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wrestlers 50s to 70s where are they now
        Where are they now

     By Sam Betts       

   

My wrestling career began in the mid to late 50s  as did a lot of my mates

 who were trying to find something better than what we had.
We trained down at the gym behind The Junction pub on Doncaster Road in Barnsley
The guy who trained us and managed our wrestling was Charlie Glover. He was the father of the actor Brian Glover who is sadly no more with us. He also trained at the Junction and fought and travelled with the rest of us.
There was
Arthur Betton, Ronnie Preistley,Tommy Blackburn, Harry Bennett
Gordon Allan, Herbert Craddock,
Trevor Hutchinson, Jack Land etc.,
My wrestling name was Dwight J.Ingleburgh and I was from New Jersey America.This name remained with me throughout my career except when I had to fight as a villain and then wore a mask.
We all travelled the length of the country for a few pounds and expenses if we were lucky. Often we would get home about 5 30am and then have to go to work at seven am.
In the early sixties we were booked to wrestle in the Manchester sporting club alongside the future star  singers  of the 60s like Lita Rosa, Mat Monroe, Izzy Bonn, Cleo Lane, Michael Holliday and a few more who I don't at this moment remember. Sometimes we did two clubs a night and it was a mad rush to get to the second venue on time.
We travelled with the fairground lads and worked on the many boxing booths with
Mat Moran
Ronnie Taylor
Billy and Harry Woods
Mickey Kylie
Mel Reed
and a wonderful lady by the name of Ma McGowan.
The fairs ranged from 1 day to 7days.
We slept in the big vans and the bosses wives fed us.
If we were told we were staying at The Ringside Hotel, we knew that, that night we'd be sleeping under the ring, but it was warm and dry.
If we put a good fight and went down well with the locals even when we were taking on their mates, when the ref., called time, they would throw coins into the ring. These were called nobbins so the more entertaining we were the better the nobbins.
As wrestling became more popular we began to go abroad to Sweden, Germany, Middle East and to Singapore and India.
I was in India when the Pakistan war erupted and thank God they got us out in a hurry.
The indian promoters flew us from one venue to another in twin engine old Dakotas which had definitely seen better days and I thought were held together with blue tack.The villagers would walk for four days in gruelling heat to watch their indian idols and it must have come as something of a shock when I beat their champion and came home with a trophy the size of the F.A.cup. I had to take it to pieces to get it into my luggage. We visited places like Kashmir, Karachi ,Bombay  Shirinaka, Allahmabad and many more we certainly earned our wages, which was good because by this time I was married with four children.

My wrestling career continued into the seventies when I retired.

It would be nice to catch up with some of my old wrestling companions, to see how they are and where they are. I've  met some great mates in wrestling over the years but am sadly no longer in touch with a lot of them.

Also quite a few are in that big wrestling ring in the sky, God Bless 'Em all

Arthur Betton

Harry Bennett

Brian Glover

Mal Kirk

           R.I.P.

The Junction Gym is still going but I don't get down there any more, but I have great memories of that and all my old wrestling pals.

It would be nice to hear from those of us who are left or even their families.

I'll be 69 in March so don't wait too long, please get in touch

 

I can be contacted on

womdanbat@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is me at the old Junction Gym all the other guys are now gone but the good old gym lives on.......

Not anymore now as it was gutted in 2004

      

 

 

Junction Gym

They were called Troupe Continental
They are left to right, Sam Tommy Blackburn, Henri Pierlot, Ron Priestley

Fred Hill, Jack Beaumont and me, Pete Worsley.

Lord Bertie Topham, Brian Glover, Ike Williams, Herbert Craddock
      Dominic Pye, Harry Bennett.
Mighty Chang, unknown, me.

Me throwing the indian champion and film star Dara Singh Bombay 1967.


Me on the the ropes and Goga. Mighty Chang who starred in Bond Films
Me with Reg Ray and Cyril Knowles 
womdanbat@hotmail.com

Pakistam champion Goga after taking his championship.

 

Kuwait, with me in front.

Junction Gym mid 50's. Frank Walshaw, Jimmy Birch, me, Tommy Wright and Jack Skelly.

 

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