British Wrestlers Reunion
Strengthening the Ring of Friendship

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Mick McMichael remembered in his hometown of Doncaster

Following on from the very sad news we reported last week that Mick McMichael had passed away it is nice to see that he has been remembered in the local press of his hometown of Doncaster, the full article as published is as follows:-
He was a regular on World of Sport in the days of Dickie Davies - but Doncaster is this week mourning the loss of a wresting legend. The former big name star of the ring, Mick McMichael, has died aged 75 after a short illness, after a career which saw him wrestle all across Europe and become a household name in the 70s.

Mick was said to be in the top five wrestlers in terms of the times they appeared on the television between 1955 and 1988. Dad of two Mick was known to his family by his real name, Mick Gale, at the family home on Canterbury Road, Wheatley, and was known at Wheatley High School for his rugby skills rather than wrestling. He also learned the trumpet, but after leaving school aged 15 he started an electrician's apprenticeship at Markham Main Colliery in Armthorpe.

After seeing wresting at Doncaster Corn Exchange, he decided that was what he wanted to do, and started professionally aged 16. He travelled around 100,000 miles a year driving from from venue to venue in his Volkswagen Beetle, and performed at theatres and halls across Europe, including the Royal Albert Hall, alongside other stars including Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy, with his bouts shown on Saturday afternoon television.

Back in England, he sometimes did work as a water bailiff when he was not wrestling. After giving up wresting in his 50s, he became a referee in the sport, wearing a kilt when he did so. He also become a regular extra on the television soap Emmerdale in the past 15 years.

His son, Tony, said: "It was great having a local personality as a dad. We had a fantastic upbringing, because during the holiday were travelling with him to places like Blackpool and Skegness, when he was wrestling there. He also took us abroad for the summer holidays to places like Germany and Austria. "He was one of the goodies in terms of the characters in wrestling - they called him a 'blue eye'. At one stage he was Big Daddy's tag partner. "He appeared on a mural at the bus station a few years ago. It had pictures of famous people from from Doncaster on it and he didn't know that he was going to be on that. He said 'they might have told me ' - but he was very proud. "But he was very private away from wrestling."

Mick leaves a wife, Wendy, a son, daughter and four grandchildren.

We here at the British Wrestlers Reunion think this is a lovely tribute to one of the good guys of British wrestling and may Mick now RIP.

Wrestling Legend Bruno Sammartino dies aged 82

We are very saddened to learn that one of the greats of World Wrestling Bruno Sammartino has passed away aged 82.

Bruno was without doubt one of the all time greats and was known around the World holding the WWWF (now WWE) Title longer than any other wrestler.  World Wrestling Entertainment have issued the following statement regarding Brunos passing:-

The story of Bruno Sammartino is the story of the American dream.


During his childhood in the small Italian mountain town of Abruzzi, Italy, Bruno Sammartino heard stories about how the streets in the United States were paved with gold. Though he believed it literally at the time, Sammartino would experience fortune and fame first-hand as the longest-reigning WWE Champion and the most beloved competitor in the history of the squared circle.


Life wasn’t always so glorious for The Italian Superman. Bruno’s brother and sister both passed away at young ages, and Adolf Hitler’s Nazi forces seized their town, but Bruno persevered. He and his mother hid in a mountain called Valla Rocca during the German occupation and eventually joined his immigrant father in Pittsburgh in 1950.


Sammartino began lifting weights as a young man and grew to become one of the strongest men on the planet. After setting a world record in 1959 by bench-pressing 565 pounds, Sammartino caught the eye of Vincent J. McMahon, and became a sports-entertainer.


Bruno became an overnight sensation, connecting with not only fellow Italians, but also Latinos, Greeks and Jews, successfully bridging the gap in America’s melting pot of wrestling fans. His legend continued to grow on May 17, 1963, when Sammartino defeated Buddy Rogers in just 48 seconds to become the second-ever WWE Champion in front of nearly 20,000 fans at the old Madison Square Garden.


Bruno held the WWE Championship for nearly eight years — by far the longest reign of all time, and a record for all professional wrestling champions, no matter the organization. A household name all over the country, the beloved hero defended his title in legendary rivalries against WWE Hall of Famers Killer Kowalski, Gorilla Monsoon and George “The Animal” Steele.


In early 1968, Sammartino headlined the first wrestling event at the brand-new Madison Square Garden, just eight days after it opened. The Garden truly was the house that Bruno built, as he sold it out an astounding 187 times. When he lost the title to Ivan Koloff in 1971, grown men in the crowd were seen weeping, but on Dec. 10, 1973, Sammartino became the first two-time WWE Champion and held the title for an additional three-and-a-half years.


On Aug. 9, 1980, Sammartino defeated his former protégé, Larry Zbyszko, inside a steel cage at New York City’s Shea Stadium in front of more than 35,000 people. The heated grudge match broke box-office records for wrestling events, and Bruno retired from the ring the following year.


Bruno returned to WWE in the mid-80s as a broadcaster alongside Mr. McMahon and as a mentor for his son David, who was just beginning his grappling career. Now known as The Living Legend, Bruno also engaged in several rivalries with a generation of WWE’s greatest villains, including “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and The Honky Tonk Man.


The star power and influence of Sammartino was exemplified by the fact that he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was the 188th and final time that Sammartino headlined and sold out Madison Square Garden.


The British Wrestlers Reunion send our condolences to Brunos family and friends at this very sad time.

(Bruno Sammartino with WWE Head Vince McMahon)

Zoltan Boscik sends his best wishes to his colleagues and friends from his home in New Zealand

Zoltan Boscik was one of the great lightweight of his generation and during his career entertained millions of fans up and down the UK especially in his bouts with other great lightweights such as George Kidd, Jim Breaks, Johnny Saint, Steve Grey and Jon Cortez to name but a few.

Zoltan had his first wrestling encounter in 1954 when he joined the amateur ranks where he had a modicum of success,  However, on arriving in England Zoltan focused solely on becoming a professional wrestler and was soon competing on a regular basis up and down the UK.  Initially Zoltan was wrestling for independent promoters under the name of Zoltan Zimmerman but his ring skills were soon being noticed by the promoters at Joint Promotions and soon Zoltan had not only a change of employer but a change of name as well. 

 

Despite the fact that Zoltan rarely broke the rules he never really received the cheers of the fans, mainly due to the fact that due to his weight he was often opposing fan favourites.  Zoltan was a very skilful wrestler who was an master of the submission hold and had many great matches with the men mentioned above together with the likes of Jim Breaks, Al Miquet  etc.

 

On the 25th May 1963 Zoltan was given his first taste of national exposure when he wrestled Cyanide Sid Cooper from Wembley in the annual F A Cup Final Day wrestling show.  Although Zoltan lost the bout by two falls to one it was a great learning curve for him and Zoltan went on to regularly appear on the itv wrestling shows up until it was removed from the television screens in 1988.

 

On the 18th June 1969 Zoltan was given the opportunity to wrestle for the British Lightweight Championship in a match held at Sheffield against the then Champion Jim Breaks.  As expected this was a hard fought contest with both men more than capable of winning the bout.  However, Zoltan was triumphant and won the title and belt.   Zoltan held the title for twelve months before losing it in June 1970 to Jon Cortez but regained it from Cortez a month later.   Zoltan would then hold the title until the 12th May 1971 when he was to lose it to Johnny Saint in a bout held again in Sheffield. This was to be the final time Zoltan was to hold this championship. 

 

Throughout the 1970s Zoltan was a well known and established star in the UK mainly thanks to his British Lightweight Championships and was now recognised as one of the greatest lightweight wrestlers in the World.


Zoltan Boscik retired from the ring in the late 1980s and for many years has resided in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Sadly, Zoltan is now suffering from Alzheimers Desease although despte this can still recall his wrestling days with great enthusiasm.


Zoltan sends his very best wishes to all of his British fans and is very pleased that we all still remember him.


We would like to thank Zoltans wife Suzanne for the photographs shown which have been forwarded to us by Johnny Kidd.

(Zoltan enjoying a nice relaxing drink in the New Zealand sunshine)
(Zoltan and Suzanne on their wedding day)

Tony St Clair pays tribute to his great friend Mick McMichael

Tony St Clair is one of the greatest wrestlers to ever step through the ropes, many wrestlers would be happy to achieve half of what Tony did in his distinguished and illustrious career, he is not only one of the huge legends of wrestling but a great ambassador for British wrestling around the World.

Following on from the sad announcement that Mick McMichael has passed away Tony has made his own poignant tribute to his dear friend via his social media page, a tribute which he is happy for us to share with our members here:-

'I received the sad news about Mick just days before I left for my birthday in Tokyo but could´nt post it at that time. 


After talking to his wife Wendy she said Mick wanted to leave without any fuss, to be laid to rest with just his Family in attendance, and out of respect for both Mick & Wendy. I agreed not to make it public.


Mick was one of my closest friends,along with Jeff Kaye, we worked together in Germany for many years, they both had the best understanding of Pro-Wrestling that I´ve ever known and between them trained not only many top English but also many Japanese and U.S Wrestlers,ask Vader or Scot Hall or Masa Chono just to name a few and to CWA he was irreplacable.


The photo above of Mick says everything about him,he had a tremendous sense of humor, I have so many genuine stories that I could tell you would cry and laugh at the same time.


I´m sure that at the Reunion a lot of you will have some stories to tell about Mick,lets all raise a glass to him in memory of a true Legend !


RIP Mick ,You will remain in our hearts forever'.


RIP Mick McMichael.... A lovely tribute from Tony for which we thank him for. 
(Tony St Clair has paid tribute to his great friend Mick McMichael)

Alfred Hayes inducted into 2018 WWE Hall of Fame Legacy Wing

The British Wrestlers Reunion would like to say how pleased and proud we are that Judo/Lord Alfred Hayes has posthumously been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame 2018 Legacy Wing.


World Wrestling Entertainment have made the following statement confirming Alfreds induction:-


Lord Alfred Hayes

While most members of the WWE Universe remember Lord Alfred Hayes as a jovial commentator during WWE’s boom in the 1980s, the Brit was a feared competitor inside the ring before he stepped behind the microphone.A black belt in judo, he traded on his martial arts expertise in his early years as a competitor in his homeland of England, competing as “Judo” Al Hayes and using chops and throws to neutralize his opposition. He made the journey across the pond to America in the 1970s and greatly changed his style between the ropes. Adopting the persona of a British aristocrat, Lord Alfred Hayes was born. Looking down upon America’s people (and its tea), Hayes eventually became a manager in several territories, including the AWA and Championship Wrestling from Florida, where the posh aristocrat managed the likes of WWE Hall of Famers Jimmy Valiant and Nikolai Volkoff and The Masked Superstar, among others.

(Al Hayes in action against Honey Boy Zimba)

'Popular' Mick McMichael passes away

The British Wrestlers Reunion are very sad to receive word from Adam Hamil, the Agent to Mick McMichael that Mick passed away several weeks ago following a short illness.

Our deepest sympathies go to Mick and his family and friends at this sad time. Mick will be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky on the Reunion website and his obituary will be added in due course.

A great loss to the wrestling business and a man who will be dreadfully missed by us all.

Since the sad announcement was made tributes have poured in from wrestlers and fans alike, a selection of which are as follows:


Natasha Kirk So sad to hear this 😪. Thank you for letting us all know. A very good friend of my dad's. They had some lovely trips together. I have some photos of him from back in the day. I will have to find them out xx

Carol Betchley So sad to hear this news, had the pleasure of meeting him several times when he did the german circuit. RIP Mick. Thoughts are with his family.

Barry Howard Never had the pleasure of meeting Mick but respected him as a brilliant wrestler

Michael Selenkowitsch Very sad to hear this..he was a Great Man...a wonderful fellow..always helpful and gentle...besides being a great professional any day he worked with us! It was a pleasure having you on my side in my youth, thank you Mick and RIP!😢

Wendy Knowles Sad to hear this news ..one of the good men always the gent ..Bless you mick ...

Stuart Denton He was a true gent. He did appear as an extra on Emmerdale up to the latter end of last year, supping in the Woolpack. RIP Mick.

Jax Shears New R bless him so sad news , rip Mick xxxxx

Jayne Porter Awww he was a lovely fella. He refereree’d us often. Such fun to be around 😔

Diane Holyer Rip Mick, a great wrestler and a true gent x

Tracy Ann Bennett One of the all time greats.r.i.p mick x x

Ann Rogers RIP Mick and thanks for all the great bouts and the humour that went with them. My thoughts are with your family x

Roy Chamberlain RIP Mick and thanks for the momories

Wayne Garland Rip mick

Carl Trevors RIP Mick

Ann Spencer R I P Mick, a great wrestler.

Marco Eichler RIP 😢

Rene Lasartesse RiP Mick.

John McNally RIP Mick

Diane Fretwell R.I.P Mick

Nigel Hanmore Bless his heart great fella he was

Ben Skull Murphy RIP my condolences to his family may his memory continue

Ricky Knight Great fellah very sad news

Brian Thomas RIP Mick. One of the best

Kevin Maddog Richmond Rip he will be mist I met him a few times

Roy Gregory was a good friend

John Hutchinson Mick was one of the best...remember seeing him on many occasions at Leeds Town Hall, and on one occasion he roundly told me off for banging the wall at the back of an out of order telephone kiosk whilst he was trying to call home

Paul Harrisson-Sandra Harrisson R.I.P MICK GREAT GUY WELL MISSED.

Jonny Adams A fellow Doncaster grappler, rip

Clive Williams Rest in Peace Mic.

Graham Beaumont Sad news RIP

Adrian Street and Miss Linda to launch new venture

They are without doubt one of the most famous couples ever in the wrestling industry and now the Exotic One, Adrian Street and his wife Linda have returned home to South Wales after living in the United States for over thirty years.

As many of you will know, Adrian and Linda have travelled the World several times over and during his career Adrian has stepped into the ring and opposed many of the biggest names in the wrestling business winning several championships along the way of both sides of the Atlantic.

Although Adrians ring career ended a few years ago he has far from retired and even today has no intention of slowing down and is as busy as ever with various projects.  Apart from writing seven books about his life, all of which have been well received by people in and out of the wrestling industry, Adrian has been a music recording star, an artist and is involved in a feature film based on his life as well as running a business making wrestling gear for talent around the World.

Adrian and Lindas next project is to set up a website selling their memorabilia and art and whilst this venture is in its early stages it will not be long before it is all up and running and we will be able to purchase various Adrian Street and Miss Linda items.

Further information and contact details will soon be known and we will of course bring these two you.  In the meantime we wish Adrian and Linda all the best, if their previous business activities are anything to go by this will be another success for the entire  Street family.
(Adrian and Linda are settling into their new home in South Wales and enjoying the great views)

Come and join us for the 2018 Reunion

We would like to start by wishing each and every one of our members a very Happy Easter and that whatever you have planned you have an enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend.


We are now just over four months away from the wrestling social event of the year as Europes oldest and largest wrestling Reunion will return on Sunday 12th August for an unprecedented 27th year.


Such is the continued popularity of the British Wrestlers Reunion that wrestlers, officials and fans will gather at The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent again this year which will include an array of World, European and British champions and we can confirm that guests will be travelling from the USA, Canada and from various destinations throughout Europe as well as from around the UK to join us for what will be another memorable occasion.


As always a number of events are planned for the day itself as various awards will be presented to those who have made their own contribution to the wrestling industry over the years. An elite number of wrestlers will be inducted into the 2018 Hall of Fame and Colin Joynson will lead the tributes to those grapplers who have gone to the Dressing Room in the Sky over the last 12 months followed by the ten bell salute.


This year we will once again be joined by resident vocalist Barry Howard together with a very special guest (more to follow later) who will entertain you all throughout the day. Last years wrestlers memorabilia was a huge hit with our guests and so items belonging to Mick McManus, Kendo Nagasaki, Big Daddy, Wayne Bridges, Mike Marino and others will be on display alongside some further items which have not been seen in public for many years.  This memorabilia will be housed in a specially designated area due to the amount we have to display and so as not to take up valuable space in the garden for those in attendance.   Ever present Roy Smith and Ray Clark will be selling various wrestling items on our behalf and a raffle will be held with some great prizes to be won. Food and drink will also be available to purchase and our very popular Souvenir Programme will be produced once again for 2018 and this will be available on the day and also afterwards via our website.  In addition to all of this a Reunion Legend returns!!!!.


This year, as in previous years, there will be a private area where wrestlers can go to chat to their friends and former colleagues should they so wish.


Over the coming weeks we will be making further announcements right here and via our facebook page (British Wrestling, the Glory Years) so make sure that you check back on a regular basis for all the up to the minute news.


We thank you all for your continued support and hope that many of you will join us at the Ring of Friendship on the 12th August, remember this is a free event and everyone whether you are involved in the wrestling business or a fan are invited, we welcome everyone no matter what and you will all receive a warm greeting like no other.

Kendo Nagasaki and the Man Behind the Mask to be released later this year

He is one of the last remaining great legends from the glory years of British wrestling and although he retired from in ring competition many years ago he still to this very day is one of the most talked about wrestlers of his or any generation with a career that has kept fans enthralled for well over fifty years, the man is of course the legendary Kendo Nagasaki.

Over recent years Kendo has become heavily involved with the Lee Rigby Foundation and has not only given much of his time to the cause but has also gone a long way to raising funds to ensure that the good work carried out by the charity for injured servicemen can continue.

Over the years we have seen numerous wrestlers put pen to paper and write the story of their life, many of these have been well received by fellow wrestlers and fans alike and now it is the turn of one of the biggest names in the industry as Peter Thornley has announced that Kendo Nagasaki and the Man Behind the Mask will be released later this year.

At the time of writing little is known as to the content of the book but we have been advised by Kendos office that there will be a book launch (details to follow) and that they hope to raise one million pounds from the sale of the book for the Lee Rigby Foundation.

Further details wll be posted here in due course once they are released by Kendo Nagasakis office.  In the meantime we here at the British Wrestlers Reunion wish Kendo and everyone involved with this project the very best of luck and hope that they not only reach their target but surpass it.
(Lyn Rigby, Ian Rigby, Kelly Tolhurst MP and Kendo Nagasaki were special guests at the 2016 Reunion)

Ticket details announced for Tony 'Banger' Walsh fundraiser in support of Alzheimers Society

As we reported last week Tony 'Banger' Walsh and his family are holding an evening in support of the Alzheimers Society on the 14th June.  Tonys daughter Tracy has now provided information on how you can get tickets and these are shown below on the event poster.

Secure ticket payments via PayPal at [email protected] Please ensure you leave your name, contact number and email address for Tracy to send confirmation.
Tony is without doubt one of the all time great legends and we here at the British Wrestlers Reunion wish him, Tracy and all of those involved in this fundraising event the very best of luck, we hope that the night is a great success and that a lot of money is raised for such a worthwhile cause.
(Tony Walsh and his daughter Tracy are raising funds for the Alzheimers Society)

Gordon Pryor contacts Reunion with health update

As many of you will know, last year we reported the sad news that legendary Master of Ceremonies and referee Gordon Pryor had suffered a stroke whilst on holiday in Portugal.  Gordon was hospitalised for two and a half weeks in Portugal until he was able to travel back to the UK where, upon arrival, he spent a further week in hospital before returning home for further recuperation.

Since Gordons illness we have kept in contact with him to ensure that his recovery was well on track and we are now pleased to report that it has been and we have received the following message from him today (18th March):-

Hello Ken, 

Just to let you know I am just about back to full health, I have been discharged from hospital as regards to my stroke, and the doctors are now just sorting out my heart palpitations which are not serious but can be a nuisance to say the least.

I would very much like to meet up with you sometime in the future, it will happen one day.

One of the promoters I worked for was Anne Relwyskow, who was great to work for, as she always appreciated what you did for the show, so my question is do you have a photo of  Anne to put on the facebook site?.

Once again many thanks to everyone  for your concern, your wishes did help to cheer me up. Hope you are all keeping well in the south of england, Mal Sanders gave me a call the other week , it was great to hear from him.

All the best,
Gordon

We here at the Reunion are very pleased that Gordon is back to full health and we look forward to meeting up with him in the near future.  In the meantime we will post a photo of Anne Relwyskow to our facebook page as requested by him and thank him for keeping us updated on his condition.
(Gordon Pryor shares the ring with Big Daddy and Jeff Kaye)

Wrestling returns to Edenbridge for the first time in 15 years

(Get your tickets for what promises to be a night of top class professional wrestling)

On Saturday 28th April for the first time in over 15 years the Superstars of Rumble Wrestling promotions will be appearing at Edenbridge Leisure Centre.


