British Wrestlers Reunion
Strengthening the Ring of Friendship

'

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

For 33 years British wrestling was an ever presence on our television screens but sadly that all came to an end in 1988 when ITV decided to axe what was once one of their most watched programmes.


During the years 1000s of bouts were aired on ITV and now you can relive many of those bouts thanks to Carl Stewart and British Wrestling DVDs.  Carl has spent years obtaining footage on many of the bouts that were shown not only on ITV but on various other channels including bouts of many of our top stars wrestling in Europe and Canada.


Carl has amassed a huge amount of wrestling bouts and having purchased some of these ourselves we can confirm that the quality is good and certainly worth purchasing.  Not only can you buy dvds with a mixture of bouts but Carl has also done dvds on individual wrestlers showcasing their talents against numerous opponents.  


DVDs start at just £2.00 per disc with each disc lasting approximately two and a half hours, well worth the money and hours and hours of great entertainment.


You can see the full list of dvds available by visiting the website at www.britishwrestlingdvds.vze.com or search for British Wrestling dvds on facebook.


Happy buying and happy viewing.

REUNION PRESIDENT ; JOE D'ORAZIO LOSES WIFE.

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Reunion President  JOE D'ORAZIO'S beloved wife and soul mate : Tina, who died following a courageous battle over the last two years or so.


Joe who will be 95 years young in July said in a statement that he was devastated to lose his Tina who had been his rock for most of his adult life, yet felt strangely relieved for the end to her suffering.


He had stayed at work part time for Southwark Council teaching art to special needs people and was still doing two days weekly at 93, but has spent all his time devoted to the needs of Tina for the last two years, even missing the last two Reunions.


Joe has left his  beautiful immaculately turned out home of many years in Catford, to live with his Daughter and Son in Law


The funeral will be a private Family affair who ask that we respect their privacy during this  time of grieving.

Klondyke Kate to promote charity show....please show your support

During her career Klondyke Kate was one of the most well known and most feared wrestlers ever to step into the squared circle.  Kate portrayed the part of 'the villain' to perfection and even to this day nobody has come close to her in this role.   Today, Kate (or Jayne) continues to have a keen interest in the business that she spent so many happy years in mainly due to the fact that her daughter Connor has followed her mother into the bright lights of the ring and has a very great future ahead of her.  Connor, who is known in the ring as Connie Steele, will be appearing on the upcoming show when she opposes Zan Phoenix in one of the nights anticipated bouts. 

On Friday 10th March Jayne will be instrumental in promoting a night of wrestling at The Riviera Hotel, Bowleaze Cove, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 6PR with a bell time of 7.30pm.  However, this is no ordinary wrestling show as it is being held in aid of the Wyvern School with every penny of the proceeds going to the charity Friends of Wyvern towards a Sensory garden/play area for 80 children with Complex Needs.  Ticket prices are £10.00 per adult or £6.00 per child or a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for £26.00.

If you are able to get to this show please go along, show your support and in doing so you will help raise much needed funds for this wonderful charity.

The British Wrestlers Reunion fully support Jayne and wish her and everyone else involved in this show the very best of luck, we hope that the night is a sellout and that you raise lots of money for the children.
(Jayne Porter aka Klondyke Kate who is one of the driving forces behind the charity show)

Jackie Robinson admitted to hospital.

(Bobby Ryan and Jackie Robinson at the Reunion)

For over 20 years Jackie Robinson was one of the most popular wrestlers to grace the professional ring, a great technical wrestler who had an avid following wherever he appeared winning the European Lightweight championship on numerous occasions.

 

We were therefore saddened this week to learn via Marty Jones that Jack has been admitted to Salford Royal Hospital having lost the use of his legs, arms, fingers and neck due to spinal cord and back issues.

 

Such was the seriousness of Jacks condition that he underwent an emergency four hour operation to remove discs which had trapped his spinal cord at the top of his neck.  Indications are that the operation has been a success although it is very early days and the next few days are still critical for him.

