British Wrestlers Reunion
Strengthening the Ring of Friendship

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Martin Gillott appointed President of Wrestlers Reunion Scotland

The British Wrestlers Reunion would like to send our warmest congratulations to Martin 'Glitterboy' Gillott who has been appointed Honorary President of the Wrestlers Reunion Scotland.

Martin has been an integral part of our Reunion for many years and this year was appointed a committee member of the Blackpool Wrestlers Reunion.

The Scottish Reunion has stated that Martin's close association with three of the now main Events on the Re-Union Movement Calender. must surely be a factor which should bring us all much closer together, hopefully ensuring we have a successful, UK wide movement for many, many years to come.

We wish Martin all the very best in his new roles and look forward to seeing him at the various Reunions in 2020.

Scottish Reunion hailed a success as they also receive an award from the BWR

(Ken Sowden presents a Ring of Friendshipo Award to Dale Storm of the Scottish Wrestlers Reunion on behalf of Joe D'Orazio)
The British Wrestlers Reunion would like to congratulate the Scottish Wrestlers Reunion on a successful Reunion which was held in Ayr on Sunday 15th September.

Despite a last minute change of venue 80+ people attended including a special appearance by the legendary Colin Joynson who, like everyone else, received a warm welcome from the committee.

The British Wrestlers Reunion were delighted to present a Ring of Friendship Award to the Scottish Wrestlers Reunion on behalf of our President Joe D'Orazio who was honoured to receive an award from Scotland three years ago. The award was presented by Ken Sowden who himself received an award from the Scottish Reunion.

The committee of the Scottish Wrestlers Reunion have thanked everyone who attended and hope that all will return again next year for their next event.


(Ken Sowden received an award from Dale Storm at the Scottish Reunion)

The Mick McManus World of Wrestling video

On Tuesday 6th September 1988, 31 years ago a big bill of wrestling was recorded at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon which would become a top seller in the shops.

Lee Bamber was one of the two commentators for this landmark taping, the first commercially available UK wrestling video, alongside the legendary Mick McManus but all was not as it seemed and although the show was recorded over three decades ago tonight, Lee never actually saw it happen because he wasn't there!


Mick and Lee were due to record the commentary live at ringside that evening but in the days before the show Lee developed a bad throat infection and  couldn't speak, he couldn't eat, he could hardly swallow and was in a bad way but 'the show must go on', so feeling like a drained zombie Lee drove to Croydon in the late afternoon to show his face and do a few lead up/promo shots with Mick.


If you have the video you'll notice that Lee doesnt actually speak in vision at all during these because basically he couldn't !


Once the bits of filming in the box were done Lee immediately and gingerly drove straight back home to Sudbury Hill, Harrow and collapsed into bed.


So, although it was  intended to do the commentary live on the night, it was actually done about a month later in a studio near Shepherds Bush/Goldhawk Road looking at the footage on TV monitors.

Still done 'as live' and hopefully no one could tell, but whilst this show was rocking a packed Fairfield Hall 31 years ago  Lee was tucked up in bed feeling weak and drained.

The video which is still available at times on ebay showed us all what we were about to miss as of course wrestling on ITV ended in the December of that year.
(The Croydon bill 31 years ago)
(The publicity shot.....Lee Bamber and Mick McManus)

Adrian Street and Miss Linda to appear on the WWE Network

For those of you who have access to the WWE Network make you you check out ExoticThe Story of Adrian Street and Miss Linda" which will be broadcast for the first time on Saturday 31st August and available on replay thereafter.

The special will include footage of Adrian Street visiting WWE's Performance Center in London a few weeks ago. 

This is a great documentary and an insight into Adrian and Miss Linda and is well worth a watch.

The Joann Randles documentary, You May Be Pretty But I Am Beautiful which premiered a few months ago is still doing the festival circuit and should hit one of the TV networks shortly thereafter.

Norman Lowndes passes away aged 83

The British Wrestlers Reunion are saddened to learn that Norman Lowndes the Australian grappler who wrestled in the UK as both Maurice La Rue and Wild Red Berry has passed away aged 83 at his home in Florida.

Norman initially toured the UK in the 1970s returning for a year long stint in 1981 for Joint Promotions.

Our condolences go to Normans family and friends at this sad time, he will now be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky and may he now Rest in Peace.
(Wild Red Berry graces the cover of a Joint Promotions programme)

All roads lead North of the Border for the Scottish Reunion

Following on from the great success of this years British Wrestlers Reunion we now move North of the Border as our friends in Scotland will be holding their Reunion on Sunday 15th September.

