British wrestling history 

P: Pablo - Palin


 Wrestling Heritage A-Z

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Pablo the Gypsy (Worcestershire)
What is it about wrestling and gypsies. We had Pedro the Gypsy,  Gypsy Benito, Gino the Gypsy and at least three of Pablo The Gyspy. Of course the one thing they had in common was that none of them were actually gypsies.  Do not confuse any of our Pablo trio with Pedro the Gypsy, he was Gordon Allen and a  different person.

Just one of our Pablo collection had the distinction of a few years of Joint Promotions work in the mid sixties. He even made it on to the cover of The Wrestler magazine and was seen four times on television.  Working for Joint Promotions was Pablo de Aluarez who came from Worcestershire. Presumably he was the one featured on the cover of The Wrestler magazine.  

Pablo the Gypsy (Bradford)
For the independent promoters there was another Pablo from Yorkshire, Tony Kaye remembers, "I wrestled him a few times, the one from Yorkshire that is. A good lad and a pleasure to work with. It was said that he was the uncle to one of a pop group from Bradford." 

Tony was right. The lad from Yorkshire was Ronnie Uttley of Bradford. And yes he was the uncle of a pop group member; Terry Uttley from the band Smokie, whose most popular hit was Living Next Door To Alice.

Ronald Uttley died in 2014.

Pablo the Gypsy (Kent)
It was Wrestling Heritage member Barry Smith who alerted us to the existence of a third Pablo. This Pablo was from Snodland, a small town in Kent. His name was Bob Bartholomew, and by his own admission he wrestled only a handful of times, always using the name Pablo. Bob worked with wrestler Peter Gurr in a cement works, Peter being a lorry mechanic and Bob working in the stores. Bob had been a big wrestling fan for many years, Jim Breaks being his favourite. It was Peter who suggested  that Bob took up wrestling. Peter trained him, gave him the name Pablo and introduced Bob to Danny Lynch who was promoting at the time. It was 1970 and the new Pablo wrestled only a handful of matches before deciding his heart wasn't really in the performance side of the sport. It's outside the ring that Bob Bartholomew has made his mark. As he is added to the A-Z in 2016 Bob is still working behind the scenes for promoters in the south. He also authored a book, "Top of the Bill," about wrestling at the Royal Albert Hall between 1972 and 1982.

Ken Page
Activity suggests a Midlands based middleweight of 1961-62, though we do have a record of working in the North East for Don Robinson. . We would like further information. 

Johnny Palance (Also known as Johnny Locke)
Son of wrestler Johnny Mack this Liverpudlian was one of the under-rated men of the golden era, failing to receive the recognition he deserved from the major promoters. In the 1960s and 1970s Joint Promotions expected their wrestlers to work exclusively for themselves and readily stopped bookings for those who had the audacity to accept simultaneous bookings for the opposition promoters. Some wrestlers tried working their way around these restrictions and, if memory serves us right, that is how Johnny Palance became a man with two names, using the name Johnny Locke in Joint Promotion rings. With a background in boxing, and trained in the submission style favoured by Lancashire wrestlers Johnny was a tenacious and hard wrestler, "A great wrestler, who did not get the credit he deserved for his great moves in the ring," Eddie Rose told Wrestling Heritage. We saw Johnny wrestle for independent promoter s in the early 1970s and always found him good value for money. Did not seem to be given much of a push after crossing to Joint Promotions and was sacrificed to Wonderboy Steve Wright in what we believe was his only televised match. Johnny's skills did seem more appreciated by promoter Brian Dixon and many fans recall great matches with Kung Fu Eddie Hamill. Graham Brook recalls: "I knew him as Johnny Locke and it was Orig Williams I believe who began billing him as Johnny Palance due to his physical resemblance to Jack Palance. I used to attend Orig's shows at The Town Hall, Rhyl, regularly and recall Johnny having great bouts with Jackie Pallo, Adrian Street, Eddie Hammil and others." Maybe disillusioned with the British scene in 1981 Johnny travelled to Canada, working for Stu Hart's Stampede Promotions, where he used yet another name, Jake Foley!

Harry Palin
When we first came across Harry Palin in the independent halls of the 1960s the youngster did stand out from the run of the mill independent supporting men. Maybe that was hardly surprising as the Widnes middleweight came from the gymnasium of old-timer Ted Betley, who had already unleashed Wonderboy Steve Wright on an unsuspecting wrestling public. Whilst Wright's acrobatic style had caught the imagination of young fans Harry Palin was from a different mould. He had a much harder edge, appreciated by Lancashire fans, relying on a thorough wrestling knowledge combined with strength developed through his rigorous weight training regime. Mainly working around the midlands, north and Scotland Harry was signed up by Joint Promotions where he was a regular worker for many years, with half a dozen televised bouts to his credit. He also bestowed his son, Dave Duran, on a grateful wrestling public.

Page reviewed: 3/4/19