Come back Big Daddy, it’s time to grapple as wrestling returns

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HALIFAX was once a famous name in wrestling with homegrown legend Big Daddy dominating the world’s rings.

Now, the flamboyant sport is coming back to town as Ultimate Wrestling Entertainment brings its first-ever event here this month.

Managing director Brad Taylor said: “Halifax used to be a big part of the wrestling scene back in the days of World of Sport on ITV, with Big Daddy coming from the town, so we wanted to bring back the popularity.

“It is a show for everyone of all ages and we really want to build up a big fan base in Halifax and give the people of the town a great night’s entertainment.”

Hoping to follow in Big Daddy’s footsteps is Halifax wrestler Paul Coulter, aka Nasty Boy Riley, who will be making his debut at the event.

The Hallam University student was born and raised here and is coming home to challenge Paul Malen for the UWE championship.

“Paul Coulter has been training with UWE for over a year now and he really does have what it takes to be a really big star, so this is a massive match for him in his home town against our champion,” said Mr Taylor.

“I think with the support of the crowd he could do it.”

Paul will be joined by wrestlers from all over the world when he takes to the ring at Lee Mount Working Men’s Club on March 23.

The two-hour event - the first of five lined up at the venue - will feature American Superstar; SC Supreme; UWE Champion Nottingham’s Brain of Pain, Paul Malen; Brutus Pain; Mick Romeo; Mystique; and more.

Matches on the night include a heavyweight challenge, championship match and a main event American Royal Rumble, where every wrestler is in the ring at the same time.

Tickets cost £8 for adults and £6 for under-16s, and family tickets are also available for two adults and two children, priced at £25.

They are available from the club in advance or on the night. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

Big Daddy, whose real name was Shirley Crabtree, was a larger-than-life star on the wrestling circuit in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

He was famed for his leotards, his record-breaking 64-inch chest and his rivalry with Giant Haystacks.

He was born in the Wilson Street area of Halifax and lived in Mill Bank until his death, aged 67, in December 1997.

l For a chance to win one of two family tickets, email your name, address and daytime phone number to competitions@halifaxcourier.co.uk by Friday March 9.