Like our own Reunion this is an event that wrestlers, officials and fans can attend and where you will receive the warmest of welcomes from their committee.

Last year the Scottish Reunion drew an attendance of over 100 people, a great achievement for a Reunion which, at that time, was only in its second year and early indications are that they may well exceed this number this year.

The event is being held at St Margarets Hall, 27 John Street, Ayr, KA8 0BS and will commence at midday. There will be a mixture of awards, raffle, free buffet and entertainment throughout the day.

We here at the Reunion will be travelling to Scotland to attend this event and we look forward to seeing many of our friends and colleagues there.

We wish the organisers of the Scottish Reunion all the very best and hope that their day is another success for them. Further details can be found on the Scottish Wrestlers Reunion facebook page at the following link https://www.facebook.com/groups/1744940068880144/

Diamond Shondell receives Irish Wrestling Recognition Award

On the 15th August 2019 in Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, Dennis Millar aka Diamond Shondell joined Wendy Finlay, Dave Finlay Snr & Billy Joe Beck as being recognised for his contribution to Irish wrestling by local promotion The Wrestling Ireland.

Dennis wrestled throughout the 1970s, 80s & into the 90s across Ireland, and indeed even competed on TV against Alan Kilby in a match where Diamond's antics had even commentator Kent Walton cracking up with laughter.

The Wrestling Ireland proudly welcomes Diamond Shondell to it's honourees In Recognition of Contribution to Irish Wrestling.

The Reunion send our congratulations to Dennis on this accolade and below is the bout he had with Alan Kilby for your enjoyment.
(Diamond Shondell in action against Alan Kilby)

Gerry Hoggarth passes away

The British Wrestlers Reunion are saddened to receive news that Gerry Hoggarth passed away peacefully on Wednesday 14th August 2019.


For seven years Gerry wrestled around Britain and Europe, winning the European heavyweight title along the way. Initially brought into professional wrestling by Atoll Oakeley who was at the time still trying to revive his pre-war promotional business, it was Oakeley that provided the opportunity for Gerry to challenge for, and win, the British championship.


Gerry was soon taken on to the books of Joint Promotions following their formation in 1952. Everything was going well for Gerry, wrestling around Britain and abroad, opposing, and often defeating, the best of British heavyweights, including Jim Foy, Ernest Baldwin, Dave Armstrong, Alan Garfield, Jack Pye and Bert Assirati.


Gerry will be added to the Dressing Room in the Sky on the Reunion website and we of course send our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.

The Reunion welcome Eddie Kidd OBE to the 2019 event

(Eddie Kidd with the UKs top Elvis tribute act Scott Elvis and Frank Rimer)
The British Wrestlers Reunion were delighted to welcome the great Legendary stunt rider EDDIE KIDD O.B.E. to the Reunion on Sunday 11th August. 

Eddie is a tremendously brave man who once reigned supreme as Britain's top stunt rider. even jumping the great wall of China plus appearing in two James Bond movies etc.,  Eddie still raises thousands for charity despite being wheelchair bound partially paralysed and brain damaged since the terrible accident in the 90's.  One of his greatest achievements was when he walked the London Marathon in an amazing 51 days to raise £75000 for charity. 

The entire wrestling fraternity were delighted and honoured to meet Eddie and his dear Mother plus his incredible carer and to also present him with a Reunion Ring of Friendship Award.

We have been advertise that Eddie has a thoroughly enjoyable day at the Reunion and loved being part of our day and meeting many of the wrestlers and fans that were in attendance.
(Eddie Kidd with Ken Sowden and his great friend Barry Howard)

A thank you from the Reunion team.

With the 2019 Reunion being hailed a great success by everyone in attendance this year the following statement has been made by the man who, puts it all together, alongside a great team of helpers, Ken Sowden:-

A day on and I have returned from this years British Wrestlers Reunion, an event which has again excelled with everyone in attendance having a fantastic day reliving the glory days of British wrestling.


The plaudits this year both yesterday and today have been tremendous and with the largest crowd we have seen at The Bridges in a few years it proves once again that the Reunion has a good future ahead of it.


It was great to see so many of our friends there again this year as well as many of the great legends of wrestling, some for the first time and some returning after a few years absence. My personal congratulations to everyone who was presented with an award, each and every one was very well deserved so well done to you all.


