some BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF 20th century wrestlers

Geoff Wilson

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Geoff was born at Hole House Skelton on June 28th 1932. He left school in Hutton Marr, at the age of 14, to work on his father's farm. At 15, he moved to Whitrigg Farm where he stayed until 1957, when he started farming on his own at Starth Hill Farm, Lamonby. He was always interested in sport at school, and ran, played football and wrestled. He joined Carlisle Wrestling Academy in 1946/47 and lost his first competition at Hutton End soon afterwards. In 1953, he married Eunice Tyson and they have 2 daughters Patricia Margaret and Judith Ann.
He never did any special training except for wrestling with his friends in the evenings. Heavy farm work was as much training as was required. There was no special diet, and in fact, he indulged in all the 'bad habits' of smoking and drinking. Being a 'professional', he was always in favour of Open competition.
He first wrestled at Grasmere in 1949 in the Lightweights, and remembers that there were no less than 108 entries in his class alone. The following year he won the Lightweights for the first time. John Richardson from Laverock Bridge Kendal, turned out to be his biggest rival.
Altogether, Geoff wrestled at Grasmere for 18 years, the last time was in 1967. During those years he won 9 times - 7 of which were Lightweight titles. He also won the 11 stone Middleweights in 1954, when Richardson took the Lightweight title. In 1966, there was no lightweight event so the 10 and 11 stone events were combined at 10½ stone , and he won that event too.
By the time he retired from the wrestling ring, he had also won 4 World Lightweight Championships. Grasmere was always his favourite, where he seemed to have the best luck - the prize money was also better than anywhere else too!