The Wrestlers will be getting ready to Rumble with its live body slamming family entertainment show for one night only will see solo matches followed at the end of the night when all the wrestlers will be in the ring for an “over the top rope Rumble” where its friend v friend and foe v foe with the last man standing the winner.  The two hour show sees Doors Open at 5.30pm with Bell Time at 6pm.


Former Heavyweight Champion, Londoner James Mason will be sure to be one of the fans favourites but the crowd are sure to boo the Giant 6ft 7 in Mighty Royal Oak while the overseas Mr USA who enters the ring to Born in the USA theme with his flag waving stars and stripe flag.  It will be an action packed show which the kids as well as the adults will love.

(The UKs very own globetrotting star James Mason will be main eventing this show)

There will be a chance to meet and greet the wrestlers at the end of the show, plus lots of Wrestling merchandise to buy including the Giant Foam hands.


Child and OAP’ Tickets start from £10 with adults at £12 with Special Front Row ringside at £15 - for in and on sale by calling 0121 472 6688 or by visiting www.theticketsellers.co.uk 

(Mr USA is jetting in to take on all comers)

Peter Baines writes to the Reunion to confirm he is back to full health after fall

(Peter takes charge of the 10 bell salute at the 2016 Reunion)
Peter Baines is known across the UK by grappling fans as one of the best MCs ever to climb through the ropes.  Although Peter retired from the role several years ago he is still a very keen supporter of the Reunion and for as many years as any of us can remember has travelled from his home in Scotland to be with us.

Unfortunately, Peter was absent from the Reunion last year due to the fact that he took a nasty fall at home and at 90 years of age it took him time to recover.   We have kept in contact with Peter and are pleased to report that he is now back to full fitness.  Peters recent communication to us is as follows:-

'I  think I am as well as could be expected due to age,  (90 last November 20th)
 
I was all set to come down last August, but a couple of days before I was to leave I had quite a heavy fall in the bathroom

There was no external damage, but a nasty head wallop  (I never could take a bump properly).   I was completely disorientated for several days

I was almost frightened to put one foot in front of the other because my Balance was badl
y affected,  so I had to call off the re-union.

All seems to be restored now.

I used to come down to Essex for a couple of weeks with the caravan and hop across from there to Dartford,  Setting up the van on arrival but breaking down before leaving was taking up energy that I don’t have any more,  so I have got rid of the van.

I was very flattered with written reports and personal remarks about me in your ‘write-ups’ for which I again thank you.

I do not contribute to Face book, (I must have done at sometime, because when I try to open one that sometimes arrives it asks for a password and i'm lost0

I did get something forwarded from someone and there was a very nice piece from Johnny Kincaid expressing best wishes for a speedy recovery.
 
Please pass my Best wishes on to everyone who knows me, and every good wishes for the future re-unions.
 
I sit at this computer for quite long periods  -  so anytime ! ! ! !   As Joe used to  say   “KEEP  STRUGGLING.
 
Best wishes from  
 
Peter' 

We are very pleased that Peter is now fit and well and will continue to keep in contact with him and look forward to seeing him at some point in the very near future and of course are happy to pass on his best wishes to his wrestling friends around the UK.
(Peter Baines seen here with Reunion President Joe D'Orazio and the legendary Mick McManus)

Tony 'Banger' Walsh and family to hold fundraiser for Alzheimers Society

(Tony faced Big Daddy more than any other wrestler, well over 700 times)
For those that don’t know, Tony 'Banger' Walsh was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer’s last year. Years of being thrown around by Big Daddy have caught up with him!

His daughter Tracey and the rest of the family are holding a testimonial evening with some of Tonys celebrity friends to support him and raise some money for the Alzheimer’s Society. It will be a glitzy black tie event on the 14th June and tickets will be on sale next week.

There has already had an amazing response from so many people who want tickets! They will sell out fast!

Details on how tickets will be available will be posted here as soon as we receive them from Tracey.  In the meantime we hope that this glittering occasion is very successful and that a good sum of money is raised for a very worthy cause.
(Tony 'Banger' Walsh is inducted into the British Wrestlers Reunion Hall of Fame in 2017)

Wrestling Legends turn out in force for All Star Wrestlings Hanley show

This coming Friday night (16th March) at Hanley is looking like a whose who of Wrestling with a list of British Wrestling Legends appearing.

As well as a top All Star Rumble card Kendo Nagasaki, Miss Mitzi Mueller, Mark Rollerball Rocco, Englands Number 1 Marty Jones, Master of 1000 holds Johnny Saint, Banger Walsh, Colin Joynson, Kashmir Singh, Danny Collins, Eddie Ryan, Hanley's own former European Middleweight Champion Bobby Ryan will be in attendance and all Star would like to invite any other former Wrestlers to the show who are able to attend.

This is also a show that wrestling fans old and new will enjoy so for further information and tickets check out All Star Wrestlings website at http://superslamwrestling.co.uk/
(Kendo Nagasaki is one of the many legends appearing in Hanley on Friday 16th March)

Walk like a Panther premieres in Manchester

The Premiere of Northern based wrestling movie ‘Walk Like A Panther’ airs on Tuesday 6th March in Manchester at the Printworks Cinema and along with the Actors from the film, the wrestling world will be represented by World of Sport Legends Mark 'Rollerball Rocco, Steve Taylor, Bob ‘Blondie’ Barratt and Keith Myatt and their lovely wives Wendy and Liz..

Appearing for the younger generation of grappling fans will be latest ring sensations, giant Luke Menzies (British Champion &WWE U.K.) , Kevin Lloyd ( who appears in the film and is a British wrestling Champion amateur and Professional) , together with female wrestler and life partner Nicki Cumpstey, plus the young superstar Ross Huxley ( WWE U.K.)

The British Wrestlers Reunion was originally asked to advertise the movie and provide some World of Sport stars to appear at the Premiere including 7 times World Champion Marty Jones, who is sadly still hospitalised following knee surgery, but who has trained the young stars at his excellent Squared Circle Gym in Manchester.

Marty has worked with us from his bed to bring together this fine gathering of wrestling talent and we hope that they all enjoy a great evening watching what promises to be a new comedy classic.
(Bob Barratt and Keith Myatt will be at the premiere of Walk Like a Panther)

Preparations well underway for the 2018 Reunion

(The Bridges, home of Europes oldest and largest wrestling Reunion)
It seems hard to believe that it was six months ago that many of us converged on The Bridges for the 2017 Reunion and yet in six months time we will be doing it all again.

On Sunday 12th August we will see Europes oldest and largest wrestling Reunion take place as the 27th British Wrestlers Reunion will be held carrying on the tradition that has made the event so popular over the years.

As always we expect 100s of wrestlers past and present and fans from around the world to gather to reminisce about the glory days of British wrestling.

We will of course be carrying on with all the Reunion favourites (why change a winning format) and this years Hall of Fame will again see a number of the all time greats being inducted. Our ever popular Souvenir programme will be produced for the 5th successive year together with wrestling items for sale, live entertainment, food and drink plus much more.

Many people who attend the Reunion have commented on the great memorabilia that we have on show and this year we will be displaying many items that have not seen the light of day for years and these will be housed in their own designated area.

We invite each and everyone one of you to join us at The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent for what will be another memorable day, come and join the Ring of Friendship for a day you will never forget.

Further details will be posted leading up to the event right here or on our facebook page, British Wrestling the Glory Years.
(Reunion President Joe D'Orazio surrounded by some of the wrestlers and fans who attended the 2017 event)

Marty Jones undergoes knee replacement

The British Wrestlers Reunion would like to send our very best wishes to World Number One, the former 7 times World Mid Heavyweight Champion Marty Jones who is currently in hospital undergoing yet another knee replacement after previous ones were unsuccessful.

Marty is without any doubt one of the greatest wrestlers ever to grace the squared circle and during his illustrious career has wrestled many of the greats around the World.  Although Marty retired from in ring competition a number of years ago he is still very active on the wrestling scene having his very own training facility as well as making guest appearances at fellow training schools around the UK and more recently has turned his hand to promoting and over the last two months has put on two very successful shows.

We hope that the operation is a complete success this time and that Marty is soon back to full health and pain free.

Walk Like a Panther is coming to a cinema near you....its just days away from its national release on 9th March

The British Wrestlers Reunion has been asked to advertise this film which looks a great typically British fun film from the makers of The Full Monty.  The Premier is being held in Manchester with special guest, the Legendary Mark Rollerball Rocco, and will be released nationwide in cinemas from the 9th March 2018.   The following press release has been sent to us by Twentieth Century Fox:-
'Twentieth Century Fox is delighted to announce that British comedy WALK LIKE A PANTHER will be released in cinemas in UK and Ireland on 9th March, 2018.
Starring BAFTA Award nominee Stephen Graham (Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, “Boardwalk Empire”), British Independent Film Award winner Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake) and Jill Halfpenny (“Humans,” “EastEnders”).

WALK LIKE A PANTHER revolves around a group of ‘80s wrestlers who are forced to don the lycra one last time when their beloved local pub is threatened by closure. Led by father-son duo, Mark (Graham) and Trevor Bolton (Johns), this unlikely bunch of underdog heroes sets out to save their community, rekindling old friendships and family ties along the way.

The ensemble British cast also includes Sue Johnston (“Downton Abbey,” “The Royle Family”), Lindsey Coulson (“EastEnders,” “The Level”), Julian Sands (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, “Crooked House”), Jason Flemyng (upcoming Mystery of the Iron Mask: Journey to China, Snatch), Stephen Tompkinson (“Wild at Heart”, “DCI Banks”), Michael Socha (“This is England ‘90,” “Once Upon a Time”) and hip hop artist/poet Scroobius Pip (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, “Taboo”).

WALK LIKE A PANTHER is directed by Dan Cadan, making his feature film debut from his own original screenplay.

The soundtrack has been produced and composed by Guy Chambers and features a new version of ‘Walk Like a Panther’ by Rick Astley along with music from artists including Adam & The Ants, The Coral, The Housemartins, Kasabian, Lightning Seeds, Miles Kane and Spandau Ballet.'

A trailer for the film is below and from what we have seen this film is certainly one that grapple fans are going to enjoy so please support this, visit your local cinema from the 9th March for a look back in time and relive those golden days of professional wrestling.
(Don’t miss the feel-good British comedy of the year. Walk Like a Panther powerslams into cinemas on the 9th March 2018)

Big Daddys granddaughter makes wrestling debut

(Joe (second left) Eleanor and the Billington Brothers)

As Big Daddy he was one of the most famous wrestlers ever to step through the ropes and now,  25 years after the famous Yorkshireman last graced the squared circle his granddaughter, Eleanor Wade, is following in his footsteps and has entered the ranks of professional wrestling.

 

Eleanor, who for the last year has been trained by none other than the former seven time World Mid Heavyweight Champion Marty Jones made her debut at a show promoted by Marty on Saturday 24th February at the Royton Band Club in Royton, Lancashire.  Eleanor opposed another young up and coming star from the Jones academy by the name of Joe Cass and both excelled before a sell out crowd all enjoying the next generation of wrestling star.

 

The bout was well received with all in attendance commenting on how good both wrestlers were considering their young age and there is no doubt that with the continued experience and training being provided by Marty all are hopeful that both will have a long and successful career in the wrestling business, one that will take them around the World and see them become household names like Eleanors very own grandfather.

 

The British Wrestlers Reunion wish not only Eleanor and Joe all the very best but all the other trainees at not only Martys who also include the two nephews of the great Tommy Billington but the other wrestling training facilities around the UK, these are the next generation of wrestling star and the ones that will continue the tradition of the UK having the best wrestlers in the World.

(Big Daddy and Marty Jones as tag team Partners, now Marty is training Daddys granddaughter)

Ray Clark pens new novel which is sure to be another hit for the award winning author

Ray Clark, the award winning author and one of the Reunions biggest supporters has once again penned another novel which is certain to be another great success for the man from Yorkshire.  His previous offering entitled Imperfection received rave reviews from literary critics around the World and his latest offering, the third in the IMP series entitled Implant will no doubt continue in this manner.

Implant is set in Bramfield, near Leeds, a sleepy little market town nestled on the borders of West and North Yorkshire: a place where people tend to keep to themselves. A death they can understand. A murder they can tolerate. But a crucifixion, well that’s something else.


Monday morning, as the clock strikes 9:00, Detectives Stewart Gardener and Sean Reilly come to the end of the line, a series of puzzles they have been trying to solve for six hours, which has led them to the naked corpse of Alex Wilson, nailed to the wall of a cellar in his uncle’s hardware store. His lips are sewn together and his body bears only one mark, a fresh scar near his abdomen.


Above his head are two plain white envelopes. They do not contain any answers, only further problems.


The scar however, hides a very sinister secret, and Gardener and Reilly think the death may have something to do with organ trafficking.

But they are wrong!


Alex Wilson is a well-known drug dealer, and they begin their investigation by arresting Jackie Pollard – another drug dealer known to the local police – found outside the shop.


Within twenty-four hours, they have one body, one suspect – with a motive but no evidence – and a number of other possible suspects.

But they’re all missing.


With all the information they have, the detectives consider the murder to be drug related: a deal that has probably gone to the wall, with someone seeking revenge.


But they are wrong!


Within forty-eight hours in, their investigation results in dead ends, more victims: no suspects and very little in the way of solid evidence.

Gardener and Reilly now realize that it’s time to answer one very important question. Considering everything that has happened, are the residents of Bramfield – who can understand a death and tolerate a murder – actually prepared for one of history’s most sadistic killers, The Tooth Fairy?


Rays latest book is published in August and we are sure that he will be bringing a few copies with him to this years Reunion on the 12th August where anyone wishing so can purchase from him and get personally signed by a man who is fast becoming one of the most popular and most read authors in the UK.

(Award Winning Author and Reunion supporter Ray Clark)

Reunions 2017 Wrestler of the Year Joe Hendry to compete at 2018 Commonwealth Games

(Joe Hendry with the legendary Johnny Saint at the 2017 Reunion)
At the 2017 British Wrestlers Reunion, Joe Hendry who is fast becoming one of the top wrestlers on the circuit received one of our esteemed awards.

We are now delighted to advise you that Joe, seen here with the legendary Johnny Saint and Mark Rocco at the Reunion has been selected to compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games after winning the 2017 British Championship in Freestyle Wrestling.

Joe will be at the games in Australia and we wish him all the very best and lets hope that he can add a gold medal to his ever growing wrestling achievements.
(Joe meets one of his idols in Rollerball Mark Rocco)

Steve Grey celebrates his birthday in fancy dress style

(The King lives albeit as Steve Grey as he celebrated his birthday with his daughter Sophie)
We here at the British Wrestlers Reunion and very pleased that so many of the great stars of the ring continue to support us each and every year by attending our event every August.  However, away from the Reunion many of the wrestlers meet up privately for meals and a general get together to reminisce about the good old days of British wrestling.

On Saturday 10th February one such get together took place at the Dulwich Tavern in London not only to chat over old times but to celebrate the birthday of one of the all time great lightweight wrestlers as Steve Grey celebrated.  Along with Steve was his daughter Sophie (who was also celebrating her birthday party) Mal Sanders Lee Bronson. Tommy Stewart Johnny Kidd and Pete Roberts.
(Lee Bronson and Pete Roberts)
Whilst the boys dressed up in fancy dress for the occasion Mal Sanders won a prize as coming to the party as Mal Sanders and few could argue that there was a great resemblance to the real thing he he.

A fantastic night was had by all and another get together of the boys is planned for March before Reunion season kicks in and they will be attending some of these around the UK to relive the greats days with even more of their colleagues.

We would like to thank Johnny Kidd for sending us the photos.
(Mal Sanders, Lee Bronson and Pete Roberts)

Terry Nylands passes away

The British Wrestlers Reunion are sad to hear that one of the great wrestlers from the 1950s through to the 1970s, Terry Nylands of Rochdale (seen above in action against Alan Dennison) passed away on the 11th January.

Terrys funeral will be at the Rochdale Crematorium on the 1st February at 3.o'clock and all are welcome to attend to pay their respects to this legendary grappler.

Terry will be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and we send our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time

Comedy wrestling film set to be released into cinemas in March

Lets get ready to rumble!!!!!!!!


Watch the brand new trailer below for a British Comedy about a group of 1980s wrestlers who come out of retirement to try to save their community when their beloved local pub is threatened with closure.


Walk like a Panther will be released into cinemas on the 9th March 2018.....got to be worth seeing surely ??????

Frank Rimer receives Lifetime Achievement Award

(Frank Rimer receives his award from LDN Wrestling owner Sanjay Bagga......photo courtesy of Tony Ham)
There are few wrestlers in the business who can boast a career of over 50 years but one man who has done that and more is our very own Frank Rimer, a man who carried out every possible job there is in the industry and despite scaling back over the last year continues to have a keen interest in the wrestling business.

Frank was recently invited by LDN Wrestling to attend their Christmas show in Herne Bay as a special guest little knowing that he was to receive the great honour of a Lifetime Achievement Award from one of the UKs leading promoters.  In front of a packed house of over 350 fans Frank was called to ringside where he was presented with the honour, something that he will cherish.  Following the award Frank made the following statement on his accolade:-

'A great evening of wrestling at Herne Bay on Friday, in the company of my childhood friends Geb Brooks and Jim Guider with his little Grandson Alfie, where I was totally surprised, humbled and honoured,but delighted to receive a lifetime achievement award in front of a 350 strong audience.(Had I known, I would have combed my hair)! The atmosphere was very warm and Christmassy,all topped off with seeing my dear friend the great Legendary Johnny Kidd give his usual superb display of wrestling skills. Thank you to Promoter Sanjay Bagga for making us all so welcome and for my award'.

As British Wrestling continues to thrive LDN Wrestling have now become an international wrestling promotion.  As well as promoting nearly 180 shows around the entire UK in 2017 they also held a successful show in New York.  LDN Owner Sanjay Bagga has told us that he has even more shows planned for 2018 not only in this country but again in the USA and 2018 kicks off for them with another international show in Hungary, 

It would appear that the sky really is the limit for this young entrepreneur and we congratulate Frank on his achievement and wish LDN Wrestling all the very best for 2018.

(A closer look at the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Frank Rimer by LDN Wrestling)

The Reunion remember George Kidd on the 20th anniversary of his death

On the 5th January 1998 wrestling lost one of their all time greats when George Kidd passed away.  George was a master in the ring and was a great ambassador for the sport.  On the 20th anniversary of his death we look back and remember the great George Kidd.

George Kidd was born in 1925, in Hill Street, Dundee. As a young boy, George went to the local boxing club to learn how to look after himself. The story goes that he was ridiculed for his size and severely beaten by the other lads at the club. In one fight, soon after he joined, George claimed that the boy he was fighting landed a hard punch on his nose. George dived at his opponents legs and dragged him to the canvas wrestling style, and by the time the club officials dragged him off. George had got a little of his own back. George Kidd, the would be wrestler, had arrived. 


After his flirtation with boxing, George decided to study physical education, fitness, stretching and weight lifting. He also studied Ju Jitsu, self defence and yoga in great detail. The Yoga may go some way to explaining George’s famous flexibility and some of the weird positions he put himself into while escaping from holds, bamboozling his opponents. and entertaining the fans. 

In 1943, George enlisted in the Royal Navy, where he began to wrestle competitively. In 1946 George left the Navy (he trained as a mechanic in the Fleet Air Arm) and it was at this time he decided to become a professional wrestler. George’s major problem was his height, 5’ 6" and his weight at the time, of around 9½ stone. Most good judges thought he was too small to become a professional wrestler. Keen to prove people wrong, George arranged to meet George de Relwyskow, the famous wrestling promoter, in Dundee. It was George de Relwyskow who gave George his first opportunity to pursue his chosen career of professional wrestling. 

In May 1947 George Kidd competed in a tournament in Edinburgh and defeated Tony Lawrence to claim the Scottish lightweight title. Before he won this title George had fought 60 contests losing only 10. In the famously cold winter of 1947, he decided to go to Bradford to meet Norman Morrell (the ex-Olympic wrestler who competed in the Berlin games of 1936, and went on to promote). George went to Morrell’s gym in Bradford where he was once again ridiculed for being so small. 

