some BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF 20th century wrestlers

William Knowles


‘Big Bill’ was born on May 16th 1901. He measured 6’ 2” in height and was one of 4 wrestling sons. His father found no time to wrestle, being a farmer and hotel owner, but Roger, Wilson, Bill and Steve were all very good wrestlers, and Steve won the 11 stone event at Grasmere in 1930 and 1931. At the age of 18, Bill began to compete in the wrestling ring and his first entry at Grasmere was in 1919. At 14 stones he was always destined for the All Weights and on that first occasion, he progressed to the 3rd round before he was felled by E. Harrison of Bootle. For the next 15 years, Knowles and Clark were formidable opponents in the Grasmere ring. Any final between the two was always greeted with great anticipation. Each won the All Weights event at Grasmere 4 times between 1922 and 1930 and each only needed one more win in order to win the Canon Rawnsley cup for wrestling permanently. When they eventually met for the 9th time in 1934, it was Clark who won the day, and the trophy, outright. He died on February 6th 1960