British Wrestlers Reunion
Strengthening the Ring of Friendship

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Mighty John Quinn passes away following stroke

The British Wrestlers Reunion are deeply saddened to hear news via All Star Wrestling that the Mighty John Quinn has passed away following a stroke.

John was a hugely popular star around the World even if he did receive the boos on more occasions that not.  John has some great rivalries in the UK with the likes of Big Daddy, Wayne Bridges and Tony St Clair and was known around the World where he won many championships.

John will be sadly missed by all who knew him and we of course send our condolences to his family and friends at this very sad time.

John will be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky on the Reunion website and his an obituary will be added in due course.

The countdown to the 2019 Reunion starts here

On Sunday 11th August the British Wrestlers Reunion will be held once again at the home of the Reunion, The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent.  This year the event is being dedicated to and held in memory of the First Lady of the Reunion Helen Joynson who sadly passed away in January and we are delighted that her husband, international legend Colin Joynson be joining us as always.  Wayne and Sarah Bridges will once again be your hosts and they will welcome everyone to the Reunions 28th year.

 

Over the years we have always been well supported and this remains the case with wrestlers, officials and fans travelling from not only the entire length of the UK but also Europe, the USA  and in one case New Zealand to be with us.   Many wrestlers have already confirmed to us that they will be attending including a number of World, European and British champions and we are, as ever, honoured that they take the time to come and support us.

 

During the day itself we will of course have our award ceremony in which a number of deserving wrestlers will be receiving an accolade for their many years of service that they have given the wrestling industry.   Preceding the award ceremony itself will be the 10 bell count and Colin Joynson will once again remember all those great grapplers who have passed away since our last Reunion.  This is always a poignant part of the day but also a very important one.

 

This year the Reunion will once again be filmed and a dvd produced and we thank Derek Collins who is travelling from his home in Cornwall to do this for us.  Derek  has already done some fantastic work to great acclaim at two Northern Reunions in Blackpool and Scotland and we are delighted that he has joined the team for this years event.   Throughout the day Tony Ham will be taking photographs of the events as they happen and we are thrilled that Tony has agreed to do this for us again after the great job he did last year.  Tony is fast becoming one of the top wrestling photographers in the UK having worked for many of the top promoters around the country. 

 

Our pop up museum will once again be on hand this year thanks to Martin Gillott so please check this out to see lots of memorabilia from wrestlers of the past, this certainly is a trip down memory lane and well worth a look.  For those of you who like to own wrestling memorabilia Roy Smith will once again be on hand for all your requirements and he will have numerous items for sale on the day.  A raffle will also be held so please support us by buying a ticket as the proceeds from this help us with the costs of putting on the Reunion each and every year.

 

Entertainment this year will be provided by the UKs number one Elvis tribute act Scott Elvis who is coming back due to popular demand.  Scott did a tremendous job when he last joined us for our 25th anniversary Reunion 3 years.  Scott has a very busy schedule so we are very grateful that he has agreed to return to the Reunion.  Of course, the Reunion would not be complete without Baz Jangles who has royally entertained us all for many years now and he will also be returning this year to entertain us all with his dulcet tones.

 

Over the coming months more information on this years Reunion will be released so please keep checking back for all of the up to the minute news.  The British Wrestlers Reunion is a Reunion for all no matter whether you are a wrestler, official or fan, we turn nobody away, everyone is welcome to attend to reminisce about the glory days of wrestling.

 

The British Wrestlers Reunion remains Europes oldest and largest Reunion and that is all thanks to the great support that we receive from you all so we look forward to welcoming many of you to the Ring of Friendship on Sunday 11th August, it all kicks off at 11.00m and we look forward to seeing many of you there.

(Wayne and Sarah Bridges will once again be your hosts for the 2019 Reunion)

Happy Easter from the Reunion

All of us here at the British Wrestlers Reunion would like to extend Easter greetings to all of our members.  We hope that you all have an enjoyable time no matter what you have planned and try and be good and not eat too many chocolate eggs.

More news on this years Reunion being held on Sunday 11th August will be posted shortly so keep checking back for all of the up to the minute news on the Reunion of the year.

Reunion holds Wrestlers only dinner

On Tuesday 16th April the Reunion held one of their popular wrestler only dinners hosted by Wayne and Sarah Bridges and held at the home of the Reunion, The Bridges in Kent.

Many of the great legends of wrestling attended the gathering which included Wayne Bridges,Sarah Bridges,Alan Sargeant,Keith 'Hurricane' Haward, Chris Buckwell,Karl 'Nobby' Heinz,Lee Bronson,Mal Sanders, Tom Tyrone,Mel Stuart, Framk Rimer and Bobby Stafford. and as you will see from the photographs a great time was had by all as is the case whenever these dinners are held.

Many more photos from the dinner can be found in the photo galleries section under ad hoc right here on the website.

We are pleased to say that the majority of the wrestlers who attended the dinner, plus of course many more, will be joining us on Sunday 11th August for the 28th Reunion and we look forward to seeing many of you there to celebrate with us.

Adrian Street documentary set for its Premiere

Adrian Street and Miss Linda are without any doubt the first couple olf wrestling and after 50+ years in the wrestling industry they are still as popular and as successful as ever.

We have over the last year updated you on the documentary of Adrians life as documented in the seven top selling books that he has written over the years.