 

Since retiring from the ring Jack has always remained a keen observer of the sport and is a regular visitor to the various Reunions.  We therefore send all of our very best wishes to him at this difficult time and hope that he recovers from this major surgery as quickly as possible and is soon back to good health.  

First Reunion Dinner of 2017 takes place.

The first Reunion dinner of 2017 took place on Wednesday 15th February at our home of The Bridges where many of the greats of British wrestling who support us throughout the year met up to reminisce about the good old days of wrestling and tell one or two lies, all in good humour and eat, drink and be merry.

A number of these private dinners are held throughout the year by the Reunion and are all eagerly anticipated by all of those who attend.

Photos from this evening can be found in the Photo Galleries section of the website under Ad Hoc.

British Wrestlers Reunion launches the 2017 event.

(Martin Gillott, Ken Sowden and Barry Howard are ready....are you).

As many of our regular members will know Martin Gillott and Barry Howard have joined Reunion Organiser Ken Sowden to arrange this years event being held on Sunday 13th August at the home of the Reunion, The Bridges.

On Saturday 11th February Martin, Ken and Barry launched this years event at the aptly named The Bell in Reading. Whilst the Reunion will continue with the tradition that has made it so popular over the last 25 years Martin and Barry have each brought some new ideas to the table which will add to what is already the wrestling social event of the year.

We are pleased to note that with some six months to go before the Reunion many people have already contacted us to advise that they will be attending from not only the UK but from Europe and the USA.  Over the coming months we will be making announcements as to our special guests and some of those that will be receiving the coveted awards this year.

Over the years we have seen the Reunion grow significantly making us the largest Reunion in Europe, this is something that we are very proud to have achieved and something that we hope to continue to hold.  We therefore look forward to seeing both old and new friends in August for what will be another memorable day.

(The team are ready to bring you the very best in wrestling Reunions)

The life of the famous Knight family is about to hit the big screen

(The Knight family are hitting the big screen)

They are one of the most famous families in wrestling today and now the Knight family based in Norwich are to have a film made about their lives with one of the Worlds most famous wrestlers and the biggest film star on the planet at this time, Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson taking an active role in the production of the film.

 

The Knights rise to fame has been incredible, from humble beginnings dad Ricky, mum Julia, sons Roy and Zak and daughter Saraya have all become huge stars in the business winning championships around the globe with Saraya going onto international stardom as Paige in the WWE.

 

The Rock and actor, writer and director Stephen Merchant will team up to make a film about the life of English WWE Superstar Paige and her family and will produce Fighting with My Family, a movie inspired by a 2012 Channel 4 documentary of the same name.

 

The movie will chart the true story of Paige and her wrestling-mad family, including Ricky Knight and mother Julia Hamer-Bevis aka Sweet Saraya, as they compete in venues across the country.

 

Paige - who is currently recuperating from neck surgery - scooped a contract with WWE in 2011 and has since won the NXT Women's Title once and the WWE Divas Championship twice.

 

Merchant will write, direct and executive produce the film, with English actress Florence Pugh already cast as Paige, and Shaun of the Dead's Nick Frost and Game of Thrones star Lena Headey to appear as her parents.

 

The Rock - who will executive produce the film as well as star in an as-yet unknown role  stated ‘Back in 2012 I was in my hotel room in London and stumbled across a documentary on a local UK channel, not only was I intrigued by this loving and wild family, but I also felt it's the kind of narrative that would make an amazing movie. The Knights' journey is a universal one that all families are familiar with. I relate to Saraya (Paige) and her wrestling family on such a personal level and it means so much that I can help tell their story."

 

News of this production has caused a frenzy on social media with everyone eagerly anticipating the release.  We here at the Reunion wish everyone involved in the film every success, we are sure it will be a huge hit and will be good not only for the Knight family but also the wrestling business in general.

(The Rock and Stephen Merchant are making a film about the Knight Family).

Mick McManus item for sale.

One of our members has written to us as they have a Mick McManus original autograph which is in a frame with a photograph of Mick in action which they unfortunately have to sell for personal reasons.

