Ring a bell? Memories galore for Sunderland’s wrestling fans

Big Daddy wrestling at Sunderland Odeon.
Big Daddy wrestling at Sunderland Odeon.

For years, they were the favourites of Saturday afternoon television.

People of a certain era will remember sitting down to watch sport on ITV with Kent Walton commentating on wrestling bouts.

Brilliant. Then after, sitting having ham and peace pudding sarnies, homemade pies, cakes great.

Mary Pinder

And the household names he would introduce included Mick McManus, Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks and Kendo Nagasaki.

We asked our Wearside Echoes followers for their own memories of it and it prompted some great replies.

Pauline Johnson told us: “We used to see them on tv as well as at Butlins Filey when we went there on holiday.”

Gillian May Donkin was another to see the stars live but she added: “Seen them live when I was young, but my dad made sure he was by the tv to watch them on Saturdays.”

Hilda Dickinson loved the show but added: “Yes we used to go to the leisure centre to watch them live goodtimes.”

Valerie Souter reminisced: “I watched them at the Odeon. My mam met big daddy as she worked at the Odeon.”

Mary Pinder told of us of a family Saturday afternoon tradition and said: “Brilliant. Then after, sitting having ham and pease pudding sarnies, homemade pies, cakes great.”

Cathy Thomas said: “Every Saturday on the TV. Dad loved to watch them.”

And Alan Moody told us: “I remember Mick McManus and Jackie Pallo , on a Saturday afternoon in the 60s.”

Thanks to everyone who responded including Clair Dolphin, John Graham, Joan Hill and Pauline Averre.

Lynne Green, John Cooper, Jean Nesbit, Denise Mustard, Cathy Thomas, Julie Trotter, Allan Ross, Linda Johnson and Joan and John Allan, all liked the post.

Our Wearside Echoes page is on Facebook for all lovers of Wearside and County Durham nostalgia to enjoy.

Why not join up and add your name to the 800-plus members who are already on board. We’d love to hear from you.