Of course I am not alone when it comes to organising this great Reunion and I would like to say a big thank you to Wayne and Sarah Bridges for their hospitality, as always the most gracious of hosts. I would also like to thank the following who worked so hard on the day to ensure it was a success, Martin Gillott, Barry Howard, Stephen Cresswell, Colin Joynson, Johnny Kincaid, Scott Elvis, Ray Clark, Bob Stafford Donna Walker, David Walker, Belinda Jayne and a special thank you to Lee Canderton who proved why he is the top MC in the business today, he compared the Reunion with the greatest of professionalism and I have received nothing but positive reviews on his performance.


I was also delighted to finally turn the tables on my friend and mentor Frank Rimer by inducting him into the Hall of Fame,


I will shortly be adding over 200 photos of the day to the website at www.britishwrestlersreunion.com so feel free to check them out to see how we all had a great time.


Finally and most importantly a huge thank you to all the wrestlers, officials and fans who made the journey to be with us, the Reunion is nothing without all of you and I thank you for your continued support, we must be doing something right and we look forward to seeing you all again for the 29th year for the 2020 Reunion.

Thank you from the Reunion

The British Wrestlers Reunion would like to say a huge thank you to all those wrestlers, officials and fans that attended todays Reunion in Kent.

It has been a few years since we have seen The Bridges as full as it was today, standing room only and we are delighted to receive such positive feedback from many of those in attendance who travelled from far and wide (infact one from New Zealand and one from Australia).

It was also heartwarming to receive such lovely words of praise from a number of pro wrestlers who were attending for the very first time with every one of them saying that it was a Reunion like no other and they will definitely be back again next year.

Over the coming days we will be posting a selection of photographs from today for you all to enjoy.

We couldnt do the Reunion without all of the support we get so we are extremely grateful for this and as an added bonus we get to do it all again next year.

Eddie Kidd OBE to attend 2019 Reunion

The British Wrestlers Reunion have always had an open house policy when it comes to our event, everyone is welcome to attend and receive the warmest of welcomes.

We have always encouraged all wrestlers, officials, fans and celebrities to our event and therefore we are delighted to announce that this year we will be joined by Eddie Kidd OBE as one of our special guests.

Eddie was due to visit us a couple of years ago but was unable to due to ill health. However, Eddies carers have advised that he will definitely be there on Sunday and all arrangements have now been made..

Eddie, seen here with his best friend Tony Banger Walsh, is said to be looking forward to the Reunion and meeting many people on the day and we in turn look forward to welcoming him and hope he enjoys his day with us.

Scott Elvis to rock The Bridges at this years Reunion

As the clock ticks down to this years British Wrestlers Reunion in just a few days time we would like to remind you that this year we will all be royally entertained by Scott Elvis who is returning to the Reunion by popular demand after a successful appearance for us in 2016.

Scott is the UKs leading Elvis Presley tribute act and his services are in very high demand so we are thrilled that he has agreed to perform for us this year.

The Reunion kicks off this Sunday at 11.00am and Scott will be performing at midday so come and join him and the rest of us as he rocks The Bridges,to open the 2019 Reunion.

We look forward to seeing many of you there for what will be another memorable day.

Jim Rawlings passes away

The British Wrestlers Reunion are saddened to hear that Jim Rawlings has passed away following a short illness.

Jim was the third member of the Rawlings clan who, like his brother Bill, was a powerful skilled wrestler who never quite matched the ring presence of the old man. Hardly surprising with Alf being  such a rugged force in the ring.

None of this should take anything away from Jim, who was a valuable part of the 1950s and 1960s wrestling fraternity. Although never a main event performer he was often seen wrestling on television during the first half of the 1960s. Trained by his dad he could certainly handle himself in the ring.

Also like brother Bill his father’s influence was given a finishing touch when he went on to train at Ernie Baldwin's Tingley gym, following amateur grounding at the Hill Top Amateur Club in Bradford. 

Not long after making his professional debut he and the family moved to Hamilton in Canada for around six months, returning to the UK in the spring of 1957. Whilst in Canada Jim worked in a factory making nails as well as continuing to wrestle part time.

The Rawlings brothers and their father were often seen working in pairs as a tag team or the three together taking on another team..

Jim Rawlings died on 25th July, 2019 and has now been added to the Dressing Room in the Sky.  The Reunion send our condolences to Jims family and friends at this sad time.

(We would like to thank Wrestling Heritage for supplying us with the above information).

Roy Smith suffers stroke

(Ken Sowden and Roy Smith)
The British Wrestlers Reunion would like to send our very best wishes to Roy Smith who sadly suffered a stroke on Tuesday 23rd July but is now recuperating at home.

