Wednesday, 22 May 2013
RIP The Man They Loved To Hate.
Post-War British professional wrestling reached the peak of it's fortunes during the early sixties. Apart from the weekly television exposure there were literally hundreds of live shows being put on in venues ranging in size from the local corn exchange or public baths to the Royal Albert Hall. At times the quality of the wrestling was such that it was almost possible to believe that the game really was as straight as table tennis, and certainly more straight than racing or politics. Some of the wrestlers became household names and none more so than welterweight champion Mick McManus.who died this morning aged 93. Archetypal wrestling villain and South London dodgy geezer with an interest in antiques, Mick was the epitome of the mat game. Turning pro in 1947 he had a career that spanned three decades. Such was the secretive nature of the business that McManus' true role was shrouded in mystery but it was generally acknowledged that as the Dale Martin "booker" or matchmaker he could make or break careers. Upset Mick and a wrestler could have a very lean time indeed. The product of a strange smoke and mirrors world of deceit, subterfuge and genuine hard men, Mick McManus was also that other paradox, a true died in the wool working-class Tory. Ah! well