We can now confirm that the World Premiere of the feature length documentary "You May Be Pretty, But I Am Beautiful: The Adrian Street Story", will be at the Market Hall Cinema on the 16th May 2019.  Tickets for the Premiere will shortly be available and we will post details right here as to how you will be to get hold of these.

We here at the British Wrestlers Reunion wish Adrian, Linda and all those connected with this project the very best of luck, it has been eagerly awaited by many and we know that we will not be disappointed by the finished result.
(Adrian and Linda are enjoying their life back home in Wales)

2019 British Wrestlers Reunion to be filmed

As the 2019 Reunion season gets underway it is hard to believe that we have less than four months to go before Europes number one Reunion is held on Sunday 11th August at the home of the Reunion, The Bridges.

As always we are expecting a large turnout of wrestlers, officials and fans to join us for our 28th year at the event which will remember and celebrate British wrestling.

We are delighted that this year the Reunion will once again be filmed and kept for posterity.  Not only will the day itself be filmed but the entire awards ceremony together with interviews with many of those in attendance will also be recorded after which time a dvd will be produced and made available.  This dvd will be on sale for those who attend and wish to relive the day itself or for those who were unable to visit us this year but would like to feel part of the proceedings, this dvd will enable you to do this.

We here at the Reunion are very grateful to Derek Collins, a professional film cameraman who is travelling from his home in Cornwall to be with us this year and who will film the event.  Derek has told us that he wouldn't miss it for the world and that he will do his best to do it justice.   After seeing the finished result that Derek did for our friends at the Scottish Reunion we know that we have the right man for the job and thank him for travelling such a long distance to undertake this job for us.

Over the coming weeks much more news will be forthcoming about this years Reunion so keep checking back here and our facebook page (British Wrestling the Glory Years) for all the up todate news on the 2019 event.

(Derek Collins who is travelling from his home in Cornwall to film the 2019 Reunion is seen here with wrestling legend Sam Betts who Derek recently filmed an interview with about Sams international career)

Rory Campbell jailed

A former professional wrestler who used his chip van to lure victims has been jailed for 12 years for a string of rapes.

William Turner – who grappled with ring legends Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy in the 1980s targeted vulnerable victims across East Lothian.

The ex-undertaker raped three women during a lengthy campaign of terror which was described as “disturbing and grave” by a judge.

One woman  targeted by the monster when she was a schoolgirl  said Turner offered teenagers work in his van touring East Lothian villages 
before turning on them. She fears Turner, now 63, he may have struck many more times and has urged any other victims to come forward. She told the Evening News that Turner abused her in Whitecraig when she was just 14 and believes he preyed on up to 30 victims. The woman said: “There’s lots still out there  all the girls I grew up with. He used to offer them part-time jobs in his chip van.

William Turner who has been convicted of rape used to wrestle under the name, 'Rory Campbell,  “He used to fly to Gambia ten times a year to sleep with under-age Gambian girls.” She added: “He was a very abusive man.” Turner carried out the attacks between 1980 and 2001 across East Lothian with one traumatised victim suffering almost weekly assaults.

Turner denied the charges against him but was found guilty following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh of six charges including rape and lewd and libidinous behaviour. . He returned to the High Court in Glasgow to face trial judge Lord Armstrong and was slapped with a 12-year stretch behind bars.

Jailing Turner, the judge told him: “I note that you continue to take no responsibility and lack any insight into the crimes on the women concerned.” The judge said one victim still feels the “continued and devastating effect” of her ordeal.

A woman in court shouted “yes” as Turner was led handcuffed to the cells. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.

The court heard That Turner, of Whitecraig, was previously employed as an undertaker. He had also been in the merchant navy and used to run a fish and chip van. Drew McKenzie, defending, said Turner continued to have the support of his wife – who is 34 years his junior

(Above Report courtesy of Edinburgh Evening News)
(Rory Campbell in action against Giant Haystacks)
Rik Sands passes away
We are very saddened to announce the passing on Thursday 14th March of wrestling Legend and our dear friend RIK SANDS .

Former lifelong friend and colleague Clive Williams ( BOBBY ENGLAND ) was given the sad news by Rik's Son that he had died following a recent fall necessitating Hospitalisation.

Rik who served in the RAF with STEVE VEIDOR and EARL MAYNARD before all three became professional wrestlers, was the British Wrestlers Reunion biggest benefactor and is seen here donating a cheque for £500.

Rik was a huge supporter of the Reunion and only last year, despite ill health, made what was to be his last attendance at the event.

Rik has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and a full tribute will be posted in due course.

In the meantime our thoughts now go out to Riks family and friends at this sad time and may he now RIP.

Adrian Street documentary shortlisted for Bafta Award

(Producer/Director Joann Randles of 'ADRIAN' The Movie with Adrian and the Exotic ones action figure which is available on ebay)

USA Wrestling Legend diagnosed with lung cancer

(Harley Race with the UKs own Billy Robinson)
The British Wrestlers Reunion would like to send our very best wishes to one of the great NWA World Champions of all time, Harley Race who has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Harley seen here with our own Billy Robinson, won numerous titles throughout his illustrious career and worked for all of the major wrestling promoters in the USA as well as travelling around the world to great acclaim.

Harley Race has dealt with a number of health issues over the past few years. WWE announced in June 2017 he  broke both legs after a serious fall in his home in Troy, MO. Race was still using a scooter to get around as of October 2018. He was expected to make a full recovery from the fall, but was still recovering towards the end of 2018.  He did visit backstage at a WWE event in St. Louis in mid-November. 