George had heard that kind of comment before and decided to challenge, a still reasonably fit, Norman Morrell to a few rounds in the gym. Within minutes of entering the ring , George was caught in a face bar hold and he struggled hard to escape until he heard something crack! The training bout ended suddenly with Morrell apologising and making it clear that he was greatly impressed by George offering to train and coach him. George worked with Morrell for 18 months – he claimed it was the hardest period of his career. Every night Norman made George do 100 bridges and by the time his training was finished, George’s neck measured 17½ inches. 

At Morrell’s gym one of George’s tutors was the British lightweight champion of the day Joe Reid, and during a non-title fight with George, Joe made it clear that no mercy would be shown. However, George soon managed to apply a figure four-leg lock on Joe, but Joe would not submit. This resulted in Joe’s leg being badly injured. Joe recovered well and eventually lost his British title to Jack Dempsey (later, the long reigning British welterweight champion). 

In 1948, George fought Jack Dempsey in a gruelling match, to win the British Lightweight title. George now set his sights on the European crown. In May 1949 George travelled to Paris to compete for the European Championship. George beat all comers in a tournament and returned with the European Lightweight title. This left only one title to aim at …..Champion of the World. 

The man generally recognised as the world lightweight champion at that time was Mexican, Rudy Quarez. The bout was arranged and George eventually defeated Quarez. Annoyingly, some important wrestling associations of the day, most notably the American Wrestling Alliance (AWA), refused to recognise George’s win. The spectacular Frenchman Rene Ben Chemoul, stood between George and world-wide recognition as lightweight champion, or at least as close to world-wide recognition as it ever gets in professional wrestling. 

George wanted to take on this final leg of his relentless pursuit to become recognised as world champion throughout the wrestling world and, in February 1950, Morrell arranged for George to fight Chemoul in Dundee. Kidd claims to have spotted that Chemoul had a pattern of set moves and George began to anticipate what would come next. George managed to defeat the Frenchman and complete his quest for the title. For the next 20 years and more, George successfully defended his world lightweight championship title against approximately 50 different challengers. Among the greatest challenges came from Adrian Street and Jim Breaks. 

George’s last bout was in 1976 and he retired from professional wrestling still claiming the World Lightweight title. George passed on some of his expertise to other wrestlers as he approached retirement, most famously to Johnny Saint. 

One of the major highlights of his career was wrestling in the presence of the Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Albert Hall in 1963. George was awarded Grampian TV Personality of the Year in 1965 and was honoured by an award from his home town of Dundee. In his retirement George supported Scottish youth and on 5th January 1998, aged 72, he passed away. Very few wrestlers have come close to George Kidd for skill, agility, flexibility, tenacity, inventiveness and single-minded determination to get to the top and stay there, a true great in the history of professional wrestling.


Many wrestlers have claimed that George was the best wrestler they had ever seen and few would argue with this.  George has left a legacy in wresting that will live on forever and 20 years after his passing he is still fondly remembered by all those that knew him.

(George had a keen interest in wrestling even after his retirement)

Albert 'Rocky' Wall passes away

The British Wrestlers Reunion are sad to receive word at the start of a new year that former British Heavyweight Champion Albert 'Rocky' Wall passed away peacefully on the 31st December following a short illness.

Rocky was a big star during the 1960s and 70s and travelled not only around the UK but to many countries around the World gaining victories over some of the great heavyweights of the day.

A multiple Heavyweight Champion, Rocky won his first title from Billy Joyce in1966 and would hold it on three separate occasions throughout his career retiring from the ring whilst still champion.

Rocky will be sadly missed by all those that knew him, he was one of the great British heavyweights of his or any other generation and his legacy will live on.  Our condolences go to his family and friends at this sad time and he will be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky as a lasting memory.

Funeral details are 22nd January 2018 at 11.00 at Rosehill Crematorium, Ascot Avenue, Cantley, Doncaster .DN4 6HE
Then after at Wheatley Golf Club, Armthorpe Road, Doncaster. DN2 5QB.  All are welcome to attend to pay their respects.

Tributes have poured in since the sad announcement was made from both wrestlers and fans, a selection of which are as follows:-


Steve Casey: Sad news.

Damon McCabe: My condolences sir. Sad news

Wendy Mellor: Such sad news to start the new year

Keith Myatt:  Great wrestler sad news one of my faves growing up.

Philip Howlin:  Sad news Saw him many times epic battles with Portz Davies Nagasaki Bull Davis Angus not forgetting Billy Robinson RIP

Tony StClair:  Another Legend leaves us ! after meeting Gwyn at the last reunion I learnt of Alberts illness and phoned him straight away. He was delighted to speak to me after so long and I spent 30 minutes talking about old times. He was another true Heavyweight who did his best to help on the road that I was go down. He even helped me get booked in South Afrika where I stayed for 10 months in 1975 ! a real down to earth man, RIP Albert and my condolences to your family !

Fred Ottman:  GOD BLESS

Tony Scarlo:  Sad news RIP Rocky

Tony Costas:  R I P TO ROCKY
MY CONDOLENCES
TO HIS FAMILY

Colin Joynson:  like tony i spoke to albert only last week so sad he has passed away RIP albert

Pramod Sirohi:  Nice personality

Mick HappyDays Collins:  Used to watch him against Billy Joyce Dennis Mitchell Bill Robinson etc.every bout a classic Rip Albert

Bob Bartholomew:  The man who re awakened my interest in wrestling, having lost track when I left school. Thank you Rocky!

Malcolm Flanagan:  Albert was a great tactical wrestler always polite to seconds RIP

Roy Chamberlain:  Rip Rocky and thanks for the memories

Gordon Linda Powell:  Condolences to his family remember taking my mum to watch him at the corn exchange and her hitting his opponent with her handbag saying dont hurt him hes one of our from thorne

John C-west:  Sad news. A great Champion. RIP Albert.

Brian Thomas RIP Rocky

Mike Carpenter:  RIP ROCKY

Bob Smith:  R.I.P. Rocky.

John Thompson:  RIP
(Albert 'Rocky' Wall in action against Al Hayes)

The Reunion wish you all a very Happy New Year

As we end one year and start another the British Wrestlers Reunion would like to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and hope that 2018 is a good year for you all.


As we enter 2018 we look forward to our Reunion which will be in its 27th year and will take place on Sunday 12th August at the home of the wrestling Reunion The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent.  As in previous years we hope that many of you will join us from various destinations around the World to celebrate wrestling both past and present and we can promise you that it will certainly be something you will remember and enjoy.


Throughout the year we will be updating everyone regarding the Reunion via this website and our facebook page British Wrestling, the Glory Years so please check these out to ensure you do not miss any of the exciting news we have to bring to you.


In other news, one of our great supporters will be making an appearance tonight (Sunday 31st December) on the BBCs Antiques Roadshow with his collection of wrestling memorabilia in a special 'Best of British' edition.  The show will air on BBC1 at 8.00pm.


In closing we thank you all for your continued support during 2017, all the positive comments we receive are very much appreciated and we hope that you will continue to support us all in 2018.

Wrestling fan to appear on BBCs Antiques Roadshow

Wrestling fan and Reunion supporter Scott Harrington has been an avid follower of British wrestling for many years and one man in particular, Shirley Crabtree more famously known of course as Big Daddy.  Although Scott never got to see Big Daddy in live action he has amassed a great collection of his memorabilia over the last few years and this is now being shown to the general public for the very first time thanks to the BBCs Antiques Roadshow programme.

To commemorate the best of British, several months ago the BBC asked members of the public to contact them with items which they own which sums up Great Britain.  Scott contacted the BBC to advise them of his collection and was chosen to appear on the show which has delighted him and will bring back memories of not only Big Daddy but british wrestling in general.  So proud is Scott of his collection that he has told us that he wouldnt sell it for anything.

The Antiques Roadshow featuring Scott and his collection can be seen on BBC1 on Sunday 31st December at 8.00pm.  

News received regarding Zoltan Boscik

There have been many great lightweights to step through the ropes over the years and one of the very best was Zoltan Boscik, a wrestler who had it all and entertained fans up and down the UK for decades.  Sadly, we have received word from Johnny Kidd that Zoltan is now suffering from alzheimers with Johnny advising as follows:-

'I have spoken to the wife of former World of Sport wrestler Zollie Boscik. They have been living in Christchurch New Zealand since 1989. Sadly Zollie is suffering with Alzheimer's. She tells me he has some recollections of his wrestling days and sends his best wishes to the many fans who remember him from those days. I have sent her some of the posters and items that have been placed on these wrestling pages which she can show Zollie.. Kind Regards Johnny Kidd.'

We send our very best wishes to Zoltan and his wife and of course thank Johnny for relaying this news about Zoltan to us.
(Zoltan in action)

Merry Christmas from the Reunion

The British Wrestlers Reunion would like to wish all of our members around the World a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.


This year has been another great for us and we thank each and every one of you for your continued support.  With many great things planned for 2018 we look forward to reliving the glory years of British wrestling for many years to come. 


We are very pleased that the Reunions Ring of Friendship continues to grow and the great comments that we receive throughout the whole year from you all are very much appreciated.


Happy Christmas to you all and here is to 2018 and continued success.

Former champion Gwyn Davies passes away

We are sad to report that following on from a number of wrestlers passing in the last few weeks we have now been advised that former British Heavyweight Champion Gwyn Davies has passed away following illness.

Gwyn was trained by his father, Ken Davies, and from the outset made his mark in the world of professional wrestling taking on all comers throughout his illustrious career which culminated in him winning the British Heavyweight Championship on three occasions losing it for the third and final time to Tony St Clair in 1977.

Gwyn has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and an obituary will be added to the relevant section shortly.

Our condolences go to Gwyns family and friends at this sad time.

Judo Syd Askin passes away

The British Wrestlers Reunion are sad to report that the bad news keeps coming at the moment with word reaching us that Judo Syd Askin has passed away following a short illness.

Having had a background in both boxing and judo Syd took to professional wrestling like a duck to water and was a familiar face on bills around the country.  Syd even came to a wider audience with appearances on ITVs World of Sport where he faced Caswell Martin, Steve Logan and Roy St Clair.

Away from wrestling Syd ran a number of judo clubs and trained many who went on to achieve great things in the sport.

Syd has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and we of course send our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.

Gordon Pryor recovering well after stroke

A few weeks ago we brought you the news that legendary MC and referee Gordon Pryor had suffered a stroke whilst on holiday. We are now pleased to report that Gordon is well on the way to recovery and has sent us the following message:-


'Hello everyone, Very many thanks for all your messages of best wishes following my stroke which happened on a cruise ship at the end of Sept. After 2.1/2 weeks in hospital in Portugal and a further 1 week when back in England, I'am pleased to say I seem to be getting better each day. Once again many thanks to everyone for your concern, your wishes did help to cheer me up. Best Wishes Gordon Pryor'


We are sure that Gordon will be back to full fitness in no time at all and we wish him well on his continued recovery.

The Reunion remember Big Daddy on the 20th anniversary of his death

On the 2nd December 1997 the wrestling world lost without doubt one of its biggest stars, a man who 20 years after his death is still the first name mentioned when the glory years of British wrestling are discussed, this man is Shirley Crabtree known the world over as Big Daddy.  On the anniversary of his death we here at the Reunion remember the big man from Halifax.


On the 14th November 1930 Shirley Crabtree was born, the first of three brothers who ultimately would all become involved in the world of professional wrestling.


On leaving school Shirley Crabtree was initially employed in the textile industry in his hometown of Halifax then as a lifeguard and a rugby league player for Bradford Northern before doing his national service with the Coldstream Guards.   Crabtree trained at the local gymnasium where he met legendary promoter Norman Morrell and was introduced into the world of professional wrestling.   During this period (1950s) wrestling was mainly a seasonal sport operating from September through to May when a large contingent of wrestlers then left for Europe, Crabtree included.

 

Crabtrees first bout was at James Hall, Newcastle where he faced the experienced welshman Sandy Orford.  Crabtree was easily beaten in this match but was not deterred proceeding to face such legendary names as Rough House Alf Rawlings, Billy Joyce, George Nuttall, Dai Sullivan, Ernest Baldwin, Killer Ken Davies (father of Gwyn Davies) and the great Jack Pye (pictured).  During this time both of Crabtrees brothers, Max and Brian entered the professional ring and the brothers were known on occasions to form a tag team where they had a certain amount of success

 

After returning from National Service Crabtree ventured more into Europe wrestling under the name of the Blond Adonis and later the Battling Guardsman.  During this time he had successful tours in Hamburg, West Berlin and various venues in France.  His biggest achievement came in the late 1950s when appearing at the Palais des Sport in Paris he took on the much more experienced European Heavyweight Champion Ivar Martinsen of Denmark beating the Dane and claiming the European Heavyweight Championship and belt.

 

Back in the UK Crabtree was to win the BWF British Heavyweight Title and Belt by defeating Mighty Strangler Bright, this was some accomplishment as Bright had defeated the great Bert Assirati. Crabtree continued to wrestle in England and Europe during the 1960s but by 1966 became a part time wrestler having only a handful of bouts between this time and the birth of Big Daddy.

 

In the mid 1970s wrestling was changing and Max Crabtree, who by this time had retired from the ring and was building a name for himself as a promoter,  decided to bring Shirley back into the wrestling business on a full time basis and re-christened him as Big Daddy.  Initially Daddy had a number of solo bouts and a feud with the masked Kendo Nagasaki who he famously unmasked in a televised match.  It was the arrival at Joint Promotions of Giant Haystacks that would change Big Daddys wrestling career yet again.  Daddy was teamed up with Giant Haystacks to form a tag team weighing in excess of 50 stone.  This team was successful and had a number of televised matches. It wasnt until 1977 that this tag team had run its course and a brainwave by Max Crabtree to split the team up  created one of the biggest rivalries in British wrestling history.  This rivalry lasted from 1977 until Big Daddys retirement in 1993.


Unlike the days of Shirley Crabtree, Big Daddy was now an ageing man and solo bouts were fast becoming a thing of the past with the majority of his matches being in tag team action.  Big Daddy teamed with such great stars of the day as World Heavyweight Champion Wayne Bridges, British and former World Champion Tony St Clair and World Mid Heavyweight Champion Marty Jones as well as young up and coming stars as Dynamite Kid, Roy/Steve/Wiliam Regal, Young David, Danny Boy Collins to name but a few.   Daddys opponents were also few and far between with him mainly facing the likes of Giant Haystacks, King Kong Kirk, Scrubber Daly, and the man who wrestled Daddy more than any other wrestler Tony Banger Walsh. 


During the late 1970s and early 1980s wrestling saw a surge in popularity and a lot of this was down to Big Daddy.  Daddys appearances at halls would inevitbaly be a sell out and he became one of the most recognised and well known faces in Britain.  Even many years after his death his name is normally the first one mentioned when the glory years of British Wrestling are mentioned.

Such was Big Daddys popularity during the 1980s that he was in high demand and appeared on childrens shows such as Tiswas and Magpie, did an advert for Daddies Sauce and prime time shows such as Whats My Line and was the subject of This is Your Life (only the second wrestler ever to receive this honour).  Big Daddy also released his own recording of We Shall Not Be Moved which was played every time he went to the ring, had two annuals published in 1983 and 1984 and had his own comic strip in Buster comic.  Big Daddy was also in high demand for charity work and made many appearances for various charities.

 

During the Big Daddy years he appeared many times at the Royal Albert Hall and on the also highly rated Cup Final Day wrestling programme. Big Daddys most famous matches were infact solo matches against Canadian John Quinn at the Wembley Arena in 1979 (when it was estimated that 10,000 fans were in attendance) and against his arch rival Giant Haystacks in 1981.  Daddy won both matches in record time, the build ups to these matches being far more impressive than the matches themselves.


After itv axed professional wrestling in 1988 Big Daddy continued to tour the halls of Britain making over 200 appearances a year right up to his retirement aged 63 in 1993.   Daddy was plagued by ill health towards the end of his career suffering from Bells Palsy and whilst many thought that he should have retired at this point he was given the all clear to wrestle by his doctor and continued for many more years.


Big Daddy retired from wrestling in 1993 and lived out the remaining years of his life quietly in his hometown of Halifax. Unfortunately the glitz and glamour of Big Daddy had long gone and he was again dogged by ill health.  In 1997 Big Daddy suffered a major stroke and although he battled this for 8 weeks this was one battle he was not going to win and he died on the 2nd December 1997 aged 67.


The wrestling world have always been divided over Big Daddy and what he did for the wrestling business, Whatever peoples opinion though Big Daddy will always be remembered as one of the biggest names in British Wrestling History and his name and legacy will live on forever more.

 

In 2014 at the annual Reunion Big Daddy was awarded a Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award for his distinguished wrestling career and this was accepted by his daughter Jane Wade.   

 

(Big Daddy and arch enemy Giant Haystacks)
(A special tribute video produced for us by Rob Cope remembering Big Daddy)

Peter Preston passes away

We are sad to report that Bradford wrestler Peter Preston has passed away following a short illness.

Peter was a regular name on bills up and down the country during the 1950s and 60s but one bout in particular in January 1967 shot him to super stardom when he faced off against the one and only Mick McManus.  As the bell rang for the first round nobody in attendance knew they were about to witness something very special with everyone expecting a McManus victory especially as this was a televised event and after all Mick McManus never lost on television......until now.   McManus used every trick in the book but on this day he was never going to overcome the man from Yorkshire and Peter left the ring victorious.  It was Peters claim to fame and is still remembered to this very day.

Peter has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and we send our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.
(Peter in action against Mick McMichael)

LDN Wrestling to hold tribute show in honour of Paul Jerome

Last month we reported the very sad news that Paul Jerome known to thousands of wrestling fans as Ponsenby Pendleton Pratt, the butler to grappling veteran Jon Ritchie, had passed away suddlenly at home following an epiletic fit.

Paul was well liked by all who knew him and on Wednesday 27th December at the Meridian Sports Club, Charlton Park Lane, Charlton, SE7 8QS a special tribute show is being promoted by LDN Wrestling, the promotion for whom Paul worked for.   All the money raised from tickets sales on the night will be donated to Epilepsy Reseach UK and already a number of past LDN wrestling stars as well as many legends of the ring have committed to attend this show to support such a worthy cause despite the fact that the show will be a sombre affair.  Many of the stars in attendance will share their memories of Paul as his life is celebrated throughout the night.

The show kicks off at 7.30pm and tickets are already selling fast and can be purchased at the Box Office on 0844 888 9991 at a price of £10.00 in advance or £12.00 on the night.

The Reunion know that this will be an emotional show for everyone in attenance but will be a fitting tribute to Paul, one that he fully deserves.
(Jon Ritchie and Paul Jerome aka Ponsenby Pendleton Pratt)

Barry Shearman aka Rex Strong passes away

We are sad to report that news has reached us that Barry Shearman aka Rex Strong/Masked Samurai has passed away.

Barry turned professional in 1959 and soon became a regular name on bills across the North of England.  On joining Joint Promotions Barry started to appear across the UK facing such greats of the ring as Wayne Bridges, Pete Roberts, Big Daddy and Count Bartelli to name but a few as well as being a regular tag team Partner to the likes of Giant Haystacks and Mal Kirk and Kendo Nagasaki.

Outside of the ring Barry was a renowned local Councillor and hotelier, something that he continued to do until recent years.

Barry has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and we at the Reunion send our condolences to his family and friends at this very sad time.

Ray Clark pens another best seller

Award winning Author and Reunion supporter Ray Clarks latest offering entitled Imperfection is well on the way to becoming yet another best seller for the Yorkshire based Author who already has a number of great successes under his belt.

Ray has been a great supporter of the Reunion now for many years travelling from his home in Yorkshire to attend the Reunion each and every August.  For the last few years Ray has also assisted us in selling the memorabilia alongside Roy Smith who together raise funds to enable us to continue with the Reunion for years to come.

We wish Ray all of the very best with his latest offering which can currently be purchased via Amazon.

Below Ray reads the first chapter from his book.
(Ray Clark reads the first chapter from his latest award winning offering...Imperfection)

Gordon Pryor suffers stroke

We would like to send our very best wishes to legendary MC and referee Gordon Pryor who recently suffered a stroke whilst in Portugal.  Gordon spent two weeks in a local Portuguese hospital before being flown back to his home town of Chesterfield where he spent a further week in hospital.

Thankfully, Gordon is now back at home and is recovering well and we all hope he makes a very speedy recovery and returns to full health.