Roy has been not only a great supporter of the Reunion but for many years has supplied and sold the merchandise on the day which has, over the years, gone a long way to raising funds to enable us to hold the Reunion.

We have spoken to Roy who has now sent us this message:-

'Hi Everyone, as they say always look on the brightside , I'm breathing. I will be at this years reunion as i have 100 special Reunion mugs for sale . so to be in with a chance of owning one of these mugs ,start queuing NOW at The Bridges Pub they have a garden at the back so you can pitch a tent and get a good pint at the same time . See you soon ,Thanks for all the well wishes...Roy'

We wish Roy all the best and hope he makes a quick recovery and look forward to seeing him on Sunday 11th August at this years Reunion.

Billy Joe Beck receives Irish Award

(Billy Joe Beck with his esteemed award)
On the 19th July 2019 Billy Joe Beck became the 3rd recipient of The Wrestling Ireland's "In Recognition of Contribution to Irish Wrestling" award - joining Wendy & Dave Finlay Snr.

The award was presented by Wrestling Ireland host Nick Campbell and in addition the sum of £155 was also raised via a raffle at a live event as part of the Portaferry Gala Festival for Mr. Beck's charity organisation, the RAMS Therapy Centre (Race Against Multiple Sclerosis) which he has operated since 1987.

Billy Joe is still in possession of the Middleweight Title of Ireland, and at the presentation was a total gentleman, full of great stories and has kept many priceless momentos of his wrestling career.

With further names set to be honoured, The Wrestling Ireland would like to invite any old Irish pros or indeed anyone with any info on past Irish wrestlers to please feel encouraged to get in touch as they would love to try & organise something special like a reunion event on Irish soil.

The Reunion send our congratulations to Billy Joe on receiving the above accolade which is well deserved for his many years dedication to the wrestling industry.
(Billy Joe Beck and Nick Campbell)

Adrian and Linda Street pay visit to the WWE UK Performance Centre

(Adrian and Linda meet friends old and new at the WWE UK Performance Centre)
After more than six decades involved in the wrestling industry and known the World over Adrian Street and Miss Linda have more than earned the right to be called legends of the wrestling business.

As we have previously reported Adrian and Linda moved back to Wales last year and are now firmly settled back in their homeland.  Adrian of course had his final bout (well for now anyway) a few years ago but despite not actively stepping into the ring and opposing all comers he and Linda are still very much involved in the wrestling business around the World.

Last week Adrian and Linda were invited to attend the WWE UK Performance Centre based in Enfield to see the latest generation of wrestler undergoing rigourous training session.  Opened in January this year the center is 17,000 square feet and includes 2 rings and is being used to train potential future professional wrestlers from across the globe.

Ever eager to get involved Adrian, whilst visiting, took the opportunity to teach some of trainees some of the wrestling holds that he himself mastered over his successful career.  Speaking after his visit Adrian made the following statement:-

'I have been in and around pro wrestling for almost six and a half decades - I thought I had seen it all and then some. BUT - I was not prepared for the WWE training camp - their attention to detail, their choice of trainers, Steven Regal, Dave Taylor, Johnny Saint, and more is mind boggling. Their patience and dedication is remarkable. Then the trainees - Dedicated - hard working and determined to succeed - they will live their dream!!! - I am so excited to witness their rise to become the super wrestling stars of the new golden age of the WWE UK Pro Wrestling'

It is apparent that Adrian and Linda more than enjoyed their visit to Enfield and as well as seeing the new facilities it gave them the opportunity to meet up with old friends such as Johnny Saint, Steven/William Regal and Dave Taylor. 

We are sure that it will not be long before Adrian and Linda make a return visit and we wish all the trainees and the WWE the very best of luck with this venture.

(Adrian showing a young trainee that he still has what it takes in the ring)

Fighting Spirit Magazine to cease publication

The British Wrestlers Reunion are saddened to learn that the professional wrestling and mixed martial arts magazine Fighting Spirit Magazine (FSM) is set to cease publication after 13 years.

The publication launched its first issue on the 13th 2006 and is currently the UK's largest professional wrestling magazine where it is available in both print and digital formats.

Over the years the magazine has kept up todate with the wrestling industry around the World and for a period of time had a monthly feature in which they looked back on many of the greats from the golden years of British Professional Wrestling.

Sadly with the internet and in particular social media becoming more and more popular it is very hard for any printed magazine to compete and keep a readership that makes it viable to continue to go to print each and every month.