Harley, who turns 76 on the 11th April, was also still visiting his Harley Race Wrestling Academy three times per week as of last October. He's also underwent operations on his neck, hips, knees and his back over the years

Our thoughts and prayers are with Harley and his family at this difficult time for them and hope he makes a full recovery.
(Harley Race with the NWA World Heavyweight Championship Belt)

The UK Wrestlers Reunion season will soon be here

As 2019 is now in full swing it will soon be time for Reunion season to start.  We would like to thank our friends over at Wrestling Heritage (www.wrestlingheritage.co.uk) for their continued support of the Reunions around the UK and for supplying us with the following information.  Please attend if you can to ensure that all Reunions flourish and have a long future.

Full information and updates can be found right here,on our facebook page (British Wrestling, the Glory Years) or on the Wrestling Heritage website.
Blackpool Sunday 12th May from 11am..... becoming more popular every year 

Organiser Jackie McCann has given this Reunion an identity all of it's own, and we mean that only in a good way. This will be the fourth year of the Blackpool Reunion. Practically everyone who has attended Blackpool has returned in later years. Definitely in attendance this year will be Johnny Kincaid, Tony Scarlo, Glitterboy Evans, Dwight J Ingleburgh, Boy Devlin, Dale Storm......

The Blackpool Wrestlers' Reunion at The Wainright Club,173, Hornby Road Blackpool FY1 4RD (Note: new venue this year)
Dartford, Kent....The British Wrestlers Reunion ...Sunday 11th August from 11am until late.... This is the big one

The original and by far the biggest. This is the place to meet up with the biggest names in wrestling – Wayne Bridges, Pete Roberts, Colin Joynson, Johnny Kidd, Johnny Saint to name but a few.  Over 250 attend each and very year.

Sunday 11th August will see Europes oldest and largest Wrestlers Reunion take place for a remarkable 28th year at the home of the Reunion, The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent. The Reunion will be hosted by former 3 time World Heavyweight Champion Wayne Bridges and his wife Sarah,

Wrestlers, officials and fans from around the World are cordially invited for what promises to be another memorable day.

The British Wrestlers Reunion, The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent, DA4 9AX
Ayr....Sunday 15th September from 12.00 noon  -  A great day out

Organiser Dale Storm makes sure there's a warm welcome for anyone who makes the journey. Amongst  those attending last year were Eddie Rose, Billy LaRue, Johnny Kincaid, Glitterboy Evans, Viper and many more stars of Scottish wrestling.  This year looks certain to be another great success.

Venue to be announced shortly.
________________________________________________________________________________

The Reunions held around the country remain as popular as always and all are well attended.  Along with the Reunions mentioned above there are also the Manchester and Leeds Reunions which are by invitation only.

Please continue to support the Reunions and get to as many as you can, they are a great day out and full of memories and you will be guaranteed a day to remember.

Salvatore Bellomo passes away aged 67

We are deeply saddened to learn that international wrestler Salvatore Bellomo has passed away aged just 67 following on from a long cancer battle.

Salvatore had a career spanning over 30 years in which he wrestled around the World winning many championships along the way.

Salvatore Bellomo started out portraying a mild-mannered, clean-cut fan favorite with respectable technical wrestling skill. In later years he would portray a wildman in the ring, thought to be unpredictable by wrestling audiences. The list of titles he held over the years is almost as colorful

On retiring from in ring action in 2006 Salvatore continued to be active in the business working as a trainer for the Belgian Wrestling School located in Terhagen and Flémalle (Belgium).

In 2015 Salvatore was one of our special guests at the British Wrestlers Reunion where he received a prestigious award from the legendary Tony St Clair (as seen here).

Salvatore will be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and our condolences go to his wife Sherry and the rest of his family and friends at this very sad time.

May Salvatore now RIP.
(Salvatore interviewed by our own Alfred Hayes during their tenure in the WWF in the 1980s)

Legendary Referee Lee Bamber checks into A&E following ring injury

Lee Canderton better known to wrestling fans across the UK as Lee Bamber has seen it all in his 30+ years in the professional wrestling ranks.  From referee to Master of Ceremonies with numerous commentaries along the way and in 2018 the returning compare for us at the British Wrestlers Reunion, Lee has seen his fair share of ring injuries to others. However, on this occasion, it is Lee himself who is on the receiving end after getting caught in the crossfire at bout he was officiating at recently.   After a visit to his local hospital Lee has made the following statement::-

'In my 34 years in wrestling  I've been on the receiving end of a few bruises and scrapes as referee.

I clashed heads with Neil Sands in Chelmsford, was tipped out of the ring at Oakengates by Mark Rocco. More recently was 'double legged' by James Mason and normally end up on the deck in any match featuring Oliver Grey. But this is the first time it's been serious enough for me to want to get it checked out at the hospital.

I took one heck of a close proximity double footed solid kick to the chest from Erin Angel at the Hexagon in Reading last Sunday and it still hurts a lot 5 days later. We were just too close to each other for the kick to work so I got 'the full volume'. So, Im just making sure no ribs are broken or that there's no internal damage'.