This item is a treasured possession of the seller and it is with deep regret that he has to sell it.   Therefore if any of our members would like to own this piece of wrestling memorabilia please send your bid to Keith at [email protected].  Serious bids only and please bear in mind that this is a very special item to the seller.

This is a private sale and any transaction will be between yourself and the seller.  The British Wrestlers Reunion accept no responsibility for the sale or any action thereafter as a result thereof.

New Committee Member Barry Howard expresses his thoughts.

Earlier this year Barry Howard (and Martin Gillott) took up there roles as assistant organisers of the Reunion to Wayne Bridges and Ken Sowden something that both men have publicly stated is a great honour for them.  Barry Howard has now put his thoughts into words and has written the following poem which we are pleased to share with you all:-

Late last year i had the honour of being asked to join the committee for the British Wrestlers Reunion. i graciously accepted and took my place at the beginning of the year. I hope to be able to continue the great success the reunion has had in the last 25 years and to be able show respect to all those who have been or are Athletes of the squared ring. Love them or Loathe them Each of them have suffered for their craft to bring entertainment to the masses... Many have passed away over the years and below is a tribute i wrote I hope you like it.....


Childhood Heroes

I've taken falls and taken bumps
I've suffered bruises and the lumps
I've served my time upon the mat
Learning break falls; this and that
The use of ropes, The corner post
And the moves i found i used the most
The locks and Bars, The Holds and kicks
And other little wrestling tricks
I've studied wrestlers far and wide
That have made me warm and glow inside
As they paraded for the crowd
Who clapped and cheered so very loud
To watch these gods as they display
Their ringside talents every day
To see these modern gladiators
Give all they could for the spectators
Now some have gone to another ring
With a poster that says it all
Where legends of this noble sport
Would fill The Albert Hall
The list sadly is endless and growing every year
As more heroes pass away, all of them very dear
No more will they grace an earthly ring
But their praises we will always sing
There will be no top billing
As each one of them that's passed
Was a hero in his own way
So they'll be not first or last
But a name upon the role-call
That's written on the wall
In the dressing room up in the sky
And we miss them one and all


Website Amendments

With the ongoing problems with our website provider we have made a few amendments to enable our members to locate their favourite sections on the site.  Due to the fact that we are now only able to put a limited number of headings in the navigation bar above you will now find many of our sub pages under the headings by just hovering on the words shown.  For ease of reference we list below the various sections:-

News is now joined by Newsletters and Articles
Dressing Room in the Sky is now joined by Obituaries
Hall of Fame shows all of those great wrestlers already inducted into this category
Reunion galleries shows photographs from 25 years of our Reunion
Poster Parade now consists of 4 separate pages showing posters and programmes throughout the years
Photo Galleries has four sections with various action shots and mugshots of wrestlers past
Videos has over 300 videos featuring many of your favourite wrestlers in action
The more button will take you to the following:
Contact and Forum
The Committee
Useful Links
Calendar of Events
Ladies of Wrestling
Amateur Wrestling
Bodybuilding
Webstore
Amazon
Reunion Sponsors

We hope that the above will ease the confusion that some members have been experiencing.  We are told that the Galleries are now functioning as they should so there should be no more blank spaces, time will tell if this is correct.  There are more errors with the site which are being looked into by our network provider, we have now gone direct to one of their technical people rather than there online support so hopefully things will resolve sooner rather than later.

Keith Martinelli funeral details announced.

Following on from the sad passing of Keith Martinelli on the 24th January we can now confirm that his funeral details are as follows:-

The funeral service will take place on Monday 6th February at Over Dale Crematorium, off Chorley New Road, Bolton Lancs. at 2.30pm.


Any further details may be obtained from Birtwistles Independent Funeral Services,356 Halliwell Road, Bolton BL1 8AP Tel. 01204 491661.


All are welcome to pay their respects to Keith and remember him.


We thank Wendy Mellor for the information and the photograph shown above which is of Keith with their daughter Keira Williamson taken in 2015.

