Bombardier Billy Wells, New York, 1912

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Bombardier Billy Wells, preparing in Rye, N.Y., for fight with Al Panzer (New York Times / Library of Congress) June 26, 1912

Bombardier Billy Wells, preparing in Rye, N.Y., for fight with Al Panzer (New York Times / Library of Congress) June 26, 1912

William Thomas Wells (1889 – 1967), was an English heavyweight boxer. Fighting under the name “Bombardier Billy Wells“, he was British and British Empire Champion from 1911 until 1919, defending his title fourteen times. Wells was also famous for being the person to fill the role of the “Gongman” – the figure seen striking the gong in the introduction to J. Arthur Rank films.
Wells was born in the East End of London. He attended elementary school, until about the age of twelve, when he began to box as an amateur during this period.
In 1906, Wells joined the Royal Artillery as a gunner. He was posted to Rawalpindi where he boxed in divisional and all-India championships, with great success. He was promoted to a bombardier, and began training full-time with the help of a civilian coach. It became apparent that Wells was good enough to make a living from boxing, so in 1910, he bought himself out of the army and returned to Britain.
This was at a time when boxing was becoming very popular as a spectator sport, in Britain and elsewhere. In America, black boxers had dominated in the ring since the 1870s. For decades, the search had been on for a figure promoters habitually dubbed “the Great White Hope”, a white boxer capable of winning the World Heavyweight Championship. In 1910, Billy Wells, who had won the British Army of India boxing championship, was identified by newspapers as the next Great White Hope. It was the first time a British boxer had been fitted up for this role. The reigning heavyweight champion was the black American Jack Johnson. Johnson arrived in London for the fight in 1911, and started training in Essex – at pub in Chingford. By now opposition was building. Newspapers claimed Johnson had been offered “a king’s ransom” in cash to take a fall, and allow Wells to win. Opposition to the fight was led by Baptist church leader Frederick Meyer, who opposed the notion of “a battle between the races”. The battle turned political when the leader of the London County Council gave his opinion: “The sight of a black man pounding a white man cannot be considered for public entertainment.” A number of colonial governors suggested the fight could even lead to unrest in parts of the British Empire. Eventually, the Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, stepped in to officially ban the Wells-Johnson match. After that, no contest between a white man and a black man was seen in a British ring until 1947.

In 1911, Wells published the book "Modern Boxing: a Practical Guide to Present Day Methods"

In 1911, Wells published the book “Modern Boxing: a Practical Guide to Present Day Methods”

Wells fought for the British Heavyweight Title, in April 1911 against Iron (William) Hague, the holder, and Wells won by a knockout in the sixth round of twenty. In December 1911, Wells fought Fred Storbeck at Covent Garden for the British Empire Heavyweight Title, scoring a knockout in the eleventh round to gain his second title in one year. Wells continued to box and successfully defend his British heavyweight title, even after the start of World War I.
His boxing career wound down in 1925, but he continued to perform in front of the camera. A theatrical impresario, Billy McNamara, was struck by Wells’s “good looks and manly bearing”, and thought he, too, might be a natural for the stage. A number of leading men had begun their careers as sporting heroes.
Billy Wells made his debut as Jack Bandon, described as “both a fighter and a gentleman” and hero of a three-act play called Wanted-A-Man. Wells surprised everyone by indeed having a good deal of aptitude for acting. The play opened at the Hackney Empire, to glowing reviews. One critic wrote: “Billy scored a singular success as an actor and was something of a surprise. As a boxer, Billy is one of the most nervous people who ever entered a ring, but on the stage, he was confidence itself.”