So Lee goes off to the hospital and is checked over and now the update is as follows:-

'Fully checked over and the hospital thinks there is no cause for concern .. I just need to do frequent deep breathing exercises as deep as possible through the pain ... and I was given a telling off for not using pain relief "with this sort if injury you need ibuprofen" .. but unless the pain is emmence I don't like to mask it .. I've bruised myself so it's gonna hurt for some time .. anyway... they think I'm ok'

So all well that ends well and Lee is now on the mend.  We are sure that he will be climbing through the ropes again really soon for another contest and hopefully that he makes it out unscathed.  Our best wishes go to him for a speedy recovery. 




(Lee and Erin Angel prior to Lees mishap)

Les Thornton passes away aged 84

We are sad to report that Salford heavyweight  Les Thornton passed away on the 1st February aged 84 with his wife at his side.

Turning professional in 1957 Les initially worked for independent promoters across the UK wrestling under the name of Henri Pierlot before signing with Paul Lincoln and then Joint Promotions. Thornton learned submission and amateur wrestling in Wigan at the Snake Pit, and really enjoyed the push-pull of English wrestling compared to the action-based style expected overseas.

Following on from several successful years in the UK, Les travelled to Europe and then the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Thornton was decidedly a junior heavyweight, but was always in tip-top shape. At one point, he was the World Junior heavyweight champion in both the NWA and the WWWF. He also helped similar titles in Florida and Southwest Championship Wrestling. In the Calgary, Alberta-based Stampede Wrestling, he held the promotion's top title the North American Heavyweight belt, on two occasions, in 1971 and 1974.

The final years of his in-ring career were spent in the WWF, where he was not used as a feature performer on television, but was often a key player on international tours that the company set up.

Les has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and we send our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.
(Les Thornton won many championships during his illustrious career)

Zoltan Boscik sends best wishes as he celebrates his 80th birthday

Zoltan Boscik seen here with his wife Suzanne is celebrating his 80th birthday and sends his best wishes to all of his former colleagues and fans in the UK.

Zoltan was without any doubt one of the great lightweight wrestlers to step through the ropes, a master mat technician Zoltan very often opposed many of the great lightweights of the time from George Kidd, Johnny Saint, Jim Breaks and Steve Grey to name but a few. 

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

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

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

Today, despite suffering from alzheimers, Zoltan remains in very good spirits and is enjoying his retirement.

(We would like to thank Johnny Kidd for the photo, it is very much appreciated)
(Zoltan in action against Jim Breaks)

Helen Joynson passes away 

We are very saddened to report that Helen Joynson has passed away on Monday 21st January following a long period of ill health.

Helen, wife of legendary wrestler and Reunion committee member Colin Joynson had been in hospital since before Christmas and it had been hoped that she would be returning home in early January, however this was not the case and we are saddened to hear that her health had deteriorated over recent days.

Colin who was constantly at Helens bedside had said that Helen was very poorly but we had all hoped that she would have made a recovery.

Helen was highly respected in the wrestling industry and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.  Since her passing was announced tributes have poured in from wrestlers and fans from around the World such was the high regard she was held in. 

Our condolences go to Colin and the rest of the Joynson family as well as all of Helens friend at this very sad time.  May she now Rest in Peace.
(Helen was presented with one of our special recognition awards at the 2016 Reunion)

Bobby Bold Eagle contacts Reunion from his home in the USA

(Bobby Bold Eagle looking well in 2019)
The British Wrestlers Reunion were pleased to hear from American wrestler Bobby Bold Eagle who toured the UK in the 1980s.  He came to national attention on television, where he partnered Big Daddy to overcome Wild Angus and Bull Pratt.  Other television opponents were Pete Lapaque and Mark Rocco.   Bobbys most remembered bout was at none other than the Royal Albert Hall where he took on the one and only Mick McManus.

Bobby travelled the globe and wrestled for many of the top promotions the World had to offer taking on some of the biggest names in the industry during his illustrious career.

Bobby sends his best wishes to his former colleagues and fans throughout the UK and has told us that he thoroughly enjoyed his time here.

As you can see from the photo, Bobby is still in good shape and remains in good health.

Bobby has told us that he attends an event in the UK in August and would be honoured to attend the Reunion where he can meet up with everyone. We of course very much look forward to welcoming Bobby and honouring him accordingly.
(Bobby Bold Eagle as grapple fans will remember him)

Gary Wensor recovering well after cancer surgery

We would like to send our very best wishes to Gary Wensor who has today (15th January)  undergone surgery today for bladder cancer. The operation has been deemed a success and doctors are very pleased with how well the operation went.

Gary has written to advise:-

'In December i told you that i was having to have another opp for my bladder cancer problem well i had it today and i am delighted to say that all went well doctors very pleased with the outcome and so am i. very painful at the moment and have to where a bag on my leg for a week but small price to pay for the right result .Many thanks to the doctors and staff at Kettering hospital great people ONCE AGAIN MANY MANY THANKS.'

We hope that Gary makes a quick and full recovery and is soon back to full health and he has confirmed to us that he looks forward to seeing you all at the Reunion this August.
(Gary with his brother Ed who were a formidable tag team in their day)

Mick Collins passes away aged 70

We were sad to receive news from our friends over at Wrestling Heritage that Leicesters Mick Collins passed away suddenly on Sunday 13th January 2019 aged 70 years of age.

Mick was a popular wrestler during the 1960s and 70s having entered the ranks at aged just 13 in his home town, going on to excite wrestling fans around the UK for the next two decades.

