Albert "Rocky" Wall was the very essence of a British Heavyweight champion, travelling the country far and wide over an on-off championship reign spanning the late sixties and early seventies. Skill, ruggedness, tenacity and courage were his hallmarks. The latter two characteristics actually getting him into the professional ring in the first place as a diagnosis of rheumatic fever would have put paid to most others ambitions.
He had been an active pro since about 1957, and went down dutifully to the big stars of the day all over the UK. Alan Garfield was a notable victor, but by 1966 and his first title victory, Albert Wall had almost become invincible and was reversing earlier losses against Garfield and others, frequently via the knock-out route. He was even a rare victor over Kendo Nagasaki in the masked man's pre-television days.
He first won the British Heavyweight title in Glasgow on 2nd July 1966, defeating Billy Joyce, only holding the belt for a month. After defeating Steve Viedor in an open tournament in April 1970 he held on to the Championship for a 9-month period, before once again relinquishing honours to Gwyn Davies. But soon after Alberts main and uninterrupted stint as heavyweight champion began and formed the defining period of activity which we remember admiringly.
He was often described as "The Doncaster Panther", and anyone who witnessed his magnificent flying head-butt, a speciality par excellence amongst any other speciality move that can be named, anywhere, will find the description apt.
On wrestling's night of nights it was Rocky who faced The Outlaw at the peak of that masked man?s fame. Wall suffered a very rare loss, retiring through an injured knee. Later on, Rocky seemed regularly to face a limited but imposing group of contemporaries: Bruno, Viedor, Campbell, Szakacs, Mitchell.
No subsequent Royal Albert Hall spring spectacular was complete without Albert Wall headlining alongside the other household names of the day.
He seemed to slide away from regular appearances in Joint Promotions rings over a slow three year period until 1975 when he had become disaffiliated from their rings and wrestled for a while on the independent circuit, battling Nagasaki and other old foes.
Countries wrestled in include Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Beirut, France, Germany and Austria.
Albert was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in August 2019 and the award was accepted by his three sons.
(Albert Walls sons accept the Hall of Fame Award in August 2019)