Wells was Rank's gongman from 1936 until 1948

Wells was Rank’s gongman from 1936 until 1947

After this success, Billy was snapped up by film-makers. He was obviously a big movie fan as well. He had uncredited bit parts in Hitchcock’s The Ring (1927), King Vidor’s The Citadel (1938), George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara (1941), Michael Powell’s A Canterbury Tale (1944). His films, all boxing-related, have titles such as Kent – Fighting Man, and the Great Game. His apotheosis in the movies, was playing the hangman in Peter Brooks’ The Beggar’s Opera (1953) with Laurence Olivier.
So thus, his famous muscles made him a natural for the role of the gongman, from 1936 until 1947. The gongman was the logo of the Rank Organisation, the largest production and distribution house in the history of British cinema. The gongman film logo sequence depicts a muscular, bare-torsoed man slowly strikes a vast gong, with a deep resonant sound, twice. It was used as the introduction to all Rank films.
Bombardier Billy Wells, lived in Ealing, London and died there on 11 June 1967, aged 77. His ashes were laid to rest in the crypt of St. Mary’s parish church in Hanwell, west London.
Sources/More to Read:
Wikipedia: Bombardier Billy Wells
“Southend Standard”: Leigh pub’s famous boxer became Rank’s gong man
“Requited” Issue 14: The Gong Show
Wikipedia: Gongman
Wikipedia: Rank Organisation
Library of Congress
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Michael Costello, alias The Amazing Blondini, Brighton UK, 1955

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

1955:  Mike Costello, otherwise known as Blondini or the White Yogi, lying on a bed of nails whilst balancing a woman on his chest.  (Photo by Reg Coote/BIPs/Getty Images)

1955: Mike Costello, otherwise known as Blondini or the White Yogi, lying on a bed of nails whilst balancing a woman on his chest. (Photo by Reg Coote/BIPs/Getty Images)

Michael Costello (1922-1996), fairground performer and escapologist, was born at a fairground in Dublin, Ireland in August 1922; both his parents were fairground novelty acts from Tralee, his father a strongman and his mother a fortune teller. He had no formal education and spent his formative years on the fairgrounds of Ireland and England. At 13 he left his family and began his career as the world’s youngest sword-swallower. Two years later he added fire-eating to his act. However, after his sister fell to her death during her trapeze act, he left the fairgrounds and spent many years as a drifter, mostly around Dublin.
In 1939 Costello moved to London and worked for a time with a quack, selling health potions. With the onset of the second World War he joined the British army as an infantryman. After the war he returned to the business of entertaining. He became an escapologist, learned the art of self-hypnosis, developed into a strongman and was also an explosives expert. His stunts included lying on a bed of nails and inviting people to walk on him, pulling a Rolls-Royce with his teeth and lying in a coffin filled with explosives and blowing it up.
He toured the world under the name the Amazing Blondini, and his death-defying stunts attracted audiences of more than 10,000 people. He was constantly inventing new stunts and acts: at Bellevue fairground in Manchester in 1975 he was buried alive for 78 days. His acts were not illusions, and on one occasion he was badly burned after his exploding coffin trick went wrong; however, he continued to perform the trick well into his 60th year.
Described as “one of the worlds greatest circus performers”, Costello appeared in fairgrounds and theatres in Asia, the US, South Africa and Europe. He also worked as a film stuntman for actors such as Alan Ladd and Victor Mature and appeared on many British television shows, including The Billy Cotton Band Show, Sunday Night at the London Palladiumand The Russell Harty Show.
Costello died on November 20th 1996 in Wicklow and is buried in Greystones. He had been visiting his friend and biographer Gordon Thomas and was thinking of retiring to Ireland. He was survived by his common-law wife, Sally. (Adapted from the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography.)

“…the Coffin of Death… was a deceptively simple stunt in which Blondini climbed into a plywood coffin lined with explosive… (he) lit the fuse and pulled the rug over his head. The explosion broke glass in the Law Courts, a hundred yards away. When the smoke cleared, the awed and dazed audience ran forward and carried the semi-conscious Blondini (bleeding from both ears) shoulder high.” Excerpt from: “Granada Television – The First Generation” by John Finch, Michael Cox, Marjorie Giles

Mike Costello, aka Blondini, demonstrates the muscular strength of his neck as a rope is tightened around his neck by his bikini-clad assistants. (Photo by Reg Coote/BIPs/Getty Images)

Mike Costello, aka Blondini, demonstrates the muscular strength of his neck as a rope is tightened around his neck by his bikini-clad assistants. (Photo by Reg Coote/BIPs/Getty Images)