It was quite obvious that Mick Collins enjoyed every minute of his wrestling career.A career spanning twenty years that all fans thought ended  prematurely when he was still in his early thirties. Not that it ended for any negative reasons.  There were no injuries or no disillusionment it was just a case of moving on.   Once married the appeal of travelling the UK faded and with family commitments Mick felt he needed something more financially secure than what the wrestling industry could provide.

Mick Collins will be fondly remembered by all who knew him, a great grappler who will be sadly missed.

Mick has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and may he now RIP.  

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

Ken Joyce remembered as trophy presented in his honour

Wrestling fans in Northamptonshire will have the chance to pay tribute next month to one of the greats of the grappling game who hailed from Rushden.

Double European champion Ken Joyce will be remembered when top UK matchmakers Premier Promotions stage their first-ever American Rumble Wrestling Spectacular at the Lighthouse Theatre in Kettering.

The show on February 18 will feature the Ken Joyce Trophy in memory of the former wrestler, promoter, MC and referee who was a ring legend in the golden era of Saturday afternoon World of Sport shows on ITV.

Joyce ran a motor trade and tyre fitting business in Rushden when he was not swapping holds with other big names of the day like Mick McManus, George Kidd and Jackie “Mr TV” Pallo.  He also put on shows across the county under the Devereux Promotions banner. Among his regular venues was the Windmill Club in Rushden, while he also appeared extensively in wrestling contests in the area during the 1950s and 1960s, including at the old Kettering Drill Hall.

Joyce, who held the individual European welterweight title and the tag team championship with Eddie Capelli and also partnered his brother Doug in bouts, died in 1990 at the age of 67 from a heart attack while playing golf.

Premier Promotions has held the trophy event in his memory every year since, and a tribute to the esteem with which he was held with his fellow professionals is that the list of winners reads like a who’s who of modern wrestling, including Doug Williams, Johnny Saint, Pat Roach and Robbie Brookside.

Former world lightweight champion Steve Grey, who won the trophy in 1994 and will be the referee on the show on February 18, remembers facing Joyce in a televised bout that fans can still view on YouTube. "It’s a bit of a classic, really," said Grey. "Ken was one of the best technical wrestlers I faced in my career, and he had some unusual moves. I must admit I nicked a few of them!"

The Lighthouse Theatre show will feature an American rumble, in which all the wrestlers compete and are eliminated by being thrown out of the ring over the top rope, with the last man standing being declared the winner, plus a supporting programme of tag team and solo matches.

Tickets for the show are available from boxoffice@thelighthousetheatre.co.uk and via telephone on 01536 414141.

(Above write up courtesy of Northants Telegraph and we thank them for supplying us with it)
(Ken Joyce versus Steve Grey in a classic bout)

Fighting with my Family........the story of the Knight Family set for cinema release

The Knight family are one of the most famous and recognisable families in wrestling today.  Head of the family Ricky Knight has a career spanning over 30 years in which he has faced many of the great wrestling stars from around the World whilst his wife Saraya is in high demand with promoters worldwide and has won numerous championships during her own illustrious career.  Sons Zak and Roy Knight have carried on the family tradition winning titles wherever they have wrestled and with the next generation already actively involved in the wrestling business it looks certain that the Knight family name will be around for many more years to come.  Finally, but certainly not last in anyway is Saraya Jade who started her career in her hometown of Norwich but has gone on to become a worldwide star under the name Paige where she currently works for the WWE.   Having wowed audiences around the World Paige and the Knight family will now hit the big screen as a movies about her and her family life has been made entitled Fighting with my Family and is set for nationwide release in cinemas in February.

FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY is a heartwarming comedy based on the incredible true story of WWE Superstar Paige™. Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for WWE. But when only Paige earns a spot in the competitive training program, she must leave her family and face this new, cut-throat world alone. Paige’s journey pushes her to dig deep, fight for her family, and ultimately prove to the world that what makes her different is the very thing that can make her a star.

The film produced and starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has been eagerly awaited by the wrestling fraternity and we are sure it will be a huge success and receive great reviews by all.

The film is set to be released in selected cinemas on the 14th February and nationwide from the 22nd February.

(Fighting with my Family...the trailer)

'Superfan' David Franklin recovering after cancer surgery

We would like to send our very best wishes to David Franklin (seen here at the 2015 Reunion with Clive Myers) who is recovering in intensive care after undergoing an 11 hour operation for throat cancer.


David, who is without doubt one of the UKs biggest wrestling fans has been an avid supporter for over 50 years and his good friend Ian Dowland has sent us the following on Davids condition:-


'David's wife visited him today in intensive care and he was sat up in a chair, although he has a lot of tubes and wires going into him, David was quite chatty today and Micky is saying that he will not be in I C U that long if he heals this quickly'.


We hope that David makes a speedy recovery and returns to good health so that he can once again attend wrestling shows around the country which he enjoys so much.

(David with his good friend Ian Dowland and wrestling legend Johnny Kidd)

Third Generation wrestler carries on the Manelli family tradition

(Syd Manelli shows off the championship belt)

You might have thought the quaint British tradition of Saturday afternoon TV bouts had been consigned to history and replaced by garish star-spangled interlopers from across the pond fighting in cages with chains and metal tea trays.


But Medway promoter Stephen Barker, 54, of Rumble Wrestling is keeping the craft alive.


Steve set up a ring at Kemsley Village Hall to find Britain's champion grunt and groaner and itt turned out to be fresh-faced Syd Manelli, 22, from Maidstone.


By day, Syd is a school caretaker but by night he dons a sparkling jacket and blue tights to take on whatever is thrown at him.


