People PEOPLE

Big Daddy

It's Saturday, mid-morning. The cartoons have finished and now it's time for Wrestling.

However, this isn't wrestling as we know it today - waxed hulk hogans, preened and shiny, picture purfect and ready for hollywood. Oh no, this is Wrestling West-country style. Hairy Backs and beer bellies, bald 40 year old men, in man-kini's looking like wolverine's out of shape Uncle.

And when this was wrestling - Big Daddy (real name Shirly Crabtree - yes that's right, I wonder what led him into a life of beating people up?) was the largest, fattest and most famous of them all. He reall was a Big Daddy.

You cannot compare the joy of watching a severly overweight 40 year old man called Shirly jumping on other farmer-types, pushing people over with his belly, and altogether acting the bully. It was a joy, an innocent, "my god-did-those-programs-really-happen" memory.

He was also notoriously popular and kind - giving a lot of money to charity.

You tube Big Daddy and treat yourself to a bit of nostalgia that will never come back as retro-cool.


Author of this article:



Contributors to this article:

  • There are no contributors yet

Message boards

Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Kendo Nagasaki? Last post by George 1978
28 January 2018
Big Daddy Last post by memoman
05 July 2010

Do You Remember Big Daddy?

Do You Remember Big Daddy?

  • Anonymous user
    on
    I went to see him once along with The Giant Haystack and Tally ho! kay, it was really fun to watch them wind up the old women who were sat ringside waving their Handbags at him,Oh such happy days.....
  • Anonymous user
    on
    " Welcome grapple fans "
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Yeah, he was a great guy- wrestling really WAS wrestling in those days, not the choreographed cabaret shows we get now from the US. Formerly a coal miner, a Coldstream Guardsman, and rugby player for Bradford Northern, Big Daddy became a pro wrestler in '52 and by the mid-'70s was virtually a national icon, with a record-breking 64-inch chest. He often appeared with his wrestling colleague Giant Haystacks as part of a tag team, with his catchphrase 'Easy! Easy!' after defeating an opponent. He remains easily the most famous man in British wrestling to this day. Following the end of the Saturday morning TV show 'Tiswas', he was due to take over hosting 'Big Daddy's Saturday Show' but pulled out at the last minute due to health problems, leaving the show to be truncated just to 'The Saturday Show', although he did make some guest appearances on it. He also had his own comic strip in 'Buster' comic. He retired from wrestling in '87 following a match against Mal 'King Kong' Kirk, who died after Daddy delivered one of his famous 'belly splash' moves against him. Although an official enquiry exhonerated Big Daddy from having in any way caused Kirk's death, he was devastated and continued to blame himself for the wrestler's demise, saying that he could never fight again after that. A big man in the wrestling ring, Big Daddy was even bigger-hearted, and really kind and generous. He and his wife Shirley used to visit sick children in hospital- once, when returning from seeing one little terminally ill boy in a children's cancer ward, they had to pull off the road because they were both crying so much. He was also a superb father to his six children. Apart from wrestling, Big Daddy's other great passion was fell-walking in his native Lancashire. He passed away at the end of '97, of a stroke- R.I.P.