Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Mick McManus - the final bell

Angel gazed admiringly at the cups and trophies crammed on the mantle piece above the gas fire. The gold and leather championship belts that hung proudly against the floral wallpaper and the countless framed photographs.
Granddad as an Adonis in trunks and wrestling boots, posing with every legend she could name. Mick McManus, Rollerball Rocco, Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks.
She’d grown up with the names and the stories. Most of them had been long gone, even then. Now just a few clips on YouTube remained. Ghosts from a mythical age before her time when the whole country had gathered to watch the Saturday afternoon wrestling on ITV.
She looked down at her granddad, bent, broken and breathless in his chair. He was almost the last of his kind.
That was why she had to make it. He had to see her make British wrestling great again.

The passage is from Blue Eyes and Heels, the story of a woman wrestler fighting for equality in a man’s world, that is one of the tales in The Fairground Girl and Other Attractions. It came back to me when I heard that one of the biggest legends of the roped circle had passed away today, aged 93.

Mick McManus
January 11, 1920 - May 22, 2013

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