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This is a book about Kendo Nagasaki, Mick McManus, Les Kellett, Klondyke Kate and Dr Death – men and women who used to fight each other every night for pride and money.
Margaret Thatcher once wrote adoringly to Big Daddy, and Frank Sinatra told Giant Haystacks that British wrestlers were the best entertainers in the world. The Duke of Edinburgh attended the live shows, expressing a preference for Johnny Kwango, who specialized in head-butts. Millions would watch this curious pursuit on television every Saturday afternoon. Many said it was a fake, yet many more didn’t seem to mind.
But then Big Daddy had a stroke, the commentator started making sexploitation films and a plumber from Wolverhampton made an unexpected housecall on Kendo Nagasaki. They took it off the television shortly after wrestlers started dying during the bouts. These days, those who are left like to talk.
‘Brilliant. Read The Wrestling. If you don’t enjoy it I’ll pull Giant Haystack’s beard.’ Independent
‘Masterful, funny . . . Packed with English eccentricity by the bucket-load, Garfield has fashioned a brilliant, barmy book from the most unpromising raw material.’ FHM
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