Keith Martinelli passes away

We are sad to report that Keith Williamson better known to wrestling fans as Keith Martinelli has passed away aged 80 years.  Keith was suffering from septicemia and organ failure and died at the Royal Bolton Infirmary on the 24th January.

Keith, who hailed from Bolton, turned professional in the 1950s and had a 35 year career in the squared circle and was a frequent name seen on bills mainly in the North of England, although not a fan favourite Keith was known as a hard man in the ring and certainly did not suffer fools, if you opposed Keith in the ring you certainly knew you had been in a bout by the time you returned to the dressing room.

Our condolences go to Keiths family and friends at this very sad time. He will be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and his obituary will be added to the relevant section.

Tommy Stevenson aka Scott Thomson suffers heart attack

Sad news reached us on Tuesday 17th January when we heard that one of our great supporters, Tommy Stevenson who is known to wrestling fans North of the Border as Scott Thomson has suffered his second heart attack in as many years.


Tommy, who was away from home at the time of the attack, was taken to his daughters house who immediately called the paramedics and Tommy was taken to hospital where he was admitted for further tests.


We are now pleased to confirm that Tommy has been allowed home and told by his doctors to rest and with his daughter casting a watchful eye over her father we know Tommy will do just this.


Tommy has been a great supporters of the Reunion for the last few years, in 2014 he attended with his late wife Margaret having driven from his home in Scotland on the day of the event.  Unfortunately,  Margaret was taken ill on the day and the couple had to return to Scotland.   In 2015 Margaret sadly passed away but Tommy did attend the Reunion where he was awarded with a Services to Wrestling Certificate, (seen below with Reunion organiser Ken Sowden) this is something that to this very day Tommy cherishes, so much so that he has made it his header on his facebook account.


Tommy has informed us that he will once again be joining us all at this years Reunion on the13th August and has already booked his hotel room.....now thats what you call a supporter.


We here at the Reunion of course wish Tommy all the best with his recuperation and we are sure that he will be back to his old self sooner rather than later. 

World Wrestling Entertainment holds UK Tournament in Blackpool with great success.

On the 31st December British wrestling made its return to ITV after a 28 years absence, the show filmed in Manchester in November received a mixed review from wrestlers and fans alike and at the time of writing no decision has yet been made by ITV as to whether they will continue with this venue.  What is known is that they were somewhat surprised at the reviews for the show although they were pleased with the way the show was produced so time will tell as to whether World of Sport wrestling will once again return to the small screen.

 

Following on from the World of Sport show the Worlds biggest wrestling promoters, World Wrestling Entertainment, rolled into Blackpool on the 14th and 15th January where they held their very own tournament with some of the very best wrestlers the UK has to offer.  This was the first time that the WWE has promoted in the UK using solely UK talent with the winner being crowned the WWE United Kingdom Champion.  16 wrestlers took part in the two night tournament before a huge crowd and the show has been well received by all of those in attendance and those watching exclusively on the WWE Network.  Social Media has been buzzing with the success of the show and also the excellent production values which you would only expect from the WWE.

 

The overall winner after two nights of hard fought bouts was Tyler Bate, a 19 year old grappler from Dudley who has over the last few years wrestled for many independent promoters in not only the UK but also Europe.  Bate was presented with the championship belt by WWE Executive Paul Levesque (HHH)  who was joined in the ring by our very own William Regal,  Dave Finlay and Finn Balor.  Others UK wrestlers in attendance included Robbie Brookside and Dave Taylor.

 

The WWE are very pleased with the way the tournament has been received in the UK and plans are in the pipeline to make UK only shows a regular feature within the organisation.  This can again only be good news for British wrestling and we hope that there has been enough interest generated with wrestling fans to ensure that the business continues to thrive like it has done over the last few years

Could the Crabtrees be returning to the wrestling business, the next generation say yes they are.

