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Nov 6

Which wrestlers were originally backroom staff before turning professional?


I heard that Roger (Bronco ) Wells was originally a driver to the wrestlers.Can anyone confirm this?Also was Robbie Baron really Mick McManus's driver or was this wrestling folklore? Anyone know of other wrestlers who did similar things?

I think a lot of the full-timers worked in some other capacity in the business: 25-minutes ring-work a day wasn't very taxing.


Bob Kirkwood took over from Robby as McManus's driver.


Joe D'Orazio wrote the programmes.


McManus and Marino did the match-making.


I would have thought the likes of Charlie Fisher and Tony Mancelli had roles; Logan, too.


What exactly did Al Hayes do in Paul Lincoln Management? Ken Joyce always seemed very busy.


We know from the tv documentaries that the likes of Syd Cooper and Billy Joyce did some training.


I just can't imagine that Bill Torontos could have had an office job, though!


Now we have a lot of new Members, I can repeat a question I aired over ten years ago. So, McManus was famously the booker. Ok. But we never saw McManus watching another bout. How did he know how the wrestlers worked, their worth and potential and styles? Did anyone ever see him watching a bout? Impossible, really, as he was getting ready during the first bout and had been driven away before the interval had ended.

I would imagine Mick received reports from trusted people across the country, with the amount of shows being ran it would be the only way, Mick loved getting home each night to do it any other way

Nov 10

We were told Anglo that Pallo put in a good word for Kincaid after Kinky's JP debut.

We all helped each other out. During the period I was being trained but not ready to debut I would help set up and dismantle the ring, be the timekeeper or a second or even sell merchandise. Even when I got to wrestle I would still help with the ring. I was grateful to the more established wrestlers for taking the time to train me and encourage me from the sidelines.

I thought someone would have mentioned Johnny Saint being the ring man for Danny Flynn.

Dozens of wrestlers also did promoting such as Eddie Rose and Dale Storm.

Nov 7

In the late days of Norman Morrell ,before JP, Bernard Murray and Les Kellett did some training.

So did Ernie Baldwin after he broke his leg in JP time.

Les Kellett and Jack Proctor refereed.

Of course this was originally a boxing stadium, so no ring assembly or dismantling to be done. The ring was a permanent fixture.

Bernard, was the ring padded for the wrestling shows as a boxing ring tends to be fairly unforgiving

I agree with you, Powerlock, that Mick heard about wrestlers' peformances from second hand reports. Must have been like that.


Just seems absolutely ridiculous that the matchmaker was the one man who seemingly never saw the others at work. At least with his experience he could have suggested angles and helped.



Nov 7

I thought I had read something some time back about Mick having been in an accident and not being that keen on driving thereafter. Robby Baron was, I think, billed from Sydenham, not that far from Mick's residence.

Nov 7

The ring at St James had a thick rubber cushion below the canvas.Much better than the canvas that I learned to roll on.

Mind you with a permanent ring this was possible -no dismantling.

In my case, it wasn’t a matter of “Originally” being backroom staff, but more of training and being taught wrestling at the gym which also put on shows in the area.

We would take the ring and other equipment to the venue at around 17:00 – 17:30, (after work!) then start to assemble the ring, so that we were ready for the show to start at 19:30.

This was done as an amateur, but later also as a professional and of course without any extra pay!


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