Wrestling Families - The Sequel


Saturday 25th February - Brittany Backhold Championships, Guipavas near Brest

Last week I wrote about the important influence of mainly rural, wrestling families as a foundation of Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. Usually that means that youngsters follow family traditions and competing in the ring. This week we saw a strange twist where the father followed the children onto the wrestling mats.

Bringing on the next generation: John Wharton, having won at Skelton Show 2009, is felled by his son, Jonathan. Now both feature at Carlisle Wrestling Club

John Wharton brought along his children, Hannah, Jessica and Jonathan, to Carlisle Wrestling Club for last week's Junior Points Night. This week he returned for a normal training night, but it was followed by the club's Senior Points Night. First of all he was persuaded to act as referee for the Lightweights and the Middleweights, then slightly more reluctantly to compete in the All Weights section. In the next half hour he gave a master-class in wrestling: he back-heeled; outside-stroked; threw out a hank, high and handsome; swinging-hiped; and beat his biggest opponent, James Hall, by getting on the run and bustling him down. No doubt, the morning after , at his job as an auctioneer at Penrith Mart, he will find the gavel peculiarly heavy and wonder why so many muscles are aching.

Earlier, in the Lightweights and Middleweights we saw a duel between Jack Brown and Andrew Carlile with intense sustained action. Jack Brown, with his building strength, was able to force Carlile to turn in. Firstly, Carlile's head came out and it looked certain that he would lose, but in the stramash that followed they were adjudged to break hold simultaneously, so the action started afresh. Again, Brown's hold forced Carlile to buttock and he nearly succeeded several times before Brown was able to rush him forward and down to the mat. The other successful wrestler of the evening was John Harrington, who won the Middleweights without losing a fall and then took some satisfyingly smooth and spectacular falls in the All Weights. He felled Jack Brown with a swirling inside-click, and in the last bout of the evening, he got under the tall body of Jack Ewart and brought him over with an outside-hipe and a finishing flick.

Returning to the family theme, I was delighted to watch three of my grandchildren, wrestling on the Carlisle mats, more than a century after their great-grandfather was winning local boys events in Northumberland.

Carlisle Wrestling Club Senior Points Night
EventFirstSecondThird Fourth
11½ Stone J. Brown A. Carlile T. Gibson N/A
13 Stone J. Harrington A. Carlile J. Brown T. Gibson
All Weights J. Wharton J. Hall J. Harrington J. Ewart
Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (2012)

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