Mal Sanders retirement bout details announced

Mal Sanders is one of the most recognisable names in the wrestling world having a career spanning over 40 years so it is somewhat sad that Mal has decided to hang up the boots and has announced that his final ever bout will take place for All Star Wrestling on Friday 1st December at the Woodville Halls in Gravesend.  The following press release has been sent to us by All Star Wrestling relating to this historic night in British wrestling:-

'December 1st will be All Stars final show of 2017 and as already announced the very last Wrestling match, after 40 years of the One and Only Mal Sanders.

His final bout at Gravesend;s Woodville Halls with a full supporting line up will see fellow British Legend Steve Grey as Referee in his match against The Wrestlers' Wrestler James Mason.

It has now been announced that Mal's former manager from twenty years ago Luscious Loretta, will be his special guest second in this British rules match.

Lots of other former Wrestling legends are being contacted to come along to celebrate Mal's final night.

Tickets are on sale from the hall 01474 377459'.


This night is certain to be a very emotional night for not only Mal himself but many of his fans who have followed his career over the years, many of which are expected to be in attendance to see his final ever contest.

The Reunion send our very best wishes to Mal and thank him for his contribution to the wrestling business, he has left a legacy that will be remembered for many years to come and has been a great ambassador for the sport.  As the final bell rings on Mals career its time for him to put his feet up and hope that he enjoys his retirement.

Frank 'Chic' Cullen inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland

Over the years Scotland has produced its fair share of great wrestlers and now one of the most popular of his or indeed any other generation, Frank 'Chic' Cullen has received the great honour of being inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland.

The ceremony took place on Friday 27th October 2017 and the presentation was made by the Provost of Stirling Christine Simpson in the presence of Hall of Fame founder Bradley Craig who made the following statement subsequent to the presentation taking place:-

'We are proud to officially commemorate the induction of Frank 'Chic' Cullen into The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland. A three-time British Heavy Middleweight Champion and two-time World Heavy Middleweight Champion, Cullen's induction took place this morning (27.10.17) at The Albert Halls in Stirling. The honour was presented by Provost Christine Simpson to one of the true living legends of professional wrestling and a national hero'.

The Reunion send our congratulations to Frank for an honour which he fully deserves.

Mind the Ears, Mind the Ears......A Portrait of the Man they loved to Hate...Mick McManus

BY DAVID GENTLE.

 

A couple of years ago, when Mick was at the British Wrestlers Reunion at the Bridges pub, South Darenth. I asked for a photo of him, and of course asked him to smile, and he replied in his gravely old voice, ”I can’t smile, it would ruin my reputation”. That was Mick, villain to the end. He must have decided right at the beginning of his career in the square ring that he was never going to be a “baby face” and the hard man suited his real and ring persona well.


Mick had a long and fruitful life, dying 22nd May 2013, age 93. He was born on 11th January 1920 in New Cross, South London, and on leaving school whilst working for a firm of printers, he began training to become a   wrestler at the John Ruskin Amateur Wrestling Club, later teaching the fine arts of the sport to R.A.F. personal in WW11.With growing strength and skills he turned professional wrestler circa 1948. I asked him who was his inspiration and trainer and he mentioned a famous physical culturist and trainer Fred Unwin, who’s adverts for muscle building and learning fighting arts appeared in the bodybuilding journals of the day.  Mick Mc Manus’s first professional bout took place during a posting to Australia.

I first saw the young Mc Manus at the old football stadium, The Dell, around the 1948. Friday night watching live wrestling at the Dell was a regular part of our weekly routine and the promoter was Dale Martin. It was here I was lucky to see many legendary wrestlers, admittedly past their youth, such as Primo Carnera, Jim Londos The Golden Greek, Jack Doyle, The Angel, many Terrible Turks, Bert Assirati before he travelled to the far East and many more including the Robinson brothers, also on the card was as introduced to us, “A promising young wrestler from London Mick Mc Manus” The little, but nicely formed Lou Marco, usually took the place of the “third man” with his distinct counting style,  a-one aaa, a- two.aaa, rarely reaching the three and having a definite problem with his eyesight according the regular, and highly knowledgeable crowd. Perhaps he should have gone to “Spec Savers”? We knew what a Boston crab or half Nelson was long before Kent Walton ever came on the scene. Walton had to be coached into the various nomenclature of the game, although he did make some hold names up himself which soon become established to his massive T.V audience.


Although no giant, just 5ft 6ins (1.68m) and 12 and half stone (79k). With time Mick’s reputation as a villain grew, soon he become “The Man We Love To Hate”. Winning most of his matches, helped along no doubt by the fact he soon became the booker or matchmaker for the Dale Martin Promotions. He also had a wrestling book published in 1970 and also appeared many times on T.V in other slots as well as the wrestling eg. The Generation Game, as an expert on porcelain, one of his hobbies being a collector, also mixing with celebrities of the day such as the Beatles on the Eamon Andrews show. Later, he along with his wrestling line up, even met Royalty in the shape of the Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Hall. It is no secret The Queen loved to watch the wrestling on T.V, along with the millions of her subjects who preferred the regular excitement and story lines of the men of the mat over the more usual football matches. The more he wrestled the more he became a celebrity in his own right along with working for several charities. The wrestling game itself insured he had to travel extensively for matches and publicity, he estimated travels of 1,000 to 1,500 miles a week, but it still left him time to also be a regular correspondent for The Sun newspaper with his column. When not wrestling he collected antiques, and loved his game of golf. He also took his wife Barbara and son Tony on many holidays, preferring the sunshine of Italy and Spain. Maybe it was the pep pills he also marketed that gave Mick so much energy?

(Mick co-commentating with Kent Walton)

Television brought to the millions Mick’s acting ability to arouse them into almost hating his ring performances. His cheating behind the referees back, his low and dirty blows and teasing of the audience arousing their emotions. Although he did own several titles, his skills were not as those of some other wrestlers, but Mick’s love of forearm smashes and other disputed methods to overcome his ring opponents brought him his infamy. There was also a definite danger of being seriously hurt by his audience, let alone his fellow wrestlers. Mick however always remained the perfect professional and valuable as Joint Promotions soon realised. Many matches were still to follow.

(Mick in action against his old foe Jackie Pallo)

To attempt to list all of Mick’s fights is out of the question, it must run into thousands out of which several were his genuine friends and often ring partners and several were his truly hated opponents.  Wrestlers are only human and have human like and dislikes.  Often their egos would not let them run with the “card” presenting problems and at times, although, rarely, genuine “shoot outs”. One recorded event is the unscheduled “beating of Mick by promoter Norman Morrell’s man Peter Preston, the heavier man, Preston refused to go with the plan and be beaten, so Mick got himself disqualified by choice. Thus listing one of the few time he was “beaten.” Best known of all to T.V fans, and at it’s peak, T.V brought in over 20 million viewers, is the feud between him and the pig tailed Jackie Pallo, which lasted both in and outside of the ring. Micks career on the box lasted over 26 years. Even at the reunions when most of the attending wrestlers had long quit the game, Mc Manus and Pallo made no attempt to be friendly, unlike most of the other ring legends and now ancient warriors, with their common experiences of the mat game. He retired from active wrestling in 1982. Now when Mick attended the meet ups, it was no longer necessary to carry on any pretence and yes, Mick actually did smile and mix with his fans and “Foes” in appreciating no doubt to the long double edge of love and hate support he gained in his unique life in British wrestling.


Mick Mc Manus died 22nd May 2013, he was 93 years old .Mick’s funeral was at the Woking Crematorium , which was packed with family, fans, wrestlers and the press. His son Tony gave a heart wrenching speech, along with tributes from Frank Rimer and Bill/Wayne Bridges. Wrestling was Mick’s life and he will always be remembered by fans and wrestlers alike with his special “boot black, Nero hairstyle, king of the forearm slams, Cauli-flower ears, the Man They loved To Hate.


David Gentle© 2017. for the Britishwrestlersreunion. With thanks too many sources, including Bob Kirkwood, Wrestling Heritage, John Lister, Frank Rimer, Tony St Clair.

(Mick is introduced to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh)

Paul Jerome aka Ponsenby Pendleton Pratt passes away

The British Wrestlers Reunion are shocked and saddened to learn that Paul Jerome a.k.a. Ponsonby Pendleton Pratt has passed away suddenly following an epileptic fit


Inside the ring he was an extrovert character who brought joy to thousands but outside he was a lovely young man ,shy and retiring with beautiful manners and it is so sad to be taken so savagely without warning.


Paul was very often seen alongside veteran wrestler Jon Ritchie who has today paid his own tribute to his dear friend as follows:-


'Absolutely in pieces, lost the best friend I ever had. I'm for once lost for words, my life won't be the same again a friend to me and my family a business partner, a great comedy actor. Someone who went from being a non sports person and became an amateur and shoot wrestling champion at many different weights.


We remained good friends till the end.


Taken far far to young I'll never forget you and the laughs and sadness we shared a big part of me has died with you. Bless you mate RIP PJ'.


LDN owner Sanjay Bagga who Paul worked for during his career has also paid tribute:-


Totally gutted and upset to hear former LDN Manager Paul Jerome known to our fans as Ponsenby Pendleton Pratt has passed away. His loyalty and friendship to Jon Ritchie in and out of the Ring was something people can only hope for.


Away from the Ring PJ stuffed from epilepsy but he never let it stop at training or on the shows.

RIP Paul so sorry you went at such an early age


Our thoughts are with his Family and his Father who found him two days later at this very sad time.


Paul has been added to our 'dressing room in the sky' section on the website and may he R.I.P.

The end of an era and a rivalry as Mal Sanders announces his retirement

They are two of the most popular and famous wrestlers to have stepped through the ropes in the last forty years and have a rivalry which stretches back throughout their entire careers.  Now, on Sunday 29th October at the Shoreham Centre in Sussex, this rivalry will come to an end as Superstar Mal Sanders faces his old foe Johnny Kidd for the final time in a bout being promoted by LDN Wrestling.

 

With Mal Sanders announcing his retirement from the ring this week (his final bout will take place on the 1st December) this will be the final time that these two men face each other in an LDN ring, a promotion where both men have had many bouts over the last ten years.   LDN Promoter Sanjay Bagga has made the following announcement on this bout for the ages:-


‘After a 40 year plus career the Mouth of the South, Superstar Mal Sanders is retiring from the ring this year and in just over two weeks he will compete in his last ever LDN bout.


The former European Middleweight Champion who famously defeated Mick McManus back in the days of when British Wrestling attracted millions of viewers each and every Saturday afternoon will be retiring in his home county of Sussex.


We wanted to pay respect and give him one of his best rivals as his final opponent.


We have managed to bring out of retirement for a special one night only contest former ITV wrestler and LDN British Champion, arguably one of the greatest technical wrestlers of our the last 20 years Mr Smooth Johnny Kidd!


As an added bonus for this bout British Wrestlers Reunion Organiser Frank Rimer will be the special guest Master of Ceremonies.


This bout will be the end of an era as Johnny (who retired last year) and Mal are literally the last of the legends still competing today, we are sure that this will be an emotional night for all concerned but are sure that the bout will be a fitting tribute to both wrestlers and we send our very best wishes for all concerned.


Tickets are available online at: https://ldnwrestling.ticketlight.co.uk/order/tickets/13328998/ldn-wrestling-the-shoreham-centre-2017-10-29-15-00-00

(Mal Sanders and Johnny Kidd in a previous LDN encounter)

Please support the Zak Knight Fundraider

Zak Knight has given his all to the wrestling business and is going through some major health issues whilst at the time of writing still in hospital.

Please support this show in whatever way you can, it will help not only Zak but his wife and children until he recovers and makes a return to the ring.

Bobby 'the Brain' Heenan passes away aged 73

We were saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Bobby Heenan regarded by many as the greatest manager in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 73.


With a career spanning more than four decades, Heenan was the “The Brain” behind some of the most prolific Superstars in sports-entertainment history. Heenan plied his trade as their mischievous manager by running his mouth on their behalf with a sarcastic wit considered among the best in the business.


Heenan named competitors under his guidance as the Heenan Family, a moniker meant to show the strength of their alliance over any opposition. Members of the Heenan Family in the AWA and WWE read like the who’s who of sports-entertainment, including Legends and WWE Hall of Famers such as Nick Bockwinkel, the Blackjacks, Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard), Harley Race, and of course, the first WWE Hall of Famer, Andre the Giant, whom Heenan led to the ring at WrestleMania III before 93,173 fans.


As impossible as it may seem, Heenan’s overwhelming success as a manager was matched by that of his commentating career. Heenan’s constant verbal jousts with fellow WWE Hall of Famers Gorilla Monsoon and “Mean” Gene Okerlund remain among the most memorable moments in sports-entertainment history.  In fact, “The Brain” was so entertaining that "The Bobby Heenan Show" was also produced and was successful as well.


In addition, “The Brain” was part of the original broadcast team for Monday Night Raw in 1993, and also sat at the announce table for both Raw and WCW Monday Nitro.


Bobby had a career in the wrestling business that will never be equalled and his passing has sent shock waves around the World espite the fact that he had been unwell for many years.


We send our condolences to Bobby family and friends at this very sad time and may he now RIP.


above courtesy of World Wrestling Entertainment

Otto Wanz passes away aged 74

The British Wrestlers Reunion are sad to hear of the passing of Otto Wanz aged 74 on the 14th September 2017.

Big Otto was known the world over and was a mainstay of European wrestling for decades as well as having success with the AWA in America. Otto appeared in British rings as well as opposing many of our best in European rings including our own Giant Haystacks.

We send our condolences to Ottos family and friends at this very sad time and may he now RIP.

Wrestling not counted out in Worthing as new venue found

(John Freemantle promoted his first show in Worthing in 1994)
Grapple-fans rejoice – fears that wrestling’s 60-year association with Worthing was at an end are no more.

A policy change at Worthing Theatres rang the bell on shows at the town’s Assembly Hall, which John Freemantle’s Premier Promotions had been staging since 1994.

John told the Herald & Gazette he was undecided on his next move – or even if there would be one. But now he has revealed his plans to bring shows back to Worthing, at a new venue, St Paul’s in Chapel Road, with the first on Thursday, October 26.

John said: “That will be our normal date in the October half term. We have picked up where we have left off. “It’s going to be packed out, hopefully. The plan is to run shows with the same programme that we had for 23 years at the Assembly Hall. “The atmosphere should be very good. Confirmed for the inaugural show at St Paul’s are Doug Williams and Mark Haskins, two of the biggest names in British Wrestling – and the crowd can expect some fireworks after the pair clashed at the last event.

John’s first show in Worthing, on March 31, 1994, featured world-famous star Davey Boy Smith, the British Bulldog, and was held at the town’s Pavilion Theatre. More shows followed, at the Pavilion and the Assembly Hall, before the latter was chosen as what would become wrestling’s spiritual home in the town. And now John hopes the tradition will continue at St Paul’s. And it could be a match-up that was meant to be – Premier Promotions shows at St Paul’s, which is dubbed ‘Worthing’s premier community hub’.

“From the supporters’ point of view it’s an excellent move,” John said. “It’s literally seconds from the Assembly Hall. I wanted to stay central. “I would be silly not to be excited. I’m really pleased that we have found another venue in the centre of Worthing that I feel should carry on the tradition of professional wrestling in the town. I’m looking forward to it.” St Paul’s manager Anthony Dickinson said: “We are delighted to be adding wrestling to our wide-ranging programme of events. “It’s good to be working with Premier Promotions, one of the country’s top promoters, whose shows have proved popular with fans at the Assembly Hall for many years.”

Tickets, priced £10 in advance, will be available from September from St Paul’s and via the website stpaulsworthing.co.uk.

We are pleased that such a tradition is to continue in Worthing and we wish John all the very best for his future shows.

*Above is courtesy of The Worthing Herald*

Referee Arthur Donovan passes away

(Arthur Donovan keeping order between Giant Haystacks and Rory Campbell)
We were sad to hear the news this week that popular Liverpudlian referee Arthur Donovan passed away on the 30th August.

Arthur may have been small in stature but this did not deter him in anyway and refereed some of the biggest men in the business including the mammoth Giant Haystacks.

Arthur was very popular with all the wrestlers in the business and liked nothing more than sharing a joke with them and he will be sadly missed by all those that knew him.

Arthur has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and we here at the Reunion send our condolences t his family and friends at this very sad time.

Reunion to feature in Health & Strength Magazine (October issue)

Health and Strength Magazine is the oldest physical culture journal in the World having been published continuously since 1898.

As sponsors to the Reunion they have over the years published many articles relating to the wrestling business and both Wayne Bridges and Frank Rimer have been regular contributors.

We are pleased to say that in the October issue the Reunion itself gets their own article at the editors request due to its success again this year, this is something that we thank them for and for their continued support. Our best wishes also go to Jo Anne and Robert Feesey as they take over the reins.

We would remind everyone that H&S are currently doing a special deal for Reunion members of £5.00 off a yearly subscription and details of this can be found on the application form as shown below.

Johnny Kidd comes out of retirement for a one off bout

(Johnny Kidd is lacing up the boots for a final time)
Over the last few years our very own Johnny Kidd has had a close working relationship with Chikara Pro Wrestling.   As well as wrestling for the promotion in the UK Johnny has also travelled to the USA where he has competed in various contests as well as having his own tournament promoted in his honour by them this past June.

Although Jonnny retired from active in ring competition last year he has agreed to make a one off appearance in Wolverhampton on Saturday 2nd September where he will once again compete against Mike Quackenbush.  Johnny is very honoured to face Mike again and has made the following statement:-

'Last Year I asked Mike Quackenbush to come out of retirement to wrestle in my final singles match in Manchester. He did which was a great honour for me. Now this Saturday he has asked me to come out of retirement for a rematch with him in Wolverhampton. To wrestle this master once again will be an absolute pleasure and one I couldn't refuse. So for one final time we will trade holds again'

Chikira Pro Wrestling have also made a statement relating to the bout as follows:-

'The 10th annual King of Trios tournament hits British shores on September 1st. On Night 2 of the tournament weekend, two old rivals will meet to find closure. One fall, to a finish - it's "Mr. Smooth" Johnny Kidd vs. Mike Quackenbush, The Master of a Thousand Holds'

The three day tournament on Friday 1st September, Saturday 2nd September and Sunday 3rd September is being held at Starworks, Frederick Street ,Wolverhampton with a bell time of 7.00pm and tickets are available from Chikaras website at https://chikaratix.com/.

We are sure that Johnnys bout with Mike will be the most anticipated one of the tournament and we are certain that both men will once again put on a show for all generations of wrestling fan.

(Johnny Kidd and Mike Quackenbush oppose each other in a previous contest)

Mal Kirk remembered on the 30th anniversary of his untimely death

Malcolm Kirk was born on the 18th December 1936 in Pontefract, West Yorkshire although in his early days had no intention of taking the career that would lead him to stardom.

 

Initially, Mal worked as a coal miner and also played professional rugby for Featherstone Rovers, Castleford and Doncaster as well as being a doorman.  Mal was also involved in judo and joined the Bramley Judo Club in Leeds and as a result of this he joined a local amateur wrestling club also in Leeds and although he was to have success in the amateur ranks it was to be the bright lights of the professional ring that would be Mals next course of action.


During the early 1960s Mal had a meeting with top promoter Norman Morrell.  Mal was a big powerful man and it was apparent that due to this he could, if trained correctly, be a big star in the wrestling business. Norman Morrell could see this and offered Mal a contract.  Mal knew that if he wanted to be a star he would have to train hard and this is what he intended to do.  In view of the fact that he had previously played professional rugby he was already very fit and as he trained more in the professional wrestling ranks it wasnt long before he got noticed.

 

In 1969 Mal had a televised match against Albert 'Rocky' Wall, this was to be the start of many television appearnces that Mal would have up until 1987 during which time he used such ring names as Mucky Mal Kirk, Kojak Kirk and King Kong Kirk.  The promoters also had another wrestler by the name of Paul Luty, an ideal tag team Partner for Mal and the two teamed up and travelled around the country taking on many of the top tag teams around at that time.

 

Due to his regular television appearances Mal was becoming a well known face and was soon travelling up and down the UK on a nightly basis taking on many of the greats such as Wayne Bridges, Wild Angus, Mike Marino, Pat Roach, Roy St Clair and Geoff Portz to name but a few.  In 1971 Mal pinned Mike Marino in the Royal Albert Hall tournament and it wasnt long therefore before Mal was being noticed by the foreign promoters.