When it comes to professional wrestling in the UK the name of Crabtree is one of the most recognisable ones ever in the business.  The Crabtree brothers all made a name for themselves  throughout the years, Max, who was a good light heavyweight wrestler in the 1960s went on to become the major force in promoting as head of Joint Promotions, Brian who, after his days as a wrestler ended, went onto become a competent referee and later as the face of ITV wrestling as an ever presence Master of Ceremonies and then of course there was Shirley, the former British and European Heavyweight Champion who was reinvented as Big Daddy, without doubt one of the biggest names ever in British wrestling.

After forty years in the wrestling business the Crabtrees rang their final bell in the mid 1990s, Shirley retired from the ring after years of ill health and with British wrestling in a decline both Max and Brian retired from the limelight, the brothers certainly left their own legacy on the wrestling business and their involvement will never be forgotten.

Many thought that the name Crabtree was never to be seen in the wrestling business again but this could all be about to change as the next generation of Crabtrees have taken an interest in following in their famous families footsteps.  Eorl Crabtree, the nephew of the Crabtrees and former Huddersfield Giants rugby player made a recent visit to Florida where he spent some time at the WWE Performance Centre.  Of course as many of our members will know this state of the art training facility has some of the UKs top grapplers employed as trainers, men such as William Regal, Dave Finlay, Robbie Brookside and Norman Smiley are preparing the stars of the future for wrestling stardom where they are joined by guest trainers including Johnny Saint and Dave Taylor.  Eorl was in awe of the men and women and the high standard that they have achieved and now that his rugby playing days are over could he be stepping through the ropes any time soon, Eorl is keeping tight lipped but dont be surprised if he does decide to take the plunge and enter the world of professional wrestling.

One Crabtree member who has taken the plunge however is the grand daughter of Shirley who has been training for the last six weeks.  Eleanor Wade decided to follow her grandad into the wrestling business after attending the World of Sport show at Manchester in November and is currently being trained by none other than the former World Mid Heavyweight Champion Marty Jones.  Eleanor is enjoying the training and Marty has stated that even though she is only 13 she is a natural in the ring and with the right commitment there is no reason why she will not have a good career in the wrestling business.  Eleanor is fully aware that she has a long way to go before she can even have her first bout but she is determined to do whatever she needs to to succeed and make her family proud.

So, as we enter 2017 the name of Crabtree could soon be making a comeback to a wrestling ring near you, stay tuned as we do not think that we have heard the last of this story...far from it.

Website issues continue.

As some of you are aware we have been experiencing considerable problems with this website since our provider webs.com upgraded their system at the end of last year.


During the festive season we have received a number of emails from members who have been unable to access the system at all or when they do are unable to view some of the page contents.  


We have contacted webs.com on numerous occasions and they will not accept any blame for this error (even though it has happened to a number of websites that they provide) stating that the problem is with our computers.  Obviously this is not the case and therefore due to the fact that we have been unable to reach a satisfactory conclusion to this persistent problem this website will shortly close for new updates and will be used for information purposes only.


Over the coming weeks we will look for a new and more reliable website provider and once we have found one we will relaunch the British Wrestlers Reunion website which will continue with all your favourites.


We apologise for any convenience but this is as they say ...beyond our control. 

World of Sport Wrestling returns with a reported 1.2 million viewers but mixed reaction from the fans.

When ITV axed professional wrestling in 1988 many fans thought that it would never return and as the years rolled by that certainly seemed the case until Saturday 31st December 2016 when World of Sport Wrestling returned to our screens some 28 years after professional wrestling was last nationally broadcast on terrestrial television.


For anyone hoping to see a format consisting of rounds with public warnings and seconds with a softly spoken man at ringside calling the action this was never going to happen, this was 2016 and since wrestling was last seen on ITV the product has changed dramatically with many fans saying that the 2016 product is unrecognisable to that last seen in 1988.  However, despite this the flashbacks to the glory days of World of Sport wrestling and legends such as Rollerball Rocco, Johnny Saint, Marty Jones and Klondyke Kate at ringside was a nice touch.