At Kemsley it was two masked monsters in the shape of the Skull, who he dismissed in the quarter-finals, and the cheating Mr USA who was sent by President Trump to "take care" of the British.


Syd is no stranger to the ring and is following in the footsteps of his dad Steve Manelli, a favourite with Kent audiences especially on the holiday camps, and his late grandad Brian Manelli who for years was the mystery man behind mask of The Phantom and introduced Sheppey to wrestling at Leysdown's Rose and Crown in 1964.


Mr Barker, who ran the popular Zarbez under-18s discos at Sittingbourne's Swallows Leisure Centre and has stepped into the ring himself as a ref, said: "Wrestling is having a big boom. It’s good family entertainment.”


The former milkman who now works for Bestways cash and carry in Rochester, still remembers being taken to watch his first wrestling bout for his 10th birthday by his dad at Chatham’s Central Hall Theatre  He said: “After that, I would go every month to see stars like Mick McManus and Les Kellett. "One day the promoters Dale Martin were short and asked for a volunteer to act as one of the wrestler’s seconds. My hand went up like a shot and they picked me. “I made friends with the wrestlers and would arrive early to help put the ring up and take it down. At the end of the 1980s I was a second at the All Star Wrestling TV shows and even ended up refereeing bouts between Giant Haystacks, Big Daddy and Kendo Nagasaki.” Recently, he has returned to wrestling and has staged shows at Sittingbourne, Lordswood and Whitstable.


New champ Syd will be back to defend his title along with Lewis Howley, who appeared on on the TV show First Dates, at the Appleyard Hall, formerly UKP Leisure, Sittingbourne, on Sunday, February 10 at 4pm. There will also be a blindfold match.


(Article courtesy of Rumble Promotions and Kent Online News)

(Promoter Stephen Barker)

Legendary announcer Gene Okerlund passes away aged 76

(Gene Okerlund with our very own Al Hayes)
The British Wrestlers Reunion are saddened to hear the news that legendary announcer 'Mean' Gene Okerlund has passed away aged 76.

Gene first came to prominence in the UK when he joined our very own 'Judo' Al Hayes, as seen here, in the 1980s as part of the transatlantic wrestling coverage on ITV and worked for the AWA, WWF/E) and WCW during an illustrious career spanning nearly 50 years and was one of the most recognised faces on televised wrestling.

Our condolences go to Genes family and friends at this sad time and may he now RIP.
(Gene Okerlund interviews Loch Ness (Giant Haystacks) in WCW in 1996)

British Wrestlers Reunion returns for its 28th year

As the bell tolls to herald in a new year we look forward to the wrestling social event of the year.

Sunday 11th August will see Europes oldest and largest Wrestlers Reunion take place for a remarkable 28th year at the home of the Reunion, The Bridges, Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent. 

The Reunion will be hosted by former 3 time World Heavyweight Champion Wayne Bridges and his wife Sarah, Wrestlers, officials and fans from around the World are cordially invited to join us for what promises to be another memorable day. As well as presenting various Awards to the lucky 2019 recipients, we will remember those great grapplers who have gone to the Dressing Room in the Sky during the last 12 months. We will also have memorabilia, merchandise, raffle and back by popular demand to royally entertain us all will be the UKs number one Elvis tribute act...Scott Elvis.

This is a free event and we at the Ring of Friendship invite everyone to join us to celebrate British wrestling. Throughout the year right here on our website we will be bringing you information on those special guests who will be joining us alongside all those greats from the ring who support us each and every year.

It may be early but when you put up your calendars or open you diaries today make a note of the date, Sunday 11th August, we have lots planned so we are sure you wont want to miss out.
(The Reunions pop up museum will return in 2019 with even more items on display)

Peter Baines laid to rest

As many of you know we lost the legendary Peter Baines on the 28th November. His funeral was held in Essex on the 21st December and his niece Jean has written to us to expressing her thanks for the support the wrestling fraternity has shown since Peters death.


Hello Ken


I just thought you'd like to know that Uncle Peter's service went off beautifully and I think he would have been very proud of his send off. He was extremely smart, as he would have wished, in his full red coated toastmaster suit. Unfortunately there were not as many people there as we would have wished, due to ill health and because of the time of year, but it was a great comfort to know that those unable to attend would be raising a glass and having a wee dram. My very best wishes to you and your members.


The full Order of Service for Peter can be found in the obituary section  (hover on Dressing Room in the Sky and obituaries will appear).


We once again send our condolences to Peters family and friends and may he now be at peace with his wife Margaret

Scrubber Daly admitted to hospital twice over the Christmas period with heart scare

The British Wrestlers Reunion would like to send our very best wishes to Mac Hardiman aka Scrubber Daly who has been re-admitted to hospital for the second time over the Christmas period.

Mac, who recently returned to the ring, was admitted on Christmas Eve with a heart scare and again on Boxing Day. as yet no further information is known but we hope he makes a speedy recovery and is soon back to full health.

Updates will follow.

*** UPDATE *** received from Mac:- ·


Would like to thank everyone for there messages I am home now I have Two broken ribs and they have rubbed my lung making my breathing difficulties

(Mac Hardiman aka Scrubber Daly received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Reunion)

Basil 'Romany' Riley seriously ill in hospital

(Basil Riley seen here flanked by Pete Roberts and Chris Riley at a recent Reunion)
We have received word here at the Reunion that one of the most recognisable names in wrestling, a man who appeared up and down the UK for over two decades, has been admitted to hospital and is currently in intensive care.

