Video: Kevin Smith on his memories in the ring.
A Nottingham pub landlord and former professional British wrestler who squared up to some of the biggest names in the sport says he used to rile crowds up so much they threw cans of coke at him.
Kevin Smith was a wrestler for 23 years and appeared on ITV’s popular World of Sport show which ran from 1965 to 1985.
He wrestled under the name Sergeant Sizzler and acted as a former police traffic officer.
These days he is the landlord of the Bakersfield pub, Oakdale Road, which he has run for 13 months.
In his heyday he wrestled the likes of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks, two of the best-known British wrestlers at the time.
Speaking to Owen Shipton on the latest episode of Sports Week, Smith described his experiences wrestling in front of packed-out crowds as ‘amazing’.
“When you walked into that hall there’d be around 2,000 people there paying money to come and watch you wrestling and I was bouncing off Big Daddy left, right and centre,” Smith said.
“The atmosphere in that room was absolutely amazing, people shouting at you.”
But Smith says wrestling and playing up to his villainous guise wound up the impassioned crowds and he was also the target of torrents of abuse.
And he recalls a time when a tag team match was stopped as a member of the crowed attacked fellow wrestler Tony “Banger” Walsh with an umbrella.
Smith said: “Because I was an ex-traffic copper, nobody likes ex-traffic coppers.
“No disrespect to the lads out in the business but I used to get tins of coke thrown at me, I got spat at, hit with brollies and all sorts. I was one of the bad lads.”
He added: “I remember being in a tag match with Tony Walsh, whose name was Banger.
“It was raining really badly outside and I was in a tag match inside the ring with Big Daddy. And Tony was outside the ring.
“Myself and Daddy looked over and this woman had got a brolly and she went ‘you dirty sod’.
“Bang. Tony’s leg went straight up.
“There was blood spurting out absolutely everywhere and we decided to finish the bout there and then so Tony could get seen to.”