Despite its transformation the show itself has seen many split opinions, many social media platforms have been inundated with comments  and it would appear that the general public (by this we mean people who are not passionate wrestling fans) on the whole loved it and would welcome more. Wrestling fans/purists seem to be split, some really enjoyed it, some hated it whilst others enjoyed parts of the show but not other parts, this has sparked some lively but interesting debates.


Viewing figures are reported to be 1.2 million which, for a pilot show, appear to fall in line with what was expected and with catch up, recordings and downloads this figure will increase which is also a bonus especially as it was up against one of the biggest Premiership games of the season on Sky so in all ITV will no doubt rate the show a success.


Where does WOS Wrestling go from here, well we certainly have the talent in the UK to produce more programmes but whatever format ITV choose (if they do) to go down it will not please everyone.  There certainly seems a market for a wrestling show on terrestrial television whether it be weekly, which we doubt, or a number of specials broadcast throughout the year and this can only be good for the wrestling industry.


Whatever your views on the show it was nice that ITV produced this programme and now we wait to see what happens next……will there be a round 2, only time will tell !!!!!!

Johnny Saint heads Stateside to train the next generation of stars

Johnny Saint is one of the most famous names in British wrestling in his or any other generation.  Having been a multiple time World Lightweight Champion and having travelled the World defeating all in his path he will certainly go down in history as one of the greatest champions of all time.


These days Johnnys in ring career has sadly for all of us come to an end but despite this he continues to have a very active role in the wrestling business and can often be seen up and down the UK training the next generation of stars as well as making public appearances such as the recently filmed ITV World of Sport Wrestling show where he was interviewed about some of the greats who made British wrestling so popular in the 1960s,70s and 80s.


In 2016 John was invited by William Regal to attend the WWE Performance Centre in Orlando, Florida and for any of our members who are not aware of this, this is a state of the art training facility owned by World Wrestling Entertainment and where stars of the future go to hopefully make them into international wrestling stars.  On his initial visit John joined Head Trainer Regal alongside other Brits working at the venue such as Dave Fit Finlay, Robbie Brookside and Norman Smiley as well as Dave Taylor who guests there on a regular basis.  Johnnys style of wrestling astounded all who were training there and whilst there Johnny showed the trainees moves that they had never seen before many of which will be taken forward to the next generation.


Despite his age Johnny is still extremely fit and can still mix it with the best the WWE trainees have to offer.  So impressed were the powers that be with Johnnys training that this month he has been invited back on a six month contract to become a full time coach at the facility, this can only be good for wrestling as a whole.  Johnny is without doubt one of the best trainers in the World today and with his knowledge of wrestling this can only benefit everyone involved.


We wish Johnny all the best with his new venture, we know that he will be a huge success and we look forward to welcoming him back to the UK later this year when he will once again be commencing his training duties with UK students.

Happy New Year from all of us at the Reunion.

As we end one year and start another the entire Committee of the British Wrestlers Reunion would like to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and hope that 2017 is a good year for you all.


2017 will see a new era for the Reunion.  After our hugely successful 25th anniversary Reunion we now look forward to the next one which will be held as always at The Bridges on Sunday 13th August.  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 the new era will certainly be something you will remember. Whilst we will be keeping to the tradition that has made the Reunion so popular we will be introducing some new features which we hope you will enjoy.


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


In closing we thank you all for your continued support during 2016, all the positive comments we receive are very much appreciated and we hope that you will continue to support us all in 2017.

Adrian and Linda send Christmas greetings to family and friends

They are the most famous couple in professional wrestling, known the World over and after 50 years in the business show no signs of slowing down let alone retiring.  These days Adrian Street and his lovely wife Linda reside in Florida in a home designed and built by them, distant memories albeit it very happy ones, are the days spent in Wales and travelling the UK wrestling to packed houses during wrestlings heyday although given their time again would not change a thing.


At this festive time of the year Adrian has sent his best wishes to the Reunion and has asked that we pass them on to his many family and friends around the World who regularly view these pages and we are happy to do so.  At the same time we at the Reunion wish Ada and Linda a very happy festive season and hope that 2017 is another happy, peaceful and successful year for them both.  