Basil 'Romany' Riley has undergone yet another operation for blocked stomach and bowel linings during which he briefly died but the excellent surgeons and Basils fighting spirit brought him back and whilst he remains in good spirits he is still very ill.

Sadly, due to Basils hospital stay he was unable to attend the Reunions annual Christmas dinner held on the 12th December but both Johnny KIncaid and Frank Rimer have spoken to him and Basil hopes he may get home for Christmas.  Basil sends his love and best wishes to friends and fans for a wonderful Christmas. 

We here at the Reunion send Basil our very best wishes and we hope that he makes a speedy recovery and is soon back to good health.
(Basil Riley at the height of his successful career)

Wrestling Legend Rene Lasartesse passes away

The British Wrestlers Reunion are saddened to hear the news that one of the great legends of wrestling Rene Lasartesse passed away surrounded by his family on Wednesday12th December 2018.

Rene, seen above receiving an award from Tony St Clair at the 2014 Reunion, was one of the great European wrestlers having a career spanning over 35 years.

Rene will be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky on the Reunion website and may he now RIP.

We send our condolences to Renes family and friends at this sad time.

Reunion holds its annual Wrestlers/Officials Christmas dinner

Following on from the hugely successful British Wrestlers Reunion held in August, the Reunion held its annual Wrestlers/Officials only Christmas Dinner on Wednesday 12th December.

The dinner was hosted by Wayne and Sarah Bridges at the home of the Reunion, The Bridges, and as you can see from the above photo many great legends of the ring were in attendance and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

More photos from the dinner can be seen in the Photo Galleries section under Ad Hoc photos right here on the website.

The above photo shows Sarah Bridges, Wayne Bridges, Ian Muir, Mel Stuart, Bobby Barnes, Steve Grey, Johnny Kidd,Lee Bronson, Frank Rimer Johnny Kincaid, Mal Sanders, Keith Haward and Bobby Stafford.

Exotic Adrian Street action figure now available

Over the years one of the most popular wrestling related items for sale have been action figures of many of your favourite wrestlers.  Now, one of the Worlds most flamboyant wrestlers, the Exotic Adrian Street, has finally got his own figure and these are now available.

Having been on the market for only a few weeks these action figure have been selling like hot cakes and with Christmas just a week or so away what a great present for your wrestling mad loved one or indeed as a gift for yourself.  We know that many people collect these action figures and no collection would be complete without your own Exotic Adrian Street.

The Adrian Street action figure can be purchased via ebay for £20.00 plus £4.45 postage and packing or by contacting Adrian Street direct via his facebook page.  If you would like your action figure signed then please let Adrian know and he will be happy to oblige.

There are a limited number of the Adrian Street action figures available so get yours before they are all gone.
(Promote your own bouts with your own Adrian Street action figure.  Adrian is seen here against Randy 'Macho Man' Savage)

Wrestling Photographer Tony Knox donates kidney to sister

The name Tony Knox may not be one that is widely known around the wrestling fraternity although his work certainly is as he is one of the leading wrestling photographers in the UK today.

Tony over the last few years has travelled the UK photographing wrestling shows for various promoters who use his work as promotional material for their promotion.  Tony has also had many of his photographs used by wrestling publications around the World and is one of the first names called on when a promoter wishes he show to be professionally photographed.

Tony has, for a short period, now stepped away from his photography duty but for a very good cause as he has gone beyond the cause by donating one of his kidneys to his sister Amanda who needed a transplant as a matter of urgency.  The surgery has gone well and both are expected to make a full recovery.

We at the British Wrestlers Reunion send our best wishes to Tony and Amanda and wish them both a speedy recovery.

Wrestling Promoter and Commentator Peter William passes away

We are saddened to hear that  European catch wrestling has lost one of its most outstanding personalities.


The "Wrestling Pope" Peter William passed away  on Tuesday 11th December 2018 in his home country lienz (Austria).


Peter William was responsible for the success of catch wrestling in the German-speaking area as a kamp ladder, and was also a hugely successful Promoter, director and television announcer for decades.


Peter was a legend in every sense of the word, he was a true gentleman and will be missed by everyone who knew and respected him for his decades in the wrestling industry.


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

Tommy Billington aka Dynamite Kid passes away aged 60

The British Wrestlers Reunion are deeply saddened to hear of the death on Wednesday 5th December of Tommy Billington aka The Dynamite Kid.

Tommy, who would have been celebrating his 60th birthday on the day of his passing, was one of the greatest wrestlers of his or any other generation and had success around the World winning multiple championships in the UK, Japan, Canada and the USA in both singles and tag team competition.

Although Tommy had suffered from ill health for many years his death has shocked the wrestling world but he has left a legacy that will never be forgotten.  Tributes have poured in from around the World with kind words and memories of this great wrestler.

Tommy will be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and his obituary has also been added to the relevant section.  We hear at the Reunion send our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time, may he now RIP.

The Reunion remembers Giant Haystacks on the 20th anniversary of his death

Giant Haystacks was born Martin Ruane in London to Irish parents.  Once leaving school, the larger than life lad took some early jobs as a builder and inevitably a bouncer before finding his true calling of Professional Wrestling in 1967.  


Ruane initially started wrestling for independent promoters using the ring name of Luke McMasters (who many thought was his real name) later changing this to Haystacks Calhoun (after the American wrestler of the same name) finally settling on the name of Giant Haystacks.