With Powerslam Magazine ending their printed run a few years ago and now FSM it looks like the professional wrestling magazine has finally had its day here in the UK, a sad time but a sign of the times.

Did you wrestle at the Colston Hall or were you a regular fan ????.......if so we want to hear from you

The Colston Hall, Bristol was an iconic wrestling venue for decades and is currently undergoing a multi million pound refurbishment.

Three months ago the Reunion were contacted by the Hall asking for our help in assisting them with a exhibition remembering wrestling at the hall when it re-opens.

We have already arranged for a number of wrestlers to talk to them but they have now asked if they can attend this years Reunion on the 11th August which we have of course agreed to.

The object of the above visit is to enable the Colston Halls representatives to talk not only to wrestlers/officials who appeared at the Hall but also fans who were regular attendees there. These interviews will be conducted in a designated area at the Bridges so as not to interfere with the Reunion day itself.

If anyone would like to be part of this then please make it known on the day.

In addition, there will also be a number of free tickets available for the grand re-opening of the Hall where you will be guests of the Hall and the Reunion.

Come and join us on the 11th August and lets make them all welcome and in doing so remember one of the great wrestling venues in the South.

Adrian & Linda Street meet Wayne and Sarah Bridges

(Adrian and Linda Street meet up with Wayne and Sarah Bridges)
There are those names in the professional wrestling industry that are known by wrestlers and fans the World over and at the Welsh Bodybuilding Show in Newport on Saturday 29th June two such legendary grapplers met up after not seeing each other for many years.

Wrestling Royalty, The Exotic One Adrian Street and Miss Linda met up with their great friends Wayne and Sarah Bridges to remember the great times passed when both Adrian and Wayne were topping the bill up and down the UK. 

Adrian as always was accompanied by Miss Linda who has been at his side in and out of the ring for decades and Wayne was joined by his wife Sarah who herself is one of the highest ranking officials in the bodybuilding industry today as well as running her own shows.

A great time was had by all and we are pleased to see that they are all looking so fit and well.  We are hoping that now Adrian and Linda are back in the UK we will be seeing more of them socially in the coming weeks and months.

The late Drew McDonald receives Scottish Award

(Left to right:  Bradley Craig, Monika Markwart, Debbie McDonald and Provost Dennis Melloy.

One of the most famous wrestlers to come out of Scotland,Drew McDonald,has been formally inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland at a ceremony in the Fair City.


Drew, who died after a battle with cancer in 2015, was represented at Monday’s induction by daughter Debbie and life partner Monika Markwart.


Drew becomes the fifth member of the Scottish Hall of Fame, joining George Kidd, Andy Robin, Frank ‘Chic’ Cullen and Bill Ross.


Wrestling historian Bradley Craig said: “His many contributions to the professional wrestling industry have left an enduring legacy.”


After serving with the Scots Guards, Drew helped a friend organise a professional wrestling show to raise money for a local school.  In the weeks leading up the event, one of the scheduled performers suffered an injury and a replacement needed to be front. He was given a two-week crash course before making his debut in a bout with the feared Wild Angus. After wowing the crowds, Charles Shaw decided to adopt a new persona and Drew McDonald was born


Over the next four years, he continued to wrestle on the local circuit, before signing up to Joint Promotions, the organisation that would thrust him into the spotlight. His first televised battle, against Irish grappler Jack ‘Flash’ Shirlow was broadcast on ITV’s World of Sport on April 28, 1984. A few weeks later he teamed up with legendary Big Daddy to defeat Giant Haystacks and Dave ‘Fit’ Finlay.


Drew went on to wrestle on the international stage with bouts in Germany, India and South Africa.


A master of reinvention, he performed as The Ultimate Chippendale and – his most famous persona – the Highander from Hell.

Mr Craig said: “Despite a decline in popularity of British wrestling in the 1990s, Drew was one of the key figures who created the foundations for an eventual domestic resurgence of the industry. “Alongside Jeff Kaye, he established a gym to scout talent and train the next generation of wrestling stars.”


Drew became the Scottish Heavyweight Champion, secured two versions of the British Heavyweight Championship between 2001 and 2006 and teamed up with Ulf Herman to win the FWA Tag Team Championship in 2002.


After winning two major European tournaments, McDonald quietly retired from active competition in 2012.


This is a great honour for Drew to receive and we at the Reunion feel that it is truly deserved.

WWE to move tv shows to BT Sport after a 30 year association with Sky TV ends.