As the 1970s progressed Mal found himself wrestling more and more around the World.  In 1973 and 1974 Mal wrestled in Canada where he won the Northern Provinces Championship and during the mid and late 1970s was a regular visitor to Austria and Germany where he had success in the 1977 Oldenburg Tournament and in 1978 the prestigious Bremen Tournament.  Mal also had a long tour of the Middle East and India where again he had a great deal of success.

 

As the 1970s drew to a close Mals European wrestling appearances started to slow down. Although Mal did have a number of bouts for the British Heavyweight Championship he was not successful in these.  By this time Mal was now a solid 25 stone and with his shaven head looked even more menacing that he had previously done.  It was decided at this time that Mal would also cut back on his solo contests and he found himself more and more in tag team action partnering the likes of Giant Haystacks, Banger Walsh, John Quinn and Bruiser Muir. As Mal walked to the ring the chorus of boos would echo around the halls, Mal was the villain in the ring but was loved by everyone. He would often immobilise his opponents with his devastating guillotine elbow drop, a move that very few recovered from.  Wrestling was seeing a resurgence in the UK at this point and Mal often found himself top of the bill in tag team action.  Whilst he continued to have the odd solo bout it was tag team action that was now his mainstay and Mal continued to do this during most of the 1980s.

 

On the 24th August 1987 the wrestling world was shocked by the sudden death of Mal Kirk.  It was during a tag match from Great Yarmouth that Mal suffered a heart attack and passed away shortly afterwards.  The wrestling world was left in mourning at the news as one of the strongest men in the business had passed away.


Mal Kirk was a gentle giant, the man he portrayed in the ring could not have been more different from the man he was in real life, a family man, a joker and liked by his fellow wrestlers and fans alike. 


Mal Kirk is sadly missed to this day and our thoughts are with his family and friends as we remember him 30 years after his passing. 

(Mal Kirk in action against Pat Patton)

Reunion presented with Award by our friends at the Scottish Wrestlers Reunion

(Award presented to us by the Scottish Wrestlers Reunion)

The Ring of Friendship is something that is very important to us at the British Wrestlers Reunion and it is something that we abide by at all times.


As many of you will now know, over the years a number of Wrestlers Reunions have been set up and this year, apart from our own, we have seen Reunions held at Leeds, Manchester, Blackpool and Ayr.   All Reunions are well attended and it is heart-warming that many of the great grapplers from years gone by still wish to attend these events ensuring that they thrive for many more years to come.


In June of this year it was the turn of our friends in Scotland to finally set up their own Reunion, whilst this has been something that has been discussed for quite a while time restrictions had meant that until now it had never materialised.  However, this has now been corrected and on Sunday 25th June the first Wrestlers Reunion took place.  Organised by our good friend Dale Storm there was a who’s who in attendance with over 40 wrestlers making the journey to celebrate not only Scottish but British wrestling, this was a great achievement for the inaugural event and can only mean that there are even better things to come in the following years.


At this years British Wrestlers Reunion we were very honoured to be joined by a number of wrestlers from North of the Border as Scott Thomson, Jim Starsky, Joe Hendry and Scottish Reunion founder Dale Storm all made the trip to Kent to support us.  We are very grateful to these wrestlers for travelling such a distance and being so complimentary about our event.


Over the years we have presented awards to wrestlers, officials and fans.  However, this year the tables were somewhat turned on us as Dale Storm took to the stage to present us with an award on behalf of the Scottish Wrestlers Reunion.  This is the first time that an award such as this has been made to the Reunion and the fact that it was presented to us by a fellow Reunion made it extra special for us.   The Award, which we are delighted to accept, will now take pride of place at the Bridges for our guests to see on arrival.


We understand from Dale Storm that there will be another Scottish Reunion in 2018 although no date has yet been set but as soon as we are advised of this we will bring it to you.  We have, over the years, advertised all Reunions ensuring that the Ring of Friendship is promoted around the UK and we are hopeful that some of our own supporters from the South will continue to make the trips Northbound to support our colleagues events.


Once again we would like to thank Dale Storm and the Scottish Reunion for their kind gesture and we look forward to supporting each other over the coming years.


To keep up todate with the Scottish Reunion they have recently set up a fantastic facebook page so please follow them at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1744940068880144/

(Dale Storm presents Reunion President Joe D'Orazio with an award from the Scottish Reunion)

Award winning Author Ray Clark reviews the 2017 Reunion

Ray Clark, the award winning Author, has for many years now been a great supporter of the Reunion travelling from his home in Yorkshire to be with us each and every year.  Over the years Ray has become a great help to us and is now a regular alongside Roy Smith on our memorabilia table where between them they do a fantastic job in selling various wrestling items to all those in attendance.  As in previous years Ray has written his own take on this years Reunion and it is published below for your enjoyment:-

Like most people, I remember parts of my childhood quite vivdly. Parents and teachers often told me, the years pass faster as you grow older. I never believed them. I do now. It was the 1970’s, and when I think long and hard enough, the memories from those care-free, halcyon days come flooding back. The popular bike of the time was the Raleigh Chopper: small tyre at the front, large at the back, three gears. Mine was purple, which was probably the psychedelic colour of the year. In 1975, Sir Clive Sinclair launched the Sinclair Black Prince watch, which had two black panels: pressing one obtained the time and date, resulting in a red LED display. The other was for show. It was groundbreaking. I went through a pair of batteries in less than a month. The Merseybeat sounds of the sixties faded as the seventies disco scene took over, producing unforgettable hits: Abba’s Dancing Queen, Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, which has done for many a budding serial song murderer on the karaoki scene: and that legendary track by the Bee Gees, Stayin’ Alive, featured in the film, Saturday Night Fever. Jump suits, hot pants and flared trousers dominated the fashion. Everyone remembers some of the programs: Happy Days with the Fonz; MASH with Hawkeye, and Charlie’s Angels – who could forget those three?

 

But I’m sure I’d be right in stating that everyone remembered one program from that period: ITV’s World of Sport wrestling, which was either loved or hated. There were no in-betweens. For me, once having been bitten by the bug, my life had been taken over. Having passed my driving test I put thousands of miles a year on my late father’s car, traveling up and down the East Coast – the favourite haunt being The Spa at Bridlington every Monday night. It’s nearly thirty years since it left the TV screens, but the memories live on.

 

Sunday, August 13th 2017 saw the annual British Wrestlers Reunion. It didn’t feel like five minutes since the last one – proving what people used to say. A day when old friends and arch enemies of the canvas reunite to reminisce about a bygone era that we officially class as the good old days. We didn’t have mobile phones, computers, Ipads, or hybrid cars, and the word Brexit hadn’t been invented. For everyone attending, the mood is upbeat. Whatever problems we have now are forgotten for the day. Wrestlers greet each other not with a forearm smash but a handshake, a bear hug and a smile, as do the fans. As the eleven o’ clock bell strikes, the reunion starts. Many of yesterday’s legends appeared, amongst them, Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco, Blondie Barrett, Keith Myatt, Steve Grey, Johnny Saint, Johnny Kincaid, Wayne Bridges, Tony ‘Banger’ Walsh, Pete Roberts, Brian ‘Goldbelt’ Maxine, ‘Bulldog’ Colin Joynson, Roy St. Clair, Alan Kilby and many more so apologies if I have not mentioned your name here.  This year also saw the Reunion President, Joe D’Orazio make an appearance something that pleased everyone who was there.

 

Sadly, the first thing on the agenda every year, are the obituaries (followed by the Ten Bell Count), a time to reflect on the ring mat warriors that have passed over to the dressing room in the sky. As the years roll by the list appears to grow longer. 2016 – 2017 was no exception, and it fell to Colin Joynson to read through and relate his fond memories. We lost the likes of Tony Cassio, Gerry Diprose, Bob Bell, Keith Martinelli and Tony Francis: John Killer Kowalski, Jumping Jim Mosa, Charlie Cornish whose name may not be familiar although his face definitely would be as a second for Dale Martin Promotions for 30 years and Tina D’Orazio, wife of Joe. Tiger Joe Robinson, a wrestler who once made a fleeting appearance in the film, A Kid For Two Farthings. A shock to most of us was the loss of perhaps one of the biggest names in the business, Vic Faulkner.

 

Vic’s professional wrestling career started at the age of 17 where he travelled the world extensively, wrestling in Africa, Italy, Kenya and France to name but a few. The experience he picked up proved invaluable and in 1966, he became European Middleweight Champion, a title he held until 1973: the same year he won the British Welterweight Wrestling belt, which he held until 1977. Vic was also one half of the successful tag team known as The Royal Brothers throughout the 60’s and 70’s, performing in many famous venues including The Royal Albert Hall, The Liverpool Palace, and Bolton’s Wryton Stadium – local territory to them. During that time period, rather surprisingly, they found themselves as major TV stars, because of that famous Saturday afternoon TV slot, when everything in the UK stopped at four o’ clock. At its height, British Wrestling attracted more viewers than the Manchester based soap, Coronation Street. Following his retirement in the early eighties, Faulkner worked for Thwaites Brewery in Blackburn. For me, he will always be remembered as the man with a smile on his face, because I simply cannot recall a time when I saw him with any other expression. Vic’s passing is a sad loss for the world of professional wrestling.

 

Awards play a big part in the reunion ceremony, a time to pay tribute to the outstanding sportsmen and women in their field. 2017 was the first year that I can remember a Superfan award was presented, which went to Ben Roberts. Nina Samuels picked up The Young Wrestler of the Year Award: Ring of Friendship Awards went to Sarah Bridges and Steve Hannam and Roger L. Sandiland the Lifetime Achievement Award. Two names were awarded for their Services to Wrestling: referee legend, Bobby Stafford and Scottish grappler Jim Starsky. Wrestler of the Year was presented to Joe Hendry and he paid tributes and thanks to the big names before him, paving the way, making his favoured lifestyle possible. Finally, the big one, The Legends Hall of Fame went to wrestler’s Keith Myatt (presented by Blondie Barrett), Alan Kilby (presented by Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco), Jumping Jim Mosa,(accepted by Johnny Kincaid), Tug Holton (accepted by Tom Tyrone and presented by Roy St Clair), Blondie Barrett (presented by Lloyd Ryan), Tony ‘Banger’ Walsh,(presented by Jeanie Clarke) and finally British Lightweight Champion, Steve Grey, presented by another renowned name of the sport, Johnny Kidd.

 

One thing that keeps me returning every year is not simply the chance to meet with old friends but living in anticipation of learning something new. And I do. When the wrestling finished on ITV the impact was colossal, not only for the fans but for the wrestlers themselves. What Greg Dyke had effectively done was threaten their livelihoods. Due to TV, wrestlers earned a comfortable living in near sold-out venues up and down the country every night of the week. Suddenly they had to find another way to keep the wolf from the door. Most turned to acting. Amongst them, Giant Haystacks, who appeared in a number of films, one of which was alongside ex-Beatle, Paul McCartney in Give My Regards To Broad Street. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Haystacks had also recorded a record, a country number called Baby I Need You. I’ve never heard it but I have now seen it, thanks to one enthusiastic fan and his memorabilia collection. Haystacks also appeared in the Granada production of Send In The Girls, written by Brian Glover, alongside the likes of Jim Breaks, Tony ‘Banger’ Walsh and Kendo Nagasaki. Brian ‘Goldbelt’ Maxine also stretched his vocal chords instead of his biceps with country songs, and could often be seen promoting himself in the ring. Mick McManus delved into the world of antiques.

 

And talking of films, something else that stood the 2017 reunion apart from previous years was a professional film crew, RSA Black Dog Films. Jake Scott is an English film director, who formed Black Dog in 1991. Due to his love of music videos, he now represents some of the most creative and established directors in both the UK and the USA, producing for a variety of artists including Madonna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, The Rolling Stones, Soundgarden, Tori Amos, Radiohead, Lily Allen, Oasis, R.E.M., U2, and the late George Michael. Jake has two feature films to his credit, Plunkett & Macleane (1999) and Welcome to the Rileys (2010), and is the son of the legendary producer/director, Ridley Scott, whose films include Hannibal, starring the oscar-winning actor, Anthony Hopkins, A Good Year with Russell Crowe, and the blockbuster of the 70’s, Alien, starring the late John Hurt and Sigourney Weaver. RSA had two cameras at the event: a fixed one inside The Bridges interviewing the former wrestlers, and a roving camera outside talking to the fans. The end result will be a professional DVD that the British Wrestlers Reunion can sell to raise proceeds.

 

On a closing note I would like to thank everyone connected to the reunion for a fabulous day, in particular, Ken Sowden. It can’t have been easy stepping into the shoes of the legendary MC, Frank Rimer but he did, and he did it successfully. It’s very easy to take for granted everything you see, hear and feel on the day, and if it all goes without a hitch, it’s a testament to the people behind the scenes who work tirelessly and for free because they love the job, and their close colleagues involved with it. A special thank you goes to hosts, Wayne and Sarah Bridges. But also in finishing I think it’s worth sending out a message to the new blood of the industry to please come and support what the BWR does, because without you, they will find it hard to continue. The legends will not last forever. Please don’t let British wrestling fade into obscurity like the TV did.


We would like to thank Ray for his very comprehensive review and his help throughout the year.  Rays latest offering, Imperfection, together with many of his previous award winning titles are available now via Amazon.  We of course wish Ray every success in the future and look forward to seeing him again on the 12th August 2018.

(Imperfection...Ray Clarks latest offering)

Peter Baines recovering after fall

We were sad to learn last Sunday that legendary Master of Ceremonies Peter Baines had a fall shortly after attending the Scottish Reunion in June and whilst he is recovering at home it is taking slightly longer than he had hoped.

We send Peter all of our best wishes and hope that he is back to full health as soon as possible.

British Wrestlers Reunion 2017 Report.

For over 30 years an ever presence on our television screens was professional wrestling, sadly those great days are just a distant memory for many but on the second Sunday every August we are transported back to those halcyon days when everything stopped at four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon when mums, dads, grannies and grandads and children of all ages clambered around their television screens or filled the smoky halls of literally every town and city in the UK on a regular basis to get their weekly fix of professional wrestling.


On Sunday 13th August after weeks of rain here in the South of England the storm clouds parted and the sun shone once again as wrestlers, officials and fans from far and wide converged on The Bridges Public House situated in a leafy suburb in Kent.  On arriving at 8.30am wrestlers and fans were already converging on the pavement outside and it was hard to believe that in two hours there would be a mass of people all their to remember those great days of wrestling during which time there would be some wonderful stories and with this being the wrestling business we all know that everyone of these would be true !!!!.  We were somewhat concerned as on arrival we were advised by a local resident that the train station that services Horton Kirby had been shut due to a severe incident and although a replacement bus service was in operation there were delays.  However our worries were unfounded as at the height of the Reunion over 300 wrestlers and fans were on site many crammed into the Bridges and the garden with others having to stand on the pavement outside.


As 11.00 approached it was obvious that once again the Reunion was going to be another great success, we already knew that there would be many star wrestlers in attendance and everywhere you looked there were legends of the business arriving.  It was a delight to watch the fans faces light up as another one of their wrestling heroes arrived with many of the fans armed with their autographs books, cameras and other memorabilia that they have collected over the years hoping to grab the opportunity of a chat with their favourite wrestler or a photo opportunity.  The wrestlers, as always, are very obliging and are only too happy to chat with everyone as well as reliving memories with their colleagues.


Throughout the morning and early afternoon wrestlers and fans alike exchange stories, take photos, meet old and new friends and generally chat about their experiences within the wrestling business whether it be inside the ring or sat outside the ring, all of this happens whilst our resident vocalist Baz Jangles once again entertains the masses.


With Frank Rimer retiring last year it was left to new Master of Ceremonies Barry Howard to open the proceedings and whilst it was always going to be a daunting task following on from such a legend as Frank Barry took to this like a duck to water.   Barry welcomed everyone to the Reunion and started by informing everyone as to Franks retirement and whilst Frank was unable to be with us at that time (due to him having to prepare for a flight to Canada for his sons wedding in a few days time) he hoped to join us all later.  Barry then thanked Reunion organiser Ken Sowden for arranging the event and continued by reading out apologies for non-attendance by Mal Sanders, Bobby Barnes, Sid Cooper and Klondyke Kate. 


We were very honoured this year to be joined by our President, Joe D’Orazio and he was introduced to everyone and welcomed by us all.  Joe, who at 95   was very happy to be back at the Reunion after missing the last few years and is and will always be ‘The Guvnor’.


The Reunion continued by what is always a very poignant part of the day as the legendary ‘Bulldog’ Colin Joynson remembered all those great grapplers who have gone to the Dressing Room in the Sky over the last year.  Colin does this job each year with the greatest professionalism and this year was no different as we remembered Gerry Diprose, John Kowalski, Jim Moser, Keith Martinelli, Tony Cassio, Tony Francis, Smith Hart, Joe Robinson, Bob Bell, Vic Faulkner, Tina D’Orazio and Charlie Cornish.  Following on from this the Reunion fell silent as the bell tolled 10 times and this was followed by a minutes applause by everyone in attendance.


As the years progress you would think that it would become harder and harder to acknowledge the greats of the ring but this was not the case and this year awards were presented as follows:-


Hall of Fame Awards:


Steve Grey presented by Johnny Kidd

Alan Kilby presented by Mark Rocco

Jumping Jim Moser presented by Johnny Kincaid (sadly Jims family member was unable to attend)

Tommy Tug Holton (received by Tom Tyrone) and presented by Roy St Clair

Bob Barratt presented by Lloyd Ryan

Keith Myatt presented by Bob Barratt

Tony Walsh presented by Jeanie Clarke

 

Lifetime Achievement Award:


Roger Sandilands presented by Judo Al Hollamby

 

Services to Wrestling Awards:


Jim Starsky presented by Dale Storm

Bobby Stafford presented by Martin Gillott

 

Wrestler of the Year:


Joe Hendry presented by Johnny Kincaid

 

Young Wrestler of the Year


Nina Samuels presented by Sarah Bridges

 

Superfan Award:


Ben Roberts presented by Lyndsey Mason

 

Ring of Friendship Award:


Sarah Bridges presented by Ken Sowden

Steve Hannam  presented by Paul Tyrell


Prior to this years event we were approached by Stephen Duncan Rice who is the head of the Live Performance Department at Equity.  Stephen asked if he could give a short talk on wrestlers in film and television which we agreed to and he proceeded to do this.  The talk was very informative and was enjoyed by all of those in attendance.  We also received a request from Wayne Freeman who is the brother of the legendary Princess Paula.  Paula was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016 and Wayne accepted the award on her behalf, however at that time he was very emotional and could not give the acceptance speech that he wanted to so this year he again took to the stage and gave a heart-warming thank you for the award.


This year, for the first time in many years the Reunion was filmed and this was done so by none other than Ridley Scott Associates, the world renowned  film maker.  The film crew were on site all day and actually filmed solidly for 8 hours not only filming the award ceremony but interviewing many of the star wrestlers in attendance about their careers as well as the fans on their enjoyment of the day.  We have since received an email from Ridley Scotts office saying that their visit to the Reunion was one of the best days they have done in many years and we are very proud that a company such as them did not only come to our Reunion but made such a nice comment about us.


With the ceremonies concluded everyone in attendance takes some time out, food and drink is flowing, the sun is beating down and everyone is in a very good mood, many staying on at the Bridges well into the evening.  As the afternoon draws to close there are still many people meeting up with old friends, having photos and getting autographs, the one day of the year where the stars of the ring return, the clock is turned back and for that one day we are all transported back to the glory years of British wrestling.


So that was the 2017 British Wrestlers Reunion, a great success for us all ensuring that Britain continues to hold the record of the largest Wrestlers Reunion in Europe, an honour which we rightly deserve.  We have received many compliments on the day both in person as wrestlers and fans were leaving the Bridges and via email and social media which is very heart-warming and we are so pleased that everyone who attended enjoyed their time with us, it makes all the hard work worthwhile and we thank you for all of your support both in the past and for the future.


We now have just 51 weeks to go before our next event so put it in your diary, Sunday 12th August 2018…..hope to see you there !!!!!!!.

Mike Marinos wrestling boots donated to the Reunion

(Another kind donation to the Reunion)
Over the years we here at the Reunion have had many items of wrestling memorabilia donated to us by some of the greats of the ring such as Mick McManus, Kendo Nagasaki, Big Daddy, Ski Hi Lee to name but a few, these are all gratefully received and we are hounored to display them each and every year at the Reunion for wrestling fans to enjoy once again.