Andy Robin inducted into Scotlands Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Sports legend Andy Robin, who introduced the world to Hercules the Bear, has been inducted into Scotland’s Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.


The 81-year-old received the top honour on the steps of Perth’s City Hall, the scene of some of his biggest championship battles.


One of his most famous bouts in the Fair City was against America’s Harold Sakata, better known as Odd Job from the James Bond movie Goldfinger.


Robin, from Auchterarder, is the second to be installed on the hall of fame after Dundee’s George Kidd in 2015.

He said: “I really appreciate this honour, its great to get things like this. It means so much.”

Robin said his return to city hall brought back some precious memories. “I used to love being here. I remember the crowd chanting: Andy, Andy, Andy. It was just great.


Wrestling historian Bradley Craig, who founded the hall of fame, said: “Andy makes a fantastic addition to our hall because he was completely different to George Kidd in every way.


Bradley continued, “He was a power-based wrestler who had the most devastating move in wrestling history — the power lock. 

“He won countless titles and travelled all over the world. Quite simply, he is one of the few remaining wrestlers of the golden era and its fantastic to be able to give him this award.


As a young man Robin became a familiar face on the Highland Games circuit. He was crowned the World Cumberland Wrestling champ by the age of 20.


He went on an extensive two-and-a-half year tour of the North America and Canada before returning to Scotland where, in 1964, he secured the British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship.


His career flourished further thanks to being featuring in ITV’s massively popular World of Sport during the 1970s and 80s.


A major turning point for Robin was when he took part in a novelty bout with Terrible Ted, an eight foot black bear. Robin won $1,000 for successfully spending 15 minutes in the ring with the animal.


It started an obsession with bears, which led to Robin and his wife Maggie adopting Hercules from the Kincraig Wildlife Park in 1975.


Hercules, who the couple raised like their son, became one of the biggest stars of wrestling. He went on to win praise from US president Ronald Reagan and even fought against Roger Moore in the James Bond film Octopussy.


The kind-natured grizzly famously disappeared while filming an advert for Kleenex on the Hebridean isle of Benbecula.


It is hoped that a plaque, confirming Robin’s place on the hall of fame, will go on permanent display in Perth.


The Reunion send our very best wishes to Andy on this accolade, one that is very well deserved.


Christmas Wishes 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 very special for us and we thank each and every one of you for your continued support.  With many great things planned for 2017 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 2017 and the Reunions new era.

A great anniversary year for the Reunion.

As many of you will know this year the British Wrestlers Reunion reached a milestone in our history when we celebrated 25 glorious years.

Our event this past August saw over 350 people attend The Bridges to celebrate not only our anniversary but also British wrestling both past and present with everyone having a thoroughly enjoyable day. As always we were joined by World, European and British champions alongside other wrestlers and fans travelling from around the World to be with us making the day a huge success.

On a sad note however our dear friend and colleague Frank Rimer has, after 20 years, stood down from the Reunion. Franks shoes will be impossible to fill and we wish him well in his retirement but the Reunion goes on. We are pleased that Martin Gillott and Barry Howard have joined us with some great ideas to take the Reunion forward in its new era and whilst we will not change the format that has proved so popular over the years we will be adding some additional things which we hope you will enjoy.

We are always amazed that already a number of people have contacted us enquiring about next years event with some even having already booked hotels such is our popularity. (for the record our next event is on Sunday 13th August 2017 and everyone is welcome whether you are a wrestler, official or fan).

We thank all of you for your support in the past and we hope that you will continue to support us in 2017 and beyond, the day really is the social event of the year.

We are very proud to be Europes largest Wrestlers Reunion so why not come and join our ring of friendship in 2017, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from us all. 25 years is a great achievement and to quote our host Sarah Bridges 'here is to the next 25' !!!!!.