In 1975 Haystacks joined the well established Joint Promotions where he was immediately put into a tag team with Big Daddy. The team had a two year run but eventually it was decided that they would be disbanded and Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy started what was to become one of the biggest feuds in British wrestling history lasting from 1977 until Big Daddys retirement in 1993. During its time on ITV, wrestling attracted an average of around  10 million viewers weekly and Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks matches (usually in tag team action) always got huge viewing figures making Giant Haystacks a household name across the globe.  His sheer girth at 6'11 tall and weighing in at a mammoth 49 stones at his heaviest made him one of the most popular fixtures on television.  


Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s Haystacks was a frequent visitor abroad and had successful tours of America, Canada and was a regular competitor at the German and Austrian tournaments where, in 1982 he was declared the overall winner of the Graz tournament. 


Such was his impact at the time, fans of 'stacks' as he was affectionately known in the Business, included Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney and singing star Frank Sinatra who said after meeting Haystacks said that "British Wrestlers are the best entertainers in the world".  Giant Haystacks was also offered various television roles from adverts (Skips Crisps), appearing on the childrens television show Tiswas and a television play entitled Send in the Girls (written by former wrestler Leon Arras/Brian Glover.)


In 1995 Haystacks was approached by WCW in the USA where he appeared as "Loch Ness" and where he was scheduled to do battle with the American legend Hulk Hogan, unfortunately the match never took place as shortly after his debut for WCW the Giant was diagnosed with Cancer and had to retire from the ring. 


He bravely fought the disease for over two years, at one point sure that he had beaten the scurge, having trimmed his weight to just 26 stone,  before sadly dying aged just 52 on Sunday 29th November 1998. 


Giant Haystacks will always be fondly remembered by the fans and his fellow workers as a quiet man with a dry sense of humour, a true legend who will never be forgotten.


On the 20th anniversary of his untimely passing the British Wrestlers Reunion remember this giant of the wrestling ring in more ways than one.

Peter Baines, legendary Master of Ceremonies, passes away

We are deeply saddened to have to announce the death of legendary wrestling Master of Ceremonies Peter Baines who has paased away at his home in Scotland.

Peter was the true gentleman of professional wrestling and was respected by all who knew him.  Each and every year Peter would travel from his home in Scotland to be with us in Kent and this year we were privileged to present him with our highly acclaimed Ring of Friendship Award something of which he stated he was truly honoured to receive.  Peter was also named President of the Scottish Wrestlers Reunion and whilst his tenure was to be a short one it was something again he was very honoured to hold. 

Peter has been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and his funeral deatils will be posted as soon as these have ben arranged this will be held in Essex so it will take some time to organise.

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

Below are a number of tributes already received on the anouncement of Peters death:-


Frank Rimer A truly wonderful gentle man and an awesome MC in his day. Peter was 90 last year but still flew all the way from his home in Scotland , bringing his usual magnum of champagne as a raffle gift to officiate at the Kent Reunion. My utmost respect and sincerest condolences to his Family on this terribly sad day so near to Christmas.

Tony StClair Very sad ! A true Gentleman!

Bob Barratt A real gentleman. Will be sorely missed.

Tony Costas My condolence to his family
RIP

Mac Hardiman Another top class professional and a true gentleman God bless you Peter RIP my friend.

Lee Canderton Very sad news. Rest in peace Peter.
It was an honour to present this lovely man with a special 'Ring of Friendship' award at this year's Kent reunion.

Tony Banger Walsh Rest in peace ,banger

Keith Myatt Very sad Peter was a lovely man.

Bob Bartholomew Very very sad, a gentleman

Sue Riley RIP Peter. Loved our catch ups at reunions. True gent. Nipper

Paul Harrisson-Sandra Harrisson Sad sad news R. I. P. MY FRIEND

Andrew Bryden I'm so sorry to hear of Peter's passing, he was a real gent and a lovely man. He will be sadly missed. Andra x

Clive Williams Rest in Peace Peter.

Barry Howard This has saddened me . I always had time for Peter and loomed forward to seeing him at the reunions

Jayne Porter Awwww how sad. Lovely gent always and a great MC/Referee spent many shows in his company up in Scotland. 😔

Gordon Pryor RIP Peter you were a true gentleman and liked by everyone

Roy Chamberlain Rip Peter

Nigel Hanmore Blesses his heart Peter was such a gent and a great MC RIP

Gordon Pryor RIP Peter. you were a true gentleman liked by everone

John Searle R.I.P Sir

Mark Atkin RIP Peter!

John Davidson A legend Peter Baines true gentleman will be missed by all...my thoughts are with his family and friends R I P ..Peter♥️♥️😢😢😢😢

Sanjay Bagga What a lovely man he was. Very sad news

Bob Smith So sad to hear, my thoughts and prayers and condolences to Peter and also to his family R.I.P. Peter.

John Hutchinson Very sad news. I remember chatting with him at some length in The Bridges Inn at the first Kent reunion I went to. A lovely, friendly man....RIP Peter :(

Carol Betchley Sad day, RIP Peter

John Hummerston Lovely man RIP sir

Geoff Hyland RIP Peter

Paul Dougie Douglas RIP Friend of wrestling.

Tony Scarlo A gentleman well liked by all. RIP Peter

Peter Nulty Sad news. Rest In Peace Peter.

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