At this years event a new donation was made to us by the founder of the Mike Marino Fan Club back in the 1960s.  After treasuring these items for a number of years they have decided that a pair of Mikes boots should go to someone who would keep his memory alive and they could think of no better place than the Reunion.

We are very grateful for this generous donation and we will place Mikes boots into a glass case and they will be displayed for the first time at the 2018 Reunion.
(The legendary Mike Marino)

2017 Reunion Souvenir Programme now availabe via our webstore

Following the 2017 British Wrestlers Reunion which saw over 300 wrestlers and fans cram The Bridges we are now able to offer our Souvenir Programme for sale to any of you who were unable to attend or would like a copy for your wrestling collection.

The programme, which many have commented is the best one we have ever produced, can be yours for just £6.00 (this includes p&p for UK only, international buyers please contact us for postage rates) and is now available via the webstore right here on this site.

Get yours before they are all gone !!!!!

Its finally here, its Reunion weekend, come and join us !!!!!

We are now just 24 hours away from the wrestling event of the year as the 2017 British Wrestlers Reunion is almost here.


Tomorrow, Sunday 13th August, Wayne and Sarah Bridges will welcome wrestlers, officials and fans to The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent, DA4 9AX for the 26th annual British Wrestlers Reunion.


As previously advised we will have your usual favourites including our prestigious award ceremony, Colin Joynson will honour the great warriors who have gone to the Dressing Room in the Sky during the last twelve months followed by the 10 bell count.  Our usual array of memorabilia will be on display plus some new items this year and our Souvenir Programme alongside other great items will be for sale.  Food and drink will be available throughout the day and please support the Reunion by purchasing some raffle tickets for a chance to win some great prizes.  On top of this there will be live entertainment and we have a very special guest speaker who will be reliving some great stories about many of your favourite wrestlers from the past.


All the fun kicks off at 11.00am with the award ceremony due to commence at 12.30pm.


The weather forecasters are predicting sunshine,lets hope that they are right, so why not come down and join us for what we hope will be another great event, you will all be made most welcome.

Take advantage of this great offer from Health & Strength

Health & Strength Magazine is the oldest established physical culture journal in the world and has been continuously published since 1898. It includes regular articles on weight training, bodybuilding, strength sports, diet, nutrition, historical features, a physique gallery of famous names, a 'Hot News' page; a "Training Lab"' page and much more.


The magazine actively supports natural bodybuilding and drug-free strength sports, including the NPA (Natural Physique Association - 'npa-bodybuilding.co.uk'); the IAWA-UK, (International All-Round Weightlifting Associaton-UK); and NIFMA (Northern Ireland Fitness Models Association - www.nifma.com).


Health & Strength Magazine have also taken a keen interest in the professional wrestling business and have over the years written several articles relating to this with contributions from Wayne Bridges and Frank Rimer,

Dave Gentle, sub Editor and great supporter of the Reunion has written to us with a great offer for anyone wishing to take up a subscription and this is as follows:-

'As sub editor of Health and Strength,I can now announce all members of the reunion can receive a subscription to Health and Strength,email for information [email protected] for FIVE POUNDS OFF the regular sub so a years subscription is now only £15.00. 

Alternatively, you can speak to Dave directly at this weekends Reunion.

This is a great publication for anyone interested in physical culture and if this is you then this would be a great time to take advantage of this very special offer.

Charlie Cornish funeral details announced

Last week we reported the sad news that popular Dale Martin second Charlie Cornish had passed away.

We can now advise that Charlies funeral will be held on Thursday 17th August at 2.15pm at Forest Park Crematorium, Forest Road Hainault Essex, IG6 3HP.

All are welcome to attend to pay their respects to Charlie and once again we send our condolences to his family at this sad time

The 2017 Reunion is almost here...be sure to join us for the event of the year

The new era for the British Wrestlers Reunion is almost upon us as we are now only one week away from the wrestling social event of the year.


On Sunday 13th August Wayne and Sarah Bridges alongside the rest of the committee will welcome wrestlers, officials and fans to The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent, DA4 9AX for the 26th annual British Wrestlers Reunion.


As in previous years we are expecting a great turnout to celebrate British wrestling with wrestlers and fans travelling not only from numerous destinations in the UK but from the USA and from various locations in Europe.


For the first time in a number of years the Reunion is being filmed by one of the top film producers in the World and as well as filming all of the days activities they will be interviewing both wrestlers and fans about the their love for the wrestling business.  We also have a professional photographer who will be on hand throughout the day so please feel free to ask her if anyone would like a specific photograph with any wrestler or any of the very handsome, debonair and charismatic committee members !!!!!!!.


As always with the Reunion we will still have your usual favourites including our prestigious ceremony with 15+ deserving recipients being presented with their relevant awards.  Colin Joynson will honour the great warriors who have gone to the Dressing Room in the Sky during the last twelve months followed by the 10 bell count.  Our usual array of memorabilia will be on display plus some new items this year and our Souvenir Programme alongside other great items will be for sale.  Food and drink will be available throughout the day and please support the Reunion by purchasing some raffle tickets for a chance to win some great prizes.  On top of this there will be live entertainment and we have a very special guest speaker who will be reliving some great stories about many of your favourite wrestlers from the past.


The final countdown has started so all of us at the Ring of Friendship invite you to join us next Sunday for what promises to be a day to remember and one any wrestler or fan will not want to miss.


All the fun kicks off at 11.00am with the award ceremony due to commence at 12.30pm.


We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible and can guarantee that you will receive a warm welcome like no other.


If anyone has any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us via our contact details as shown in the navigation bar.

Popular Dale Martin second Charlie Cornish passes away

The British Wrestlers Reunion are sad to report that Charlie Cornish who was one of Dale Martins most famous seconds for decades passed away on Thursday 3rd August after a short illness.

Our condolences go to Charlies family and friends at this sad time, he will be greatly missed by all who knew him during the time that he was involved in the wrestling business.

Charlie will be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and will be remembered at next weeks event.
(Charlie Cornish and his son Steve)

Film Crew confirmed for Reunion

A few months ago we advised you all that for the first time in a number of years this years Reunion was to be filmed for posterity and we can now advise that we have today received confirmation that this will indeed be going ahead.

The film crew, who are one of the biggest in the UK, will be bringing two cameras, one will be static and will be focused on the podium to record the awards presentation and other activities going on in the garden throughout the day.  The second  will be a roving camera which will record the day from various locations around The Bridges as it happens.  There will be two cameramen, two camera assistants, a sound technician a Producer and a Director alongside the writers of the tv wrestling drama currently being written.

It has been agreed that the roving camera will be interviewing both wrestlers (about their careers) and fans on their enjoyment of the wrestling business over the years.  A designated area will be set up for the interviews to take place so that they do not interfere in the days activities and anyone who would like to be interviewed will be more than welcome.

The days event as they are filmed will be made available on dvd at a later date.

Just two weeks to go to the Reunion of the Year

There is now just two weeks to go as on Sunday 13th August we will once again welcome wrestlers and fans from far and wide to this years Reunion.


As always this years event is being held at The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent, DA4 9AX commencing at 11.00am where you will receive a warm welcome from your hosts Wayne and Sarah Bridges.


The event is FREE entry with award presentations, 10 bell count, drinks, food, raffles, music and memorabilia available including this years Souvenir Programme which you can purchase on the day for just £5.00. Come along and reminisce with the Legends of the ring young and old in the 'RING OF FRIENDSHIP'.


For all the up to the minute news please keep checking back right here or our facebook page British Wrestling, the Glory Years. 


We hope to see many of you there for the wrestling event of the year.

Tom Tyrone recovers after surgery

 
(Tom Tyrone recovers in hospital following surgery)
We would lke to send our best wishes to Paul Harrison known to millions of wrestling fans as Tom Tyrone who is recovering in hospital following surgery to repair a torn bicep and rota cuff.  The operation was a great success and Paul has stated that he is well on the mend and is looking forward to meeting up with many of his great friends at this years Reunion.

In a coincidence, at the same time and same hospital as Paul had his surgery in his latest grandson was born which was a real tonic for him and Paul wasted no in meeting the newest member of his family as soon as he could. Although the baby who has been named Ollie was born six weeks premature he is now doing really well.

We here at the Reunion wish Paul a speedy recovery and also send our best wishes to Ollie and his parents, we hope you are all able to return home shortly.

(Tom Tyrone, Johnny Kincaid and Tony Costas at the 2016 Reunion)

Happy Birthday Mr President.

On Thursday 27th July we sent the warmest of wishes to our beloved President Joe D'Orazio who celebrated his 95th birthday.


Joe of course is a stalwart of British wrestling and has carried out his duties with the greatest professionalism with a career in the business spanning decades.


Joe is hoping to join us at the Reunion on Sunday 13th August and we very much look forward to welcoming him.


For a in-depth look into Joes life and career please check out his Hall of Fame Induction right here on the site.

(Joe in his wrestling days)

Bob Bell passes away.

We are saddened to receive news that one of the great heavyweights of the 1960s and 70s and one of the organisers of the Northern Wrestlers Reunion which was originally held at Ellesmere Port, Bob Bell passed away on Monday 24th July 2017 after a long illness.

Originally scouted and brought into the wrestling business by Buddy Ward, Bob was a good heavyweight who was not afraid to take on all comers.  Initially working for the independent promoters of the day Bob soon crossed over to Joint Promotions where he had a modicum of success but after a short tenure under their banner Bob returned to the independent scene where he seemed more content.

At one time Bob Bell was billed as the brother of Steve Veidor by several promoters, this was a gimmick and neither men were related in any way at all.

On retiring from the ring Bob continued to have an interest in wrestling and in 2001 he founded the Northern Wrestlers Reunion with his wife Jean, Monty Swann and others.  This Reunion was held in Ellesmere Port and for a number of years was well attended and hugely popular with wrestlers who travelled to the event from around the UK.  Sadly, in 2010 Bobs health started to decline and on Sunday 6th June 2010 he reluctantly relinquished his role as Reunion organiser.

We here at the Reunion send our condolences to Bob Bells family and friends at this very sad time.  Bob has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
(Jean and Bob Bell)

The 2017 Reunion is almost here....come and join us for another memorable occasion

With the success of last years 25th anniversary Reunion still fresh in some of our minds it is hard to believe that we are now just 3 short weeks away from the 2017 event.


On Sunday 13th August Wayne and Sarah Bridges will once again be your hosts at the 26th Reunion which for the 20th year will be held at their premises, The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent, DA4 9AX where wrestlers and fans who will be travelling from far and wide will reminisce about the glory days of British wrestling.


As in previous years we are expecting between 100 and 150 wrestlers including former World, European and British champions to join us together with wrestling fans from around the UK.  We will of course have all of our regular features including Lifetime Achievement and Services to Wrestling Awards, eight more wrestlers will be inducted into the Reunion Hall of Fame and there will be three very special awards presented to the deserving recipients. The 10 bell salute will be held prior to Colin Joynson remembering all of those grapplers who have sadly gone to the Dressing Room in the Sky this past year, this is something that is very poignant each and every year.


As well as the above we will of course have live entertainment throughout the day, memorabilia, food and drink, raffle and much more for your enjoyment.


The indications are that this years Reunion is going to be another memorable day for all of those in attendance and as the Ring of Friendship we invite you all to join us for this very special event.


The fun kicks off at 11.00am so we hope to see many of you there and lets continue the tradition that the Reunion is known for.

Skull Murphys partner Sue passes away from cancer

More sad news to report as, after a long battle with cancer, Skull Murphys partner Sue, passed away on Friday 21st July 2017.  The following statement has been issued by Skull via his good friend and colleague Danny Collins:-


'After a long battle with cancer my long term partner Sue passed away yesterday evening. She was strong, brave and caring right until the end and will be missed dreadfully.


I was at her side when she passed.


Hope you understand that I wish to have my privacy at this time.


Thank you to you all for your love and support'


Everyone here at the British Wrestlers Reunion send our sincere condolences to Peter (Skull) and his family and friends at this very sad time and may Sue now RIP.

Barry Shearman aka Rex Strong/The Masked Samurai suffers heart attack

(Barry Shearman aka Rex Strong/The Masked Samurai)
We are sorry to receive news that Barry Shearman known to millions of UK wrestling fans as Rex Strong or The Masked Samurai has suffered a heart attack, this after being plagued by illness for several months.

Barry was a regular name on wrestling bills up and down the country for many years after initially being trained by the legendary Dominic Pye and faced many of the top stars of the day such as Wayne Bridges, Pete Roberts, Count Bartelli and Big Daddy to name but a few.

Outside of wrestling Rex was a well known Councillor in his beloved Blackpool as well as welcoming many holidaymakers in his role as hotel proprietor.

Everyone here at the Reunion wishes Barry a speedy recovery and hope that he is back to full fitness sooner rather than later.
(Barry Shearman as The Masked Samurai)

An Evening with Marty Jones to be held on 30th July

Marty Jones has spent his entire life in the wrestling business, whether it be as a successful amateur or a professional who went on to win numerous titles including seven World Championships.  Having travelled the World over representing the UK Marty is without doubt one of the most recognised wrestlers of his era and now, many years after retiring from in ring action, he travels the UK teaching the next generation of wrestling stars as well as running his own gym and wrestling school in Lancashire.

As we have reported here over the last few months PWL Promotions have been holding a series of 'An Evening with......' and with the success of the ones previously held with 'Blondie' Bob Barratt and Klondyke Kate it is now the turn of Europes Number One to take centre stage once again.

An Evening with Marty Jones will be held on Sunday 30th July at Darlaston All Active, Willenhall Road, Darlaston with a start time of 8.00pm.  Tickets will cost £10 and this is all inclusive of the whole event featuring a live on stage interview detailing road stories, in ring perspective and all manor of Martys career highlights as well as a fans ask the questions Q & A session, an autograph session and a photograph session.

To book or for more information on what will be a special insight into Marty Jones' career please contact PWL on 07404 279880.

We wish Marty and all concerned with this evening the very best of luck and we are sure that all in attendance will have a memorable evening.
(Marty Jones receives another accolade at the Reunion)

Tommy Stevenson gets inducted into Hawick Rotary Club

(Tommy Stevenson gets inducted as a full member into the Hawick Rotary Club)

Tommy Stevenson, or as he was better known in the ring Scott Thomson , was one of the great lightweight wrestlers of his generation.  A regular on the Scottish circuit Tommy even opposed the legendary Johnny Saint but unfortunately with the bout poised at one fall a piece Tommy suffered a shoulder injury resulting in him being unable to continue.


Since retirement, Tommy continues to have a keen interest in the wrestling business and is regularly guest of honour at local shows where he always receives a great reception from not only the wrestlers but the fans in attendance.  Over the last few years Tommy has also become a regular supporter of the Reunions and will, if possible, attend all those held around the UK.   Tommy will be travelling from Scotland to Kent for our Reunion in a few weeks time and has already informed us that he is really looking forward to the weekend.


Despite his own health issues over the last few years Tommy remains very active and on the 14th July he was inducted as a full member into the Hawick Rotary Club.  This was a great honour for Tommy and we know that he will give 100% to everything they do as they continue to raise thousands of pounds each and every year for charity.


We look forward to seeing Tommy on the13th August and for many more years to come as he continues to give his all to helping others and being a good friend to many.


(Tommy Stevenson, seen here with Clive Myers, received a Services to Wrestling Award at the 2015 Reunion)

An Audience with Johnny Saint to be held in Liverpool.

As we reported last week the legendary Johnny Saint has now returned to the UK following a very successful stint as a trainer at the World famous WWE Performance Centre in Florida.  Never one to sit still for long Johnny is already back in the saddle and will soon be travelling around the UK holding seminars in which he will pass on his decades on knowledge to the next generation of wrestling star.

As we all know Johnny has had a remarkable career which has taken him around the World and now he is to tell it all in 'An Audience with Johnny Saint' which is being promoted by Infinite Promotions and is being held on Sunday 20th August at Camp Furnace, 67 Greenland Street, Liverpool, L1 0BY commencing at 4.00pm.  Tickets for this great event are just £15.00.

We know that the above event is going to be something rather special and Johnny will no doubt be telling some great tales from his time in and out of the wrestling ring.  We would urge any wrestling fan who can get to Liverpool on this date to attend as these events do come come around very often so make the most of it, sit back and listen to the Master himself....Johnny Saint.

Reunion Souvenir Programme to be produced again for 2017 due to popular demand

We are now just a few short weeks away from this years British Wrestlers Reunion which will take place on Sunday 13th August 2017 at The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent, DA4 9AX with a start time of 11.00am.


Over the last three years the Reunion has produced a souvenir programme to commemorate the days events and due to its popularity this year will be no exception with the 2017 programme ready to roll off of the presses as we speak.


This years programme has a completely new look which we hope you will all approve of and will consist of 12 glossy pages and will give details of all those who will receive the honour of being presented with one of our prestigious awards.  In addition to this the programme will give details of those great grapplers who have gone to the Dressing Room in the Sky as well as various articles giving an insight into the wrestling business from both in and out of the ring.


We are sure that, as in previous years, this programme will be a great keepsake for what we hope will be a memorable day for us all.  Despite the fact that our printing costs have slightly increased this year we will again be retaining the price of the programme at £5.00 if purchased at the Reunion itself or £6.00 if purchased from our website after the event (this will be for UK buyers only, overseas buyers please contact us for postage costs).


Early indications are showing that this years event will be another great success with wrestlers and fans travelling from far and wide to be with us and we hope to see as many of you as possible on the 13th August so come of join the Ring of Friendship and be part of the Peoples Reunion

Johnny Saint returns to the UK after his stint as WWE Trainer comes to an end.

(Johnny Saint thanks all at the WWE Performance Centre as his stint as trainer comes to an end)
Johnny Saint is without any doubt one of the greatest wrestlers ever to lace up a pair of boots.  The former World Lightweight Champion has left a legacy that will never be equalled let alone surpassed by anyone in the future.  Known and respected by fellow wrestlers and fans around the World Johnnys knowledge of the wrestling business is second to none and on top of that he is one of the most nicest men in the business as well as being very modest about all of his achievements over the last 50+ years.

In January this year Johnny was invited back to the WWE Performance Centre in Florida on a six month contract after a very successful initial stint there last year.  Johnnys expertise in wrestling has proved to be invaluable for the up and coming wrestlers of the future and he has, over the last six months, gone a long way to making stars of the next generation of wrestlers.

Johnny has now returned to the UK and has stated that it has been the experience of his life whilst in the USA as a trainer.  Both the trainees and fellow trainers at the WWE Performance Centre have expressed their sadness at Johnny having to leave, not only was he extremely popular but was without doubt one of the best trainers ever to grace the Worlds number one wrestling training facility.

With Johnny now back in the UK he will continue to give something back to the wrestling industry and will shortly be re-commencing his seminars around the country teaching the next generation of UK stars, if any of them turn out to be half as good as Johnny himself they should feel very honoured.

We will be contacting Johnny shortly to ascertain if he will be joining us at this years Reunion and will advise you in due if he will be attending.  As a regular at our event we hope that he will be able to make the trip on the 13th August.

 
(Johnny Saint passes on his years of wisdom as fellow Brits Robbie Brookside and William Regal look on)

'Tiger' Joe Robinson dies.

In what has been an awful week for professional wrestling with the passing of both Smith Hart and Vic Faulkner we have now received word via James Morton that 'Tiger' Joe Robinson has passed away aged 90 at his home in Brighton.


Joe initially took a keen interest in judo and jujitsu but soon the bright lights and the fame that being a professional wrestler brought got his attention and he soon mastered the art and after a short time in the amateur ranks turned fully professional.


At the start of his wrestling career Joe worked under the Atholl Oakeley banner and was soon main eventing around the UK having many great bouts with the top stars of the day.  One of Joes famous victories came in 1952 at the Royal Albert Hall when he defeated Axel Cadier for the European title.


Later in his carer Joe went to work for Joint Promotions and at the time was becoming one of their biggest stars until an in ring injury cut short a promising career.


Life after wrestling was good for Joe however as he caught the acting bug and co starred in many films for cinema and television after many others were long retired.


Joe Robinson passed away on the 3rd July 2017 and will be sadly missed.  He will of course be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky.  We here at the Reunion send our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.