Jim Moser Funeral Details

The Internment of wrestling super star Jim Moser who passed away last Wednesday from natural causes aged 82, will be held at the well known Southern Crematorium on Monday the 19th December at 11-00 a.m.


Anyone wishing to attend and pay their respects will be welcomed by the Family.


 

Southern Cemetery
The Lodge
212 Barlow Moor Road
Chorlton-cum-Hardy
Manchester M21 7GL


Telephone: 0161 227 3205
Email: [email protected]

Adrian Street celebrates his 76th Birthday
Adrian Street is one of the most recognisable names in the wrestling industry and is known the world over.  Having seen and done it all Adrian has just celebrated his 76th birthday and he has no intentions of slowing down.

Although Adrian has not competed in the ring for a couple of years (we never say never again because do wrestlers ever really retire ???) he remains extremely busy and after the success of his 7 books, Adrians efforts are now concentrating on the film of his life which will shortly be going into production as well as his other business interests which include his music album, the musical of his life and his successful business of making ring attire for many of todays top wrestling stars.

Adrian spent his birthday as he does every day with his wife, the lovely Linda, and as is customary a visit to their favourite restaurant was in order to commemorate his special day.

Although Adrian remains in tremendous shape, infact many men half his age would love to be in the physical shape that he is, this year Linda treated him to a cable crossover machine for his birthday and Adrian made good use of this straight away as you can see from the photos.  Although this was only Adrians 76th birthday he has vowed to live past 100 .......even if it kills him (his own words)

As ever Adrian and Linda send all their best wishes to all his family, friends, former colleagues and fans in the UK and we are happy to pass this message on for them.

We wish Adrian belated birthday wishes and hope that he has many more to come.
ITV release broadcast date for World of Sport Wrestling
As many of our members will know on the 1st November ITV Productions filmed a one off World of Sport wrestling show in Manchester featuring many of todays top grapplers.  The show which was also attended by some of the legends of British wrestling including Rollerball Rocco, Johnny Saint and Klondyke Kate was hailed a success by all of those who were present.

ITV have now announced that the two hour show will be broadcast on the 31st December at 5.00pm and will not only include the bouts filmed but also a look back at some of the highlights of World of Sport wrestling through the decades.

This show has been eagerly awaited by many and we are pleased that ITV have finally given wrestling fans around the UK what they have waited 28 years for even if it is a one off production.

On the subject of the glory years of wrestling a television play is currently being written regarding wrestling in the 1970s and a major television company have agreed to film and broadcast it.  The Reunion have been consultants on this play to assist the writers and more news on this will be reported in the New Year.
Jumping Jim Moser dies aged 82

We are sad to report news received by us from Marty Jones that Jumping Jim Moser has passed away aged 82 after a short illness.


Jim was a frequent worker for Joint Promotions in the early 1960s and was also a regular name on Paul Lincoln bills alongside other independent promoters. Throughout his career Jim excelled in both solo and tag team wrestling where he was a regular partner to Bobo Matu.


Jims long time friend and Reunion member Johnny Kincaid has paid the following tribute:-


'I first met Jim when i was 17 and lodging in Brixton London, I wasn't even thinking of coming into the wrestling game, I was asked if i new where Camberwell baths was by my landlady who also took in wrestlers, and if i did would i take this wrestler there as it was his first time down south, that was the first time i set eyes on Jim Moser, 54 years a go, I will be there when they lay my old friend to rest. so long Jim R.I.P Buddy'.


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


Our condolences go to Jims family and friends at this sad time and may he now rest in peace.


Funeral details will be posted in due course.




Great turn out for John Kowalski funeral

Wednesday 23rd November 2016 saw the final bell ring for legendary South Coast wrestler John Kowalski.  Approximately 180 people packed Havant crematorium to pay their respects to this legendary wrestler.  The British Wrestlers Reunion were represented by committee members Johnny Kincaid and Martin Gillott and other wrestlers in attendance were Pete Roberts, Mal Sanders and Steve Grey.  John will be a great loss to the wrestling business and may he Rest in peace.

John Kowalski Funeral details