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Albert Wall, wrestler

Albert Wall was one of the biggest stars of the sport in the 1960s and 70s.
Albert Wall was one of the biggest stars of the sport in the 1960s and 70s.
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Albert Wall, who has died at 81, was a champion wrestler from Doncaster who fought across the globe.

The former British heavyweight champion known professionally as Rocky, was one of the biggest stars of the sport in the 1960s and 1970s and billed himself as the Doncaster Panther on wrestling bills as far-flung as Japan, Kuwait and Germany.

Albert Wall was one of the biggest stars of the sport in the 1960s and 70s.

Albert Wall was one of the biggest stars of the sport in the 1960s and 70s.

He made his name after overcoming rheumatic fever, training in a gym above a pub close to home in Bentley, and was taught the basics of wrestling by the leading practitioner, Johnny King.

After a spell in the judo ring he began training with the wrestling heavyweights, and turned professional in 1957.

Not one for grand entrances or outlandish costumes, he came across as a dour but powerful technician.

He claimed his first UK title in 1966, and wore the champion’s belt on countless other occasions in an era when wrestling was a TV sport and its stars household names.

He retired in from the ring in the mid-1970s and is survived by his sons, Gary, David and Russell.