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Doncaster News and Features: Famous Doncastrian: Mick McMichael

Wrestler Mick McMichael was from Wheatley, Doncaster.
This account of professional wrestler Mick McMichael (specialty the double leg nelson and headbutts!) from Wheatley, Doncaster appeared in wrestling magazine The Wrestler in September 1969.

He was married with 2 children and also worked at the weekends for Trent River Authority.

Part-time professional wrestler at the age of 15; full-time wrestler soon after his sixteenth birthday! Doncaster's Mick McMichael certainly can look back on a unique record, for it made him the youngest paid wrestler in the world at the time. And possibly Britain's youngest ever.

Otherwise, his first bout - against Jimmy Mellor - ended in a similar fashion to those first bouts of many another raw professional ... Mick lost by two falls!

Undismayed, Mick pressed on, and can now logically count himself as a possible future British Middleweight Champion, or alternatively, a champion in one of the heavier weight divisions.

He is a clean, clever wrestler, who is nevertheless prepared to mix it with the roughest. I recently saw him in a wild battle with tearaway South Londoner Mick McManus, and once sufficiently aggravated by McManus, Mick McMichael was retaliating with such rugged enthusiasm that he received a public warning from the referee before McManus did! But give Mick McMichael a scientific, clean-fighting opponent and he'll usually stick carefully to the rules, and leave his own ring ability to deal with the matter without recourse to roughness and rule-bending.

One of the major - and most astute - decisions of this popular Doncaster middleweight's wrestling career, was when he decided to team up with another Yorkshireman, Steve Clements, to form The Yorkshire Terriers - now becoming as well known on the continent as they are here, following their sensational defeat of the Pizzaro Brothers in Spain to win the European Tag Team Championship.

Mick is, of course, well acquainted with European rings. He is a frequent traveller over the English Channel, and has toured the rings of France, Germany, Belgium and Spain, leaving in his wake a string of impressive victories. The sharing of a European tag crown with Steve Clements is a fitting climax to these fighting intrusions into the Continent.

But for current family commitments, Mick might now be on a six month tour of Mexico with tag partner Steve. As it is, Mick hopes that Steve does well during his Mexican ring jousts and returns with some useful experience which will add to the fighting capabilities of The Yorkshire Terriers.

Mick McMichael always seems to have done well at sport. As a teenager he played in a junior Rugby League team, and also played soccer with a Doncaster youth team. Later, he was asked to play for Doncaster Rugby League Club, but turned the offer down as his heart was really in wrestling. He was also an above-average swimmer.

He wrestled for two years as an amateur, then was spotted by the former welterweight, Chick Booth - later a referee. Chick had passed on some of his own knowledge, and Mick was soon ready for his first professional contest. He was already 11st at the time (he is now 13st).

Of course, in those days, a full-time professional wrestling career was 'only a dream', and just in case, Mick took a technical course in mining and electrical engineering. He also joined Markham Colliery Brass Band as a trumpeter. Playing the trumpet still remains a hobby to this day.

A quieter hobby which occupies many of his spare weekends is fishing. It is a hobby he shares with his father, the latter himself being the holder of many cups and medals for fishing. Mick's largest catch ever was a 15lb pike. But he once spent a whole day fishing in Scotland in the company of Steve Clements and Black Angus. Between them the three wrestlers claim to have caught 76 trout! In other ways, Mick is very much the outdoor man, for he enjoys hunting and shooting.

Mick McMichael, if he had not become a professional wrestler, is the type of man who would surely have succeeded in some other sporting field, for his sporting talents seem to be many.

JOHN RACKHAM



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