BT Sport have secured the WWE TV rights with an incredible multi-year deal and will start broadcasting shows in January 2020.


Sky TV have held the UK broadcasting rights for the world's largest wrestling company for over  30 years and this will come as a huge blow to them after losing other major sporting events to their rivals in recent years. 

BT Sport will now exclusively broadcast Raw and SmackDown live every week as well as WWE's monthly pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania which will be available for fans to purchase on box office.


Senior Vice President of WWE, Stefan Kastenmuller, said: "We are pleased to begin an exciting new chapter for WWE in the region as we join BT Sport's innovative offering and impressive portfoloio of premium sports content."


Andy Haworth, Managing Director Content and Strategy at BT Sport, added: "We are incredibly excited by our new partnership with WWE.


It is the most successful sports entertainment brand in the world, with a rich, fun and colourful history, loved by fans across the UK and Ireland.

"This is a brilliant addition for our customers and we can't wait to get going in January."


Time will now tell if fans will stick with the WWE and move with them to BT Sport which could, in some cases, mean an additional subscription per month for the BT Sport Channels or whether they will now change their allegiance to the newly formed AEW which is taking the World by storm and which will be broadcast on ITV4 from later this year.  Whatever the outcome it could be exciting times ahead for televised wrestling in the UK.

Scott Elvis entertains the Chelsea Pensioners

(Scott Elvis with BGT winner Colin Thackery)

As previously announced, at this years British Wrestlers Reunion being held on Sunday 11th August the entertainment will be by the UKs leading Elvis tribute act, Scott Elvis.


Scott is returning to the Reunion after wowing us all at our 25th anniversary event 3 years ago and will be performing many of Elvis' greatest hits for us all to enjoy.


On Thursday 6th June Scott attended at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea where he, along with others, entertained the Chelsea Pensioners as they remembered D Day.


A special treat for Scott was meeting up with Chelsea Pensioner and Britains Got Talent winner Colin Thackery.


A great occasion for Scott, the Chelsea Pensioners and all in attendance to mark such a poignant day in our countries history.


We look forward to welcoming Scott back to the Reunion and you never know he might bring his new friend with him.

Finlays receive top award from The Wrestling Ireland

(Dave Finlay Snr and Wendy Finlay receive their Awards from The Wrestling Ireland)
On Saturday 18th May 2019 in Banbridge, Co. Down, Irish wrestling's most famous family, The Finlay family, were honoured by The Wrestling Ireland in recognition of their contribution to Irish wrestling.

Former wrestler/promoter & patriarch of the family, Dave Finlay Senior & his daughter Wendy Finlay, one of the original female referees in wrestling in Ireland, were presented with commemorative plaques recognising their lasting legacy in Irish wrestling.

Thanks go to Irish wrestling's only active female referee Hayley Stewart, who presented Wendy with her commemorative plaque and flowers during the live event, as well as wrestler Young Lion who helped arrange the ceremony.  Also pictured below with Dave & Wendy are The Wrestling Ireland's assistant manager Nick Campbell, as well as Irish Wrestling Champion Cambo Cray.

Dave & Wendy are just lovely people, a great experience for all who got to speak to them & spend some time with them, and  the first two in what The Wrestling Ireland hope to make a regular recognising of those who have become icons of the Irish wrestling scene.

The British Wrestlers Reunion send our congratulations to Dave Snr and Wendy on their awards which are well and truly deserved for the many years of dedicated service they have shown to the wrestling industry.
(

The Reunion remember Mick McManus on the anniversary of his death

The British Wrestlers Reunion together with wrestlers and fans around the World remember the biggest legend of them all in Mick McManus who sadly passed away on the 22nd May 2013.

Mick is still fondly remembered by everyone and is still missed to this very day by us all, the man they loved to hate but in reality he was loved by millions.

A huge star, a great wrestler and a fantastic ambassador for the wrestling business,

Mick has left a legacy that will never be forgotten. Mick had and did it all.

Our thoughts are with Micks family today as they remember him.

Micks Hall of Fame entry and full length obituary can be read in the relevant sections right here on our website.

Brian Dixon returns to work following ill health

The British Wrestlers Reunion are very pleased to receive word that All Star Promotions MD Brian Dixon has returned to the office today after a 7 week break following a very serious operation.


He is now fighting fit and completing arrangements for shows for the rest of the year and in full swing for his 50 years of promoting next year which will see a grand Golden Jubilee Tour throughout the UK

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.

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.

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)

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.

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.

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