some BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF present day and recently retired wrestlers

tom harrington MBE

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Tom was born on March 20th 1944, at Loweswater. The 5th of 11 children, he and his brothers were encouraged to wrestle by their father, who was a keen supporter of Cumberland and Westmorland style wrestling. He started competing at the age of 8, when he represented Bootle against Gilsland in an Academy Shield competition. He wrestled at Grasmere for the first time in 1956 at the age of 12, in the under 16’s, but did not win there until 1971. During his wrestling career spanning 45 years, he has won over 1600 competitions, including 44 World Championships:
World 11 stone champion - 21 times;
World 12 stone champion - 12 times;
World 12½stone champion - 6 times;
World 13 stone champion - 4 times;
World 14 stone champion - once.

But those figures do not tell it all. He has won 21 times at Grasmere; He has done the ‘double’ there 3 times - in 1977, 1981 and 1984; He was nominated ‘Lake District Sportsman of the Year’ in 1970 and 1981 - when he also won 5 World Championships. He was awarded the MBE in 1995 for his services to Cumberland and Westmorland style wrestling. He retired ‘officially’ in 2000, but was still wrestling in 2002.

He was a great friend of Ted Dunglinson, and travelled widely with him all over the North of England and Scotland over a 20 year period. He rates Ted and cousin Alf as the best Heavyweight wrestlers; Peter Hunter and Alan Jones as the best Middleweights, and thinks highly of John Richardson and Gordon Younger in the Lightweights. However, he still rates his own brothers Jim and Joe amongst the most difficult to beat and he fought many finals against them over the years. On average, he would travel 3,000 miles a year to wrestling events in England and Scotland and more recently to international venues. He is a non smoker and rarely drinks alcohol.
Apart from his amazing record of competition successes, Tom was, and still is, after 25 years, very actively coaching youngsters at Carlisle Wrestling Club. He had a regular radio slot on Radio Cumbria for a year some time ago, and he is a member of The Wrestling Association’s Governing Board. He is recognised as the most successful Cumberland and Westmorland style wrestler of all time, at Grasmere.