A bed of nails is an oblong piece of wood, the size of a bed, with nails pointing upwards out of it. It appears to the spectator that anyone lying on this “bed” would be injured by the nails, but this is not so. Assuming the nails are numerous enough, the weight is distributed between them such that the pressure exerted by each nail is not enough to puncture the person’s skin.
One use of such a device is for magic tricks or physics demonstrations. A famous example requires a volunteer to lie on a bed of several thousand nails, with a board on top of him. Cinder blocks are placed on the board and then smashed with a sledgehammer. Despite the seemingly unavoidable force, the volunteer is not harmed: the force from the blow is spread among the thousands of nails, resulting in reduced pressure; the breaking of the blocks also dissipates much of the energy from the hammer. This demonstration of the principles of weight distribution requires that the weight of the volunteer be spread over as many nails as possible. The most dangerous part is the moment of lying down or getting up, when one’s weight may briefly be supported on only a few nails. Some “beds” have rails mounted at the sides to help users lie down and get up safely. The bed of nails is used by some for meditation, particularly in Asia, and for certain health benefits, such as back pain relief, see acupressure mat.
Sources / More to Read:
Irish Times: Irish Lives – Michael Costello
Wikipedia: Bed of Nails
Mashable: Bed of Nails
The Illusionist – A Journey in Local Magic, an Interview with Jim Doherty

John Surtees, Isle of Man 1958 & Monaco 1963

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

John Surtees riding a 500cc M.V. Agusta - Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, 1958 (mbike.com photo album by Maanala)

John Surtees riding a 500cc M.V. Agusta – Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, 1958 (mbike.com photo album by Maanala)

John Surtees driving a Ferrari T56 - Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco, 1963 (p: Yves Debraine)

John Surtees driving a Ferrari T56 – Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco, 1963 (p: Yves Debraine)

John Surtees, CBE (1934- ) is a British former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver. He is truly unique in motorsport, remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels. Riding for the celebrated MV Agusta team, he won seven World Championships between 1956 and 1960. Then – with nothing left to prove – he made the transition from two wheels to four, winning the Formula One World Championship with Ferrari in 1964. The versatile racer – who also drove for the Lotus, Cooper, Honda and BRMworks teams – was equally at home in sports cars, winning the 1000km races at Nürburgring and Monza for Ferrari as well as the 1966 CanAm Championship in the Lola T70 he helped develop.
Surtees is the son of a south London motorcycle dealer. He had his first professional outing, when he was 15, in the sidecar of his father’s Vincent, which they won. However, when race officials discovered Surtees’s age, they were disqualified.
In 1955, Norton race chief Joe Craig gave Surtees his first factory sponsored ride aboard the Nortons. He finished the year by beating reigning world champion Duke at Silverstone and then at Brands Hatch. However, with Norton in financial trouble and uncertain about their racing plans, Surtees accepted an offer to race for the MV Agusta factory racing team. In 1956 Surtees won the 500cc world championship, MV Agusta’s first in the senior class. In the 1957 season, the MV Agustas were no match for the Gileras and Surtees battled to a third-place finish aboard a 1957 MV Agusta 500 Quattro. When Gilera and Moto Guzzi pulled out of Grand Prix racing at the end of 1957, Surtees and MV Agusta went on to dominate the competition. In 1958, 1959 and 1960, he won 32 out of 39 races and became the first man to win the Senior TT at the Isle of Man TT three years in succession. In 1960, at the age of 26, Surtees switched from motorcycles to cars full-time, making his Formula 1 debut racing for Lotus in the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. He made an immediate impact with a second-place finish in only his second Formula One World Championship race, at the 1960 British Grand Prix, and a pole position at his third, the 1960 Portuguese Grand Prix. He moved to Scuderia Ferrari in 1963 and won the World Championship for the Italian team in 1964. In December 1966, Surtees signed for Honda. He finished fourth in the 1967 drivers’ championship. In 1970, Surtees formed his own race team, the Surtees Racing Organisation, and spent nine seasons competing in Formula 5000, Formula 2 and Formula 1 as a constructor. He retired from competitive driving in 1972, the same year the team had their greatest success when Mike Hailwood won the European Formula 2 Championship. The team was finally disbanded at the end of 1978.
During his remarkable racing career Surtees won 290 of the 621 races he entered and claimed a further 103 podium finishes, recording 48 fastest laps and 100 record laps along the way.
In 1996, Surtees was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. In the 2016 New Year Honours, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to motorsport.
Sources / More to Read:