves were to become almost commonplace thirty years later, but in the early 1970s they helped make “The Golden Ace” John Naylor one of the new breed of wrestling stars.

Wigan’s John Naylor brought a breath of fresh air to the northern wrestling scene when he appeared in the early 1970s. Here was someone with skill, style, speed, and a healthy amount of aggression. The speed and agility should not disguise just how the hardness of John Naylor. Wrestler Tony Francis recalls, "Many Moons ago I was billed to wrestle Ray Steele on the pier at Morecambe. When I arrived at the venue I felt quite ill, and even more so when I saw the poster; Ray was never known for his gentleness! Anyway I had to cry off, and as it was too late to get a substitute it was down to Steve Fury to appear twice. Steve did his best, took the bout to round five, and left the ring absolutely exhausted. Now,the plot thickens. Steves'original opponent,The Little Prince, had also cried off, but this time a sub had been found....John Naylor!! Well,if Steve thought his match with Ray was hard, John took him to a different plane. Strangely enough,after a large whisky in the bar I was able to enjoy both bouts in comfort. I don't think Steve Fury has ever forgiven me! " 

Having learnt the business at Riley’s gym he could certainly wrestle, and his early professional experiences came on weekend visits to France. Along with contemporaries Steve Wright, Dynamite Kid and Mark Rocco, John Naylor played just as significant part in changing the style of 1970s wrestling, but often seems one of the forgotten men of the new breed.  

Red Naylor (Also known as Fireball Naylor)
A busy Welterweight on the north and midlands independent circuit in the first half of the 1960s;  Fred Naylor  was a frequent opponent of Kevin Conneely, Shem Singh, Colin McDonald,Johnny Saint. On the nights he wasn't wrestling Red could be found refereeing for independent promoters.  A referee of some merit according to Heritage member, Duncan, who told us he was "A good ref. though who knew when to turn his back!"  Barbara Sandwell told us, "I worked with him at Imperial Chemical Industries, Thornton Cleveleys in Lancashire. One morning shift we worked together and imagine my surprise when that evening he wrestled on Dominic Pye's bill at Blackpool Central Club."

N’boa the Snakeman (Also known as The Headhunter)
Said to be from darkest Africa N'Boa the Snakeman  was Bob Elandon from Leopoldville in the Belgian Congo, a Belgian colony in central Africa, now the Democratic Republic of Congo. He toured Britain several times in the sixties, initially billed as Elandon the Headhunter and later N’B oa the Snakeman.  What a sight he was as he brought with him to the ring a six-foot python, a gimmick subsequently copied by others. N’Boa walked slowly to the ring with the python wrapped around his shoulders, causing gasps from the audience as they moved quickly a few feet backwards.  With hindsight we can see that there was no danger to anyone, but this was a very effective and original gimmick at the time. 

Once he had entered the ring N'Boa the Snakeman showed himself to be a  colourful bare-footed and barely-toothed light-heavyweight baddie from wrestling’s golden era, who topped the Royal Albert Hall bill when he faced Steve Viedor.