On the 27th June 1954 Frank Wallen was born, a man who was to in later life go on to national fame as Dave Bond, the rugged no nonsense wrestler. Although Dave had a very successful career in the ring he was an all round sportsman and enjoyed rugby, judo, football and cricket, participating in many of these himself.
(Dave Bond playing for his local football team)
Dave Bond was a clever man, a scholar and an academic and his career initially took that of a civil servant. However, through his many sporting activities Dave, like many others, started his wrestling career in the amateur ranks where he trained at the United Club where he was taught the catch as catch can style of wrestling. Dave was a natural at this and worked his way through the ranks where he eventually got to the stage of representing his country at the Commonwealth Games.
Whilst Daves career in the amateur ranks was at a high it was the call of the professional ring that lured him, Dave wanted to experience the atmosphere of the crowd, he wanted to be a professional wrestler. Dave contacted Dale Martins gymnasium in Brixton and was given the opportunity to train there which he of course jumped at. Dave soon found himself training along side the likes of Lee Bronson and Mark Rollerball Rocco to name but two, men who would not just be working colleagues but who, it would turn out, would become lifelong friends.
(Dave Bond was soon top of the bill agianst the likes of Mike Marino)
After intense training Dave Bond was finally ready to step into the ring for his first professional bout. However, Dave was still working as a Civil Servant and was concerned what his bosses would think if they realised he was now entering the world of professional wrestling. A chance meeting with Joe D'Orazio soon put Daves fears to rest as Frank Wallen was to be renamed Dave Bond, a name that was made up on the spur of the moment as a new James Bond movie had just been released which gave Joe the idea but nevertheless a name that was to stick with Dave for the rest of his wrestling career and beyond.
It was not long before Dave Bond was in high demand, his wily rulebending soon earned him the nickname of 'Butcher Bond' alongside other ring names of Soulman Bond and Dave 'The Lion' Bond. Dave soon learned how to work a crowd and through the majority of his career walked to the ring to a chorus of boos and left to even louder ones. Dave knew how to rile the audience, he was the perfect wrestling villain and played the part to perfection.
(Dave Bond in action against Lennie Hurst)
Dave was soon being matched with some of the biggest men in the wrestling business and found himself in the opposite corner to the likes of Johnny Yearsley, Brusier Muir, John Elijah, Ray Steele and Caswell Martin amongst others. It was on the 3rd January 1976 in a bout from Gravesend that Dave Bond was to get his first taste of national exposure when he went up against Johnny Czeslaw and held the Pollish Eagle to a draw. This was the first of many appearances that Dave would make on ITV and had televised bouts against the likes of Mike Marino, Tony St Clair, Lennie Hurst, Steve Logan, Clive Myers and many more in singles bouts as well as numerous appearances in tag team action partnering the likes of Johnny Kwango, Honey Boy Zimba, Bronco Wells and Giant Haystacks.
It was in tag team action that Dave Bond will be remembered as his most controversial time in the wrestling business. It was decided by the Promoters that they would introduce a new tag team by the name of the Caribbean Sunshine Boys, the team consisting of Dave Bond and his good friend Johnny Kincaid. The team was an instant hit and had a memorable bout at the Royal Albert Hall against Roy St Clair and Tarzan Wilson on the 21st September 1977. It was on the 8th October 1977 that the notorious tag team would first be seen on television when they took on the team of Eddie Hamill and Pete Roberts in a bout filmed at the Fairfield Halls, in Croydon. Whilst Bond and Kincaid lost this match, albeit by disqualification, they had certainly left their mark. This team soon became one of the most talked about tag teams in British wrestling history, the fans dislike of their rulebending ways even resulted in skirmishes at ringside. Although the team would only last a year Dave Bond and Johnny Kincaid became the best of friends and remained so until Daves sad passing.
(Dave Bond and Johnny Kincaid as The Caribbean Sunshine Boys)
Dave Bond was now firmly established as one of the countries leading heavyweights and continued to be in demand not only in the UK but also around the world and toured the likes of Dubai, Zimbabwe and Beirut with a great deal of success. Whilst Dave Bond never reached the heights of holding a championship he was one of the most recognisable names in the wrestling business.
Dave Bond was also known as a practical joker, there are far too many stories to write about but he was often known for setting up his fellow professionals and the sitting back normally in hysterics as he watched their reaction to whatever prank he had set them up for.
(Dave Bond, Tony 'Banger' Walsh and Keith Haward at the British Wrestlers Reunion)
As time caught up with him Dave Bond retired from the professional wrestling scene although he continued to maintain a keen interest in it. As well as being a regular and great supporter of the Reunion Dave spent his time teaching wrestling (something that he had always been very keen on doing) and other athletic sports and was never happier when he was helping someone no matter what it was, if Dave Bond could aid you in any way he would be there.
It was a great shock to everyone when Dave Bond sadly passed away on the 4th January 2012 at just 57 years of age after suffering a heart attack. Dave Bond was no ordinary man but an outstanding athlete with great humour and generosity with a genuine love of life and people. Whether it be Frank Wallen or Dave Bond, the man had something that is very rare and that is that he will always be remembered. Dave Bond was a true professional in the wrestling business as he was in life and that is why he fully deserves his place in the Hall of Fame.
(Dave Bonds sons collect his Hall of Fame Award on behalf of their late father at the 2014 Reunion)