Vic Faulkner passes away

The British Wrestlers Reunion are deeply saddened to report that wrestling legend Vic Faulkner has passed away today. (6th July).

Vic was a household name during the 70s and 80s and was one of the most popular wrestlers in the country whether it be in solo bouts or as a tag team with his brother Bert Royal.
 
Vic has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and his obituary has also been added to the relevant section.

Vic Faulkner was indeed one of the all time greats of British wrestling and we send our condolences to Vics family and friends at this very sad time.

Below are some comments from wrestlers and fans on hearing this very sad news:-


Wendy Mellor Such sad news about a lovely "gentleman of wrestling"

Jim Ferguson He will be deeply missed my condolences to his family

Lyndsey Mason So sad to see this 😢 RIP Vic you will be truly missed. Thinking of his friends & family at this sad time xx

Frank Rimer Terrible sad news. Kindly pass my sincerest condolences to all the Family

Wendy Finlay Vic was a wonderful gentleman, it was a pleasure to be in his company, I've so many great memories of him. Thank you Vic for what you gave to wrestling. My condolences to his family 😥😥😥

Ricky Knight Very sad news

Stewart Begley Sad news r.i.p

Mac Hardiman Another top class professional left us R.I.P Vic.

Carol Betchley Sad sad news, condolences to family and friends. RIP Vic, you will be missed terribly.

Peter Nulty Very sad news. A star of the golden era, a gentleman and a legend. Rest in peace.

Ann Dawson-Was Pye R.i.p.xx·

Keith Myatt Sad news.

Simon Waters RIP Vic. Thoughts are with his family. Absolute legend of the sport

Thomas Stevenson What a shock. He was the best my thoughts are with u your family and Bert.

Jo-Anne Wheatley So sad. R.i.p. Love to the family. X

Mal Ardley- Sanders So so sad glad I had the chance to see him a little while ago at Marty's get together. A lovely guy all round he will be greatly missed.

Frank Cullen Oh no, sad news indeed, Vic was a gentleman, he'll be sadly missed God Bless

June Pye Very sad r.i.p was a honour to meet him a true great and gentleman god bless x

Nigel Hanmore Such a shame great fella and great worker love to all his family

Damon McCabe My condolences to all his family and friends. Such sad news indeed

John Saxon Such a talented guy.

John Kenny Another legend is taken from us RIP.

Tony Costas Wo what a shame we lost one of our great wrestlers in the world
We had the luck to see him at the last do reunion wrestling at Leeds few
months ago

Nigel Gill Sad news. Used to also his tag team bouts with h Bert Royal. After he retired didn't he not work for Thwaites Brewery? RIP Vick

Jayne Naylor So sad, one of a few who made dad smile, deepest sympathy to all of Vic's family x

Merced Solis RIP! A fraternity brother from the wrestling family.

Pete Hall R.i.p vic. Such a legend. Saw him at digbeth many times Marty.

Len Ironside Im so sorry to hear this. Another icon if our game passed away. My condolences are with Vic's family. Rest in peace.

Paul Harrisson-Sandra Harrisson So glad to have seen him at reunion in Leeds R I P so sad.

Colin Joynson i am speachless my best man and a true wrestling star RIP vic

Jayne Porter Very sad. Great guy xx

Mary Dunleavy Just a message from Seamus and Mary Dunleavy. Very sad to hear this news. So glad we got to meet up recently in Leeds. Hope you make it to heaven Vic am sure you will. RIP Seamus

Barry Lancaster Sad news R.I.P Vic and condolences to his family true gent.

Gary Wensor worked with him and burt many times sad lose

Dave Icke RIP Vic you only have to say tag team in British wrestling history and you know Royal Brothers

Kevin Maddog Richmond So so sad R. I. P VIC

Jason Cross A tremendous worker, RIP

John Lowing Another sad day for everyone connected with British Wrestling. A true Icon of the sport.

Harold Weller How sad. The Royal Brothers bring back memories when British wrestling was good and popular. Today it,s neither. I was a Professional wrestling Promoter from 1978 to 1991

Carl Stewart RIP Vic Faulkner. Wonderful wrestler. Condolences and best wishes to his family and friends.

Keith Farmer RIP Vic,another lovely fella gone to the great ring above,condolences to the family!.

Ann Rogers Sad news, one of my favourites. RIP and condolences to family

Mark Edge Remember every Saturday evening on the tv . My nan thought she was in the ring

Anthony John Craddock Awesome talent and a personal favourite. Condolences to all concerned

Martin Brady So sad brilliant fighter him and his brother Bert Royal made brilliant tag team R.I.P

Lin Watson R.I.P Vic. loved the tag team with Bert xxx

John C-west He was one of the true greats. RIP Vic.

Elaine Hughes One of my Dad's favourites

Clifford Cowie Very sad ; a true legend of wrestling.

Stephen John Haggar R.I.P legend

David Smith Rip Vic one of the greats

Jackie Abrahams So sad rip one of the best

Mick Sullivan RIP VIC.

Michael Brown R.I.P another legend sadly gone.

Jax Shears New God bless him , lovely lovely guy xx

Andrew David R I P Vic, great wrestler.

Julian Kirby Shame....

Paul Mechem My condolences to his family

Janine Behan Very sad.

Ann Richardson Sorry to hear this RIP Vic xx

Enrico Bako Gaidano Great wrestler

Davy Anderson One of my favourites, always entertaining


Smith Hart dies from cancer at just 68

We were saddened to hear the news that Smith Hart, the eldest child of professional wrestling legend Stu Hart, passed away at the age of 68 on Sunday 2nd July.


Smith had been diagnosed with prostate cancer several months ago, which later spread to his hip and femur, and in December 2016 doctors diagnosed him with Stage-4 cancer.


Smith began competing in his father's Stampede Wrestling organization in 1973 before moving on to work for promotions in Japan,Germany the Netherlands and of course here in the UK where he was billed as Cowboy Smith Hart and even made an appearance on World of Sport where he opposed Bearman John Elijah.

After retiring from in ring action Smith continued to have a keen interest in the wrestling business, his own son Matt Hart toured the UK last year for LDN Wrestling and Smith himself was a regular correspondent with us here at the Reunion.

Our condolences go to the entire Hart family at this sad time, we know that Smith will be missed by all who knew him although we now hope that he will RIP.

The countdown has started to the 2017 British Wrestlers Reunion

(Reunion Host Wayne Bridges and Reunion Organiser Ken Sowden look forward to welcoming you all to the 2017 event)

On Sunday 13th August 2017 Europes oldest and largest wrestling Reunion will take place at The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent, DA4 9AX commencing at 11.00am until late. 


As we hold our 26th Reunion, a new era begins and we are pleased to see that our Reunion remains as popular as ever.  With still seven weeks to go before the wrestling social event of the year we have already had confirmation that not only will wrestlers and fans be travelling the length and breadth of the UK but we will also see those flying in from the USA, Canada and from various countries across Europe to be part of our celebration of wrestling.


This year we will see a number of Britains best be entered into the Hall of Fame as well as other awards to those who have in their own way contributed to the wrestling business.  For the first time we also have a new award which will be known as The Ring of Friendship Award and these will be presented to three of our special guest this year.   One lucky fan will also be honoured when they receive the Superfan of the Year Award.


One of the most poignant parts of our Reunion is the ten bell count and this will be followed by the legendary Colin Joynson remembering those warriors who have gone to the Dressing Room in the Sky over the last year.  Colin has carried out this task with great professionalism for many years and we hope will continue for many more.


Another great favourite of the Reunion is our memorabilia and this year we will see an array of this on display and for sale. Our 2017 Souvenir programme, something that always sells well, will also be available on the day (or via our website following the event).  Our hugely popular raffle will also take place so please support us by purchasing a ticket if you can and you never know you may win one of our great prizes on offer.  Food and drink will be available throughout the day and whilst you all reminisce about the glory days of wrestling you will be royally entertained by Baz Jangles and guests. 


For the first time in a number of years this Reunion will be filmed so do not forget to smile if the camera is pointing at you.  Our professional photographer will also be on hand to record all of those magic moments that only the Reunion can produce each and every year.


We are also very pleased to announce that this year we are hopeful that our President, Joe D'Orazio, will be joining us.  At the time of writing Joe has confirmed that he will be attending and at 95 years young we hope that he will be able to make the trip on the day.


The 2017 Reunion is certainly shaping up to be one of the best yet, this is a free event to attend and everyone is invited, its a family friendly day out so mums and dads bring your children.  Over the last few years we have certainly seen an increase in families attending, the youngsters are the future of the Reunion so come along, we know you will have a day to remember and dont forget to bring your camera and autograph books and get that special photo with the stars of yesteryear.


For all the up to the minute news please join the other 3800+ members who follow us on Facebook (British Wrestling the Glory Years) or check out the latest news right here.  


This is a Reunion for the people so whether you are a wrestler, official or fan please come and join the Ring of Friendship on Sunday 13th August for not only a great day out but one that you will remember for years to come.

(The Bridges, home of the Reunion for 20 years)

Sanjay Bagga and LDN Wrestling are heading to the USA to promote their first ever show

It was just 15 years ago that a young 16 year old by the name of Sanjay Bagga announced to the wrestling world that he wanted to become a wrestling promoter.  At the time the wrestling business was in decline and many tried, and failed, to persuade him to take a different path in life.  However, Sanjay was determined to succeed and now in 2017 he is not only one of Europes biggest touring promoters running over 180 shows around the UK but he has now taken on America.

On Sunday 13th August Sanjay and LDN Wrestling will be promoting their first show in conjunction with Tier One Wrestling at The Queen Theatre, 14 United Nations Aves, Corona, New York with a bell time of 3.00pm. 

Sanjay Bagga is obviously delighted at being given the opportunity to promote in the USA stating 'Our country has a long standing relationship in bringing American wrestlers and company's over, now we take British wrestling back to the international stage to show the world that British is back, bigger and better than ever before!!'.

We here at the Reunion wish Sanjay and all the LDN team the very best of luck with their first venture on USA soil.  Sanjay has always been a great supporter of the Reunion and continues to be so despite this opportunity being on the same day as our event this year.  However, we fully support Sanjay and hope that this is the start of very big things to come for not only him and LDN wrestling but for British wrestling around the World.

(Sanjay Bagga and LDN Wrestling are heading to the USA to promote their first show)

Legendary Wrestler/referee Mike Wakely suffers cardiac arrest at show

We were sorry to receive word this week that legendary wrestler and referee Mike Wakely was taken ill this past weekend whilst at a show for HCW at the Kinver Fayre.  Mike has been involved in the wrestling business for well over 40 years and is very respected by his colleagues and fans alike.  Fellow wrestling legend and long time friend of Mike, Lewis Blain has sent the following to us:-

'Mike Wakely was taking Ill at weekend during a wrestling event in the Midlands suffering a cardiac arrest in the ring. He is recovering nicely in hospital and hopes to be out for weekend '

Another of Mikes colleagues and friend, Jonny Rose, has also reported on his friends sudden health issues:-

'Well its with great pleasure I can say that he is now up and talking in hospital. It may well of been a heart attack but his 47 years of fine fitness from his time in the ring has aided his remarkably fast heart recovery. We have just been to see him in hospital and he still needs time to rest and mend but would like to thank you all for your best wishes. Mike is known by HCW fans nationwide and is one of the most respected and best loved members of the HCW dressing room and im sure you all (like we do) wish him well. We will visit the master of the mat again tomorrow and keep you all updated.

All of us here at the Reunion send our very best wishes to Mike, we hope that he makes a speedy recovery and is soon back to doling what he loves, stepping through the ropes and entertaining wrestling fans around the UK.

Scotlands very first Wrestlers Reunion to be held on Sunday 25th June

With Wrestlers Reunions continuing to thrive around the UK we are pleased that our friends in Scotland will now get the chance to meet up with up with colleagues and friends as on Sunday 25th June the inaugural Scottish Wrestlers Reunion will take place at The Market Inn, Ayr commencing at noon and running until 5pm.

Two of our very own Reunion supporters, Andrew Bryden and Tommy Stevenson will be welcoming wrestlers and fans to reminisce about the glory days of British wrestling.  This is a free event and the organisers are expecting a good turn out for their first event.

Many great wrestling stars are expected to attend this and whether you are a wrestler or fan everyone is invited.

We here at the British Wrestlers Reunion of course send our very best wishes to the Scottish Wrestlers Reunion and hope that it is a great success for all concerned.

British Wrestling DVDs to close...get a bargain whilst you can 

For the last eight years Carl Stewart has been offering a service that no other can match by making available literally thousands of hours of bouts featuring British wrestlers from the glory days of our sport. 

During this time Carl has continued to add more and more bouts to his collection which we would now say is the best British wrestling footage collection held anywhere in the World (with the exception of course of ITV).

Sadly, although Carl has provided a service and sold dvds around the World, he has recently seen a downturn in orders and has reluctantly come to the conclusion that the business is no longer viable.  Therefore, the decision has been made to close the business down on the 30th June 2017 but as a gesture of goodwill Carl is now running a special closing down sale with each dvd costing just £1.50.

We can confirm that the footage Carl supplies is of a good quality and we ourselves have purchased from him over the years.  Full details on how to order any dvds you may like of your favourite stars can be found in the poster at the top of this article.

We are sorry that Carl has made the decision to close the business but thank him for all he has done to continue to promote British wrestling over the years and wish him every success in the future.


President Joe D'Orazio to return to Reunion this year

We are very pleased to announce that our esteemed President Joe D'Orazio will be attending this years Reunion on the 13th August, the first time that he has visited us in 3 years.

Joe, who this year turns 95, is still active for his age and continues to go to work although does admit that he has now gone part time and only works one or two days a week.

Sadly, earlier this year Joe lost his beloved wife Tina and has now gone to live permanently with his daughter.   Joe, who regularly speaks with Reunion host Wayne Bridges, says that he is in good spirits and is looking forward to seeing many old friends and making some new ones at this years event.

We look forward to welcoming our President back and are hopeful that he will address all those in attendance if only with a few words.
(Joe D'Orazio as a young wrestler)

Johnny Kidd to have tournament held in his honour

Johnny Kidd is one of the nicest and most popular wrestlers ever to step through the ropes and entertain the fans around the World and now he is to have his own tournament in honour of his legendary career.

Trained by the great Ken Joyce, Johnny Kidd has had a wrestling career that has spanned 40 years during which time he has faced many of the top stars in not only the UK but around the World. 

On Saturday 18th June the Johnny Kidd Invitational will be held at the The Wrestle Factory,  4711 Wingate Street,  Philadelphia,  PA · US and will be promoted by Chikara who are one of the top independent wrestling organisations in the USA, one of which both Johnny Kidd and Johnny Saint have wrestled for one a number of occasions.  The elimination tournament will consist of 8 of the finest scientific wrestling in the World today and will include Englands very own James Mason.

This is a great honour for Johnny to have this tournament held in his name, one of which he is delighted to be involved in and we are sure that it will be a great success for all concerned and of course we also wish James Mason all the very best and hope that he comes back to the UK victorious. 
(Johnny Kidd and Mick McManus at the British Wrestlers Reunion)

Popular 'second' Charlie Cornish admitted to hospital after fall.

The name Charlie Cornish may not be that familiar to wrestling fans despite the fact that he was involved in the business for nearly 30 years but Charlie was one of the most recognisable faces in wrestling and was more often that not seen in the corner of many stars every Saturday afternoon as the man with the bucket and towel.

We have recently recently word from Charlies son Steve advising us that Charlie is currently in the Royal London Hospital after falling and breaking his hip and leg.  Whilst Charlie is obviously in a lot of discomfort at the present time he is said to be in high spirits and looking forward to returning home shortly.

We hope that Charlie makes a speedy recovery and is soon back to full health and send him our very best wishes at this time. 
(Charlie in 2016 at his sons Steve wedding)

Tony Francis funeral details announced

Following on from the very sad news that Tony Francis had passed away earlier this week we have now been advised by the family that the funeral will be held on Monday 5th June at 10.00 am at Carleton Crematorium, Stocks Ln, Blackpool FY6 7QS. Anyone who wishes to attend and pay their respects to Tony are most welcome.

'Dropkick' Tony Francis dies after lengthy illness

We are very sad to report the passing on Monday 22nd May 2017 of Tony Francis after a lengthy illness.

Tony, who has been plagued with ill health over recent years had spent a lengthy spell in hospital and passed away surrounded by his family.

Tony has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and an obituary will be added to the relevant section shortly.

Someone who had worked closely with Tony recently is wrestling historian Bradley Craig who has paid his own tribute to Tony as follows:-

I had been in touch with Tony frequently in recent years, as we had been in the process of concluding his memoirs with the hope of realising a publication.


During the course of our discussions, I had been given an opportunity to understand what a kind natured man he was. I learned that Tony Duignan had enjoyed a varied life, which included some time as a second-generation boxer and steady work as an antiques dealer. However, he always maintained that his true career calling was to be a professional wrestler, after falling in love with the business at an early age and being inspired by the great Jack Pye.


He had assumed several names in the industry, finding fame as ‘Dropkick’ Tony Francis and an alias as the masked ‘El Diablo’, with a later career as a nefarious manager nicknamed ‘The Brain’. But it was in his personal life where he found the roles which he cherished the most; as husband to Anita and as a loving father and grandfather.


I will miss my friend, but I know that he will be fondly remembered by those who knew him.


The Reunion send our condolences to Tonys family and friends at this sad time and may he now RIP.


Mick McManus, the biggest legend of them all is remembered on the anniversary of his death

On the 22nd May 2013 the wrestling world went into mourning at the loss of its biggest legend of all time when Mick McManus sadly passed away aged 92.  Although Mick had been of ill health for a short time his death came as a great shock and saddened wrestling fans around the World.


On the day of Micks death the Reunion were inundated with requests for interviews and statements from media around the world and in one day dealt with over 150 enquiries such was Mick popularity, for a man who had been retired from the ring for over 30 years this went to show just how much he meant to everyone.


Mick McManus has left a legacy in the wrestling business that will never be equalled, he was THE star of the ring and even long after his retirement was in high demand.   When Mick retired from in ring action he continued to give his time to the business and was always willing to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of stars.  Even in his later years when it was obvious that he was getting frail Mick continued to be a great supporter of the Reunion and was always the first to offer help and advice on any matters that may have arisen.

 

Mick McManus will never be forgotten, on the anniversary of his death wrestling websites and social media are paying their own tributes to the great man, something that we are sure will continue for many years to come.


For a full tribute to Mick McManus please read his obituary which can be found in the relevant section above, this gives a real insight into not only Mick McManus the wrestler but Mick McManus the man.  You can also read his Hall of Fame induction again this can be found in the relevant section.


At this years Reunion on the 13th August many of Micks wrestling items will once again be on display thanks to Martin Gillott who purchased them at Auction and has very kindly donated them to us. 


On the 22nd May we will always pay tribute to the greatest legend of the ring, the man that was.......MICK MCMANUS
(The famous tag team pairing of Mick McManus and Steve Logan)

The Reunion remembers Davey Boy Smith 15 years after his untimely death

David Boy Smith was born in Golborne, Lancashire on the 27 November 1962 and died at the young age of just 39 in Invermere, British Columbia on the 18 May 2002.


Davey Boy Smith, also known as the British Bulldog, delighted millions of wrestling fans who watched his bouts live and on television throughout the Eighties and Nineties.


Wearing beaded dreadlocks and red, white and blue tights, with his 56in chest, 21in biceps and 19in neck draped in the Union Jack, the 5ft 11in, 18-stone wrestler cut a distinctive figure and floored opponents with his trademark move, the Running Powerslam.


Starting out in the ring as a teenager, Davey Boy went from partnering the legendary Big Daddy and then Dynamite Kid (Smith's cousin Tom Billington) to becoming Intercontinental, Tag Team, European Heavyweight and Hardcore champion before moving to Canada and joining the World Wrestling Federation.  In 1992, Smith feuded with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and his brother-in-law Bret "Hitman" Hart whom he beat in the infamous Battle of the Brothers-in-Law held during SummerSlam 1992 in front of a sold out Wembley Stadium.


Starting in the halls of the UK Davey Boy was soon in high demand in Japan and Canada before getting the call from the World Wrestling Federation where he initially teamed with the Dynamite Kid and the British Bulldogs tag-team became a huge success.


Whilst in Canada Davey Boy competed with the Dynamite Kid in the Calgary Stampede organised by the trainer Stu Hart . Smith subsequently joined the extended Hart family, teaming up with Stu's sons Bruce and Owen, and wrestling against Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and Bret "Hitman" Hart, whose sister Diana he married in the late Eighties.


When an injury forced the Dynamite Kid to retire, Davey Boy went solo on the WWF circuit. His considerable earnings enabled him to buy a 15-bedroom mansion in Florida but he lost the Intercontinental title and soon after left the WWF.


Davey Boy moved to World Championship Wrestling before re-joining the WWF in the late 1990s as well as returning for a short stint working for Max Crabtree in 1994 taking over the top of the bill slot from Big Daddy who had retired the previous year.


Davey Boy Smith sadly passed away suddenly on the 18th May 2002, a great loss to the wrestling business but he will always be remembered and his legacy lives on through his son Harry Smith who himself has become a huge star around the World.


In 2016 Davey Boy Smith was inducted into the British Wrestlers Reunion Hall of Fame and his daughter Georgia collected the award on her late fathers behalf.

(Georgia Smith accepts the Hall of Fame Award on behalf of her father at the 2016 Reunion)

ITV's revival of WOS Wrestling filming postponed

It was only a few weeks ago that Impact Wrestling, Jeff Jarrett and ITV announced the return of WOS Wrestling with ten episodes being filmed in May for broadcast later in the year.  Now it would appear hat the filming has been put on hold.

The filming, scheduled for May 25 and 26 in Preston, has been postponed with no explanation as to why although it is believed that it is not due to poor ticket sales.

Impact and ITV were scheduled to tape a total of ten episodes over the period of two days, with those episodes supposed to air in July. ITV did not announce a new date for the filming so the project for now is on the sidelines until most likely later this year.

World of Sport made its return for a one night only special on December 31 of last year, pulling in 1,250,000 viewers with Jim Ross doing commentary.  However, the show received a mixed re-action from wrestling fans around the country and was not as successful as ITV had hoped it would be.

'An Evening with Klondyke Kate' to take place on Saturday 27th May

Following on from the successful  'Evening with Blondie Bob Barratt', PWL Promotions have announced that their next Evening with will be with one of the greatest female wrestlers ever to step into the ring as Jayne Porter aka Klondyke Kate takes centre stage.

PWL have made the following press statement relating to the evening and this is as follows:

The event will involve an on stage interview, autographs & photographs with our star (all included in the price of the ticket!), and a fans question and answer session at the end (time permitting).


Our second & very special "Evening with" event will feature non other than British & indeed World Wide Wrestling Legend, KLONDYKE KATE!


Get road stories, in ring stories and insights and much more from a 40 year wrestling legend! Think of this as a live shoot interview unfolding live right in front of you on stage!


From her debut in 1977 on Blackpools famous pleasure beach taking on all comers from the crowd, to her first TV appearance in 1982 in Osaka, Japan in front of a live audience of 72 thousand people, to her ground breaking appearances on ITV's World of Sport Wrestling TV show and much, much more Klondyke certainly has some very interesting stories to tell!


A woman who was one of the first to take on Men in intergender matches, against ppl like WWE Star Val Venus, WCW Star PN News and 7 times World Champion Marty Jones.


Her female opponents read like a genuine who's who of many generation's of all time greats, from British Legend & Champion Mitzi Mueller, WWE Hall of Famer & WWE Women's Champion Wendi Richter, the incomparable Luna Vachon, right up to current WWE Stars Natty Neid-Hart & Paige and so, so many more!


Come and meet & listen to the road stories of one of the most legendary figures the UK has ever and probably will ever produce, a woman who has wrestled on every continent bar Australia, the only star to bridge the gap between the Classic & Golden era of ITV World of Sport having stared on the show in the 80's & today's era of W.O.S as she prepares to film new episodes as an on screen talent....This will be a night to remember!


Saturday 27th May 2017

Birchills Liberal Club,
Old Birchills,
Walsall,
West Midlands,
WS2 8QD.


Doors 7pm

Starts 8pm

Tickets just £10

This includes the on stage interview, a fans ask the questions Q & A, an opportunity to meet the star, an autograph & a professional photograph with her!


The Reunion wish PWL and Klondyke Kate all the very best with this event and we are certain that it will be well attended and a great success for all involved.

(Klondyke Kate and Leather Lena at the 2015 British Wrestlers Reunion)

Documentary is in production to accompany 'Adrian  -  the Movie'

(Adrian Street seen here with Mick Foley and some of his other trainees)

As we have previously reported a movie on the life of the Exotic Adrian Street is currently underway and now a documentary on the life and legacy of the Brynmawr-born wrestler is in production and will feature an interview with an American wrestling icon.


Feature film biopic, Adrian will dramatise the life Adrian who as many of you will know previously worked in Beynon’s Colliery in Blaina.


The films Producer, Newport University of Wales graduate Joann Randles, is currently shooting a documentary to accompany the film are is speaking to wrestlers around the World. This included a recent interview with American professional wrestler, Mick Foley, who like Adrian, has built a reputation over the decades for his own charismatic personas.

Ms Randles has stated that Mr Foley provided a “knowledgeable and colourful insight into Adrian’s life as a professional wrestler”.


Ms Randles, in a recent press release, states "It is important to me that I also produce a documentary that is to be released in tandem to the feature film drama to illustrate to audiences that Adrian’s story is very real and is not the work of fiction. It will also illustrate different perspectives of Adrian’s life with interviews from those who know Adrian best, including Adrian’s family members, friends, fans and fellow professional wrestlers and it also features family films which has never been seen before as well as Adrian in action in the ring


Speaking about the interview with Mick Foley, she added: "US legendary professional wrestler Mick Foley, who is also in the WWE Hall of Fame, contacted me personally wanting to be part of the documentary, which to me made the interview that much more special. "Mick knows Adrian well as Adrian taught Mick the art of wrestling before he became a professional superstar".


As always the Reunion wishes all involved with the project the very best of luck and the final results are eagerly awaited by wrestling fans around the World.


To find out more search ‘Adrian Film’ on facebook or follow @FilmAdrian.

(Adrian The Movie  -  Promo Video 2017)

*** THIS FRIDAY ***    -  An Evening with 'Blondie' Bob Barratt

Very few professional wrestlers can boast an in ring career of over 40 years but Bob 'Blondie' Barratt is one such man, one of the last wrestlers who appeared on ITV Wrestling before it was axed from our screens in 1988 who is still in active competition today.

Although Bob has faced many of the great grapplers from around the World over the years he is best known for his long association as the tag partner of the legendary masked man of mystery Kendo Nagasaki.  Bob and Kendo toured the UK on a nightly basis facing all comers in many a bloody battle but when the dust settled it was normally Kendo and Bob who were victorious.

These days Bob is still a regular name appearing at wrestling shows around the country and when many men his age are starting to take it a little easier Bob is still taking the bumps night after night and whilst Kendo retired many years ago Bob has aligned himself with another veteran of the ring in Keith Myatt where they are known collectively as The Old School taking on the best not only in the UK but also our wrestling friends from the USA and Europe.

To commemorate Bobs illustrious career one of the UKs leading Promoters, PWL are holding 'An Evening with The Rock and Roll Express Blondie Barratt' on Friday 21st April 2017 at The Darlaston All Active, Willenhall Road, Darlaston, West Midlands, WS10 8JG commencing at 8.00pm.  Tickets are priced at £10.00 and are available by calling 07404 279 880. 

This event is certainly a must for any wrestling fan as Bob will give an insight into his life in the wrestling business and the wrestling business in general. The evening will consist of an autograph session and a photo opportunity whereby you will have a professional picture taken with the guest of honour (both autograph and photograph are included in the price of admission), a live interview "shoot interview style" and a Q & A where the crowd get to ask their own questions!

Make a note for your diaries as this promises to be entertaining night, full of anecdotes and one that will be remembered for many years to come.

North of England to stage two more Reunions.

Following on from the Leeds Reunion in March, the North of England will see two further Reunions held within a week of each other this coming June.

Former ladies wrestling champion and historian Jackie McCann is to hold a Reunion at the Stanley Road Working Mens Club in Blackpool on Sunday 4th June 2017 commencing at 1.00pm.  This is the second Reunion to be held at this venue and we have been advised that wrestlers such as Martin 'Glitterboy' Evans, Sam Betts, Dicki Swales, Ian Taylor and Tony Scarlo are all expected to be in attendance.

Number One, Marty Jones, the former 7 time World Mid Heavyweight Champion and trainer to the next generation of stars will be holding his third Reunion at the Shaw Comrades Club in Shaw, Lancashire on Sunday 11th June 2017 commencing at midday.  A number of wrestlers are expected to attend this event as well as other invited guests.  Marty has stated that there will be 4 cabaret artists booked with food and good company.  There will also be blasts from the past and donations for the raffle will be gratefully appreciated ..easy motorway & rail metrolink access. .usual sat night pre -flop run & pork pie telling Competition Further details call Marty on 07751978593 or email [email protected]

Full details of both Reunions can be found at the top of this page in the flyers provided by the organisers.

We are sure that both Reunions, albeit just a week apart, will be a great success for those involved and no doubt reports and photographs will be posted on social media after the events.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter as the 2017 Reunion gets ever closer

We would like to start by wishing each and every one of our members a very Happy Easter and that whatever you have planned you have an enjoyable day.


We are now just four months away from the wrestling social event of the year when on Sunday 13th August 100s of wrestlers, officials and fans will gather at The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent for the 26th annual Reunion.  This year we will again be joined by an array of World, European and British champions and can confirm that guests will be travelling from the USA, Canada and from various destinations throughout Europe as well as from around the UK to join us for what will be another memorable occasion.


As always a number of events are planned for the day itself as various awards will be presented to those who have made their own contribution to the wrestling industry over the years.  A number of high profile wrestlers will be inducted into the Hall of Fame and Colin Joynson will lead the tributes to those grapplers who have gone to the Dressing Room in the Sky over the last 12 months followed by the ten bell salute.


This year we will once again be joined by resident vocalist Barry Howard alongside Chris Buckwell who will entertain us all. Last years wrestlers memorabilia was a huge hit with our guests and so items belonging to Mick McManus, Kendo Nagasaki, Big Daddy, Wayne Bridges and others will be on display. Ever present Roy Smith and Ray Clark will be selling various wrestling items on our behalf and a raffle will be held with some great prizes to be won.  Food and drink will also be available to purchase and our very popular Souvenir Programme will also be produced once again with a brand new look and this will be available on the day and also afterwards via our website.


This year, as in previous years, there will be a private area where wrestlers can go to chat to their friends and former colleagues should they so wish.


In addition to the above this years Reunion will be filmed by not one but two camera crews, the television cameras will be in attendance filming the Reunion and interviewing many of the wrestlers for inclusion in a wrestling show to be broadcast later in the year and the second crew will be filming for a drama series soon to go into production.


Over the coming weeks we will be making further announcements on our website and via our facebook page (British Wrestling, the Glory Years) so make sure that you check back on a regular basis for all the up to the minute news.


We thank you all for your continued support and hope that many of you will join us at the Ring of Friendship on the 13th August, remember it is a free event and everyone whether you are involved in the wrestling busines or a fan are invited.  Come and be part of Europes largest wrestlers Reunion and together we will make the 2017 event another great success.

Tony Cassio passes away.

The British Wrestling Reunion are sad to report the passing of the great World of Sport star Tony Cassio from Alzeimers on Tuesday 11th April 2017.

Tony was a hugely talented artist, Promoter and Legendary wrestler, seen above on the right of Bob Kirkwood at a recent Reunion.

Tony passed with both his beloved Daughters at his bedside and one his his daughters, Christianna, has sent us the following:-

My dad Tony Cassio passed away peacefully today. Although it was sad, it was also very natural and perfect. His breathing was laboured, and he was holding my sister's hands, while I was coaching him through it. Then he pushed my sister's hands away, and we knew he was ready to face it head on. His hands were laying on the blankets, left hand open, right hand in a fist, as if he was ready for the last round. My sister and I were both with him as his breathing faded to nothing. He's lived a warriors life, and he died the same. Thank you for all your kind words and support throughout this last 7 years as we all went through his illness together. X

Tony will be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and his obituary will be added to the relevant section shortly.

Funeral details will be added once known, in the meantime we send our condolences to Tonys family and friends at this very sad time.

Award winning author Ray Clark releases latest novel

Award winning author and Reunion stalwart Ray Clark has released his latest murder mystery novel which we are sure will, like his many other books, be a best seller around the country.  A press release giving details of the story line is as follows:-

A haunting message scrawled on the dressing room wall of a theatre: the scene of the first murder. It had been written using the blood from the victim, previously drained in a separate location.


At the autopsy, D.I. Gardener and D.S. Reilly are shown a riddle carved into the chest of the corpse, informing them there would be more.

Their efforts to find out why are continually blocked by a wall of contradiction, with little in the way of evidence to support their cause.


Steered back to the scene of the crime and a disused prop room, Gardener and his trusted sergeant find another puzzle.


The murderer – it seems – is playing games.


The second victim is hanging upside down in a busy city centre shop in mock crucifixion, with yet another message. And once again, the killer has used the victim's own blood.


Later, at the autopsy, another conundrum awaits them.


It soon becomes clear to Gardener and Reilly that to find the killer they have to solve the clues, and to do that, they have to tunnel their way into the past, to the beginnings of motion picture production: where the streets were paved with gold, and to a man who terrified people before either of them had even been born.


Following a startling revelation they realize that their murderer is a master of disguise and the ultimate question facing the two detectives is: how do you catch a killer you can’t see?


We wish Ray all the very best with his new novel and we very much look forward to seeing him at the Reunion in August.

Happy 10th anniversary to our friends at Wrestling Heritage

We here at the Reunion work with many people and organisations in and out of the wrestling business throughout the year in various roles such as advising, clarification on wrestling matters or as a source for information.


Two such people who we correspond with on a regular basis are known to the wrestling fraternity simply as Hack and Anglo Italian, two wrestling enthusiasts who ten years ago set up a wrestling website to keep alive the memories of all the great wrestlers who have climbed through the ropes over the decades.  April 2007 saw the birth of the Wrestling Heritage website and from its inception to today it boasts thousands of pages consisting of photos, programmes, posters and the most comprehensive a~z of british wrestlers you will find anywhere in the World plus much more, a true encyclopedia of wrestling which is viewed by wrestling fans from around the World.


Hack and Anglo Italian have spent literally thousands of hours researching and compiling articles for your pleasure (with the exception of the 2nd Sunday every August when Hack, and on occasions Anglo, always make their yearly visit to see us at the Reunion) and even after ten years they still have a lot more to bring to you we are sure.


The Reunion have worked alongside Wrestling Heritage on several projects and we would now like to congratulate them on their ten year anniversary, a great achievement and all of the hard work that they put in to the website is much appreciated by those not only in the business but the fans as well.


We look forward to seeing Hack, and hopefully Anglo in August and as for your website, here is to the next ten years....well done chaps.


Film crews present at this years Reunion

Lights, camera, action.....come and be filmed at this years British Wrestlers Reunion by not one but two film crews who will be in attendance.

The first crew will be conducting interviews with many of the wrestling stars in attendance for inclusion in a national wrestling show due for broadcast later in the year. The second film crew will be in attendance filming the entire day for a wrestling drama due to go into production shortly.

As always the day will be filled with award presentations, the ten bell count, raffle, memorabilia, live music by the best around (well the best in his price range anyway) the one and only Baz Jangles and much more.

The committee therefore invite you to come and join the Ring of Friendship on Sunday 13th August for the wrestling social event of the year, its free to attend so come and make history, we are celebrating 20 years at the Bridges so you never know what we have planned for you all......and our hosts !!!!.

World of Sport Wrestling to get 10 part series

Following on from the World of Sport Wrestling show which was broadcast on the 31st December, ITV have released the following press statement in regard to future shows:-

ITV Studios Entertainment Manchester announced today that it has teamed up with IMPACT Wrestling, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., to bring WOS Wrestling back to ITV, with an initial commission for a 10-part series.


The commission from ITV’s Helen Warner follows a successful one-off-special, which aired on New Year’s Eve 2016. The Executive Producers for ITV Studios are Tom McLennan and Simon Marsh. Jeff Jarrett, the Chief Creative Officer for IMPACT Wrestling, will be the Executive Producer for IMPACT Wrestling.


Thirty years after the original WOS ended – and legendary stars such as Big Daddy, Mick McManus and Rollerball Rocco left British screens – this new series will feature the very best of today’s wrestlers from the current red-hot U.K. wrestling scene.


They will compete in front of a live audience at the intimate Preston Guild Hall on Thursday 25th May and Friday 26th May (doors 7pm / bell time 7.30pm).


Tickets for these historic shows will go on sale at 9am on Friday 7th April from Gigsandtours.com / Ticketmaster.co.uk / prestonguildhall.co.uk

There will also be a launch event this Monday (27th March) at 2pm in Manchester, where the full details of the WOS live shows will be announced, including the roster. Press and fans are invited to attend to the launch, which will include a Q&A and meet & greet. Places are extremely limited, to reserve one please email [email protected]


This initial commission is part of a comprehensive co-production agreement between ITV Studios and IMPACT Wrestling to relaunch the WOS Wrestling brand, bringing British stars to ITV while leveraging the roster and creative team of Impact Wrestling along with its expertise in live event production and international distribution.


“This opportunity to work with ITV Studios to revive this iconic brand in the United Kingdom is a perfect example of the ways in which we intend to leverage our strengths to build our presence in international markets in collaboration with local organizations,” said Ed Nordholm, President of Impact Wrestling.


Director of Entertainment, ITV Studios Manchester, Tom Mclennan said: “Britain’s wrestling scene is thriving and there has never been a better time to bring it back to ITV after a gap of 30 years.”


Jeff Jarrett, Chief Creative Officer for IMPACT Wrestling, added: “The WOS brand is etched in professional wrestling tradition. My family’s lineage in the industry dates back 70-plus years, so I am honoured for the opportunity to work on reviving the legacy of this historic British series.”


After the mixed comments that the pilot show received we are not sure how this will go down with the die hard wrestling fan of yesteryear but we wish all those involved in the shows every success and it is good to see British wrestling back on mainstream television in whatever capacity as that can only be good for the business as a whole.

Rik Sands to undergo second hip replacement surgery.

(Rik Sands)
We would like to send our best wishes to Rik Sands who after enduring limited mobility alongside other ailments has finally been given a date for his second hip replacement of the 21st April.

Rik has always been a great supporter of the Reunion as well as being one of our biggest benefactors when in 2013 he donated £500.00 to us and was gutted that he was unable to attend last year due to ill health.

With his health having improved over the last few months and his hip replacement scheduled Rik is hopeful of making a return to the Reunion this August and we look forward to welcoming him as always.

In the meantime we hope that Riks operation goes well and that he is back to full health and pain free as quickly as possible.
(Rik Sands donates £500.00 to the Reunion in 2013)

LDN Wrestling secures national television deal

(Sanjay Bagga and some of the LDN roster)

For 13 years LDN Wrestling have been one of the major forces in British professional wrestling promoting up to 200 shows a year around the UK.  As we speak, LDN are also in negotiations with a major European promoter to co promote shows around Europe bringing their talent to a whole new set of wrestling fans and more information regarding this will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Since their inception, LDN have always done their best to bring their fans the best quality wrestling they possibly can and they have certainly achieved their goal with some of the great UK wrestlers together with a number of overseas wrestlers regularly appearing on their shows.

 

Over the years LDN have promoted a number of Legends shows which are always well received and were the promoters chosen to stage the memorial show in respect of the late great legendary Mick McManus. They were also the only English promoters to have a weekly show on the Wrestling Channel which showcased their talents to wrestling fans around Europe who could access the channel.

 

With British wrestling being in the best shape it has been in for many years promoters around the country are always looking at ways to bring their product to a whole new set of fans, the best way to do this is via television and this week LDN have announced a major deal with a national television company who will film their shows on a regular basis.  The first show has already been filmed and our very own Frank Rimer will be appearing on the show reliving some of his memories from the glory days of British Wrestling.

 

Over the coming weeks LDN Wrestling will announce how we can all enjoy their television shows and as soon this information is released we will bring it to you.


With British wrestling making a regular return to national television this can only be good for the business as a whole and we would like to wish everyone at LDN involved in the project all the very best of luck

1000s of bouts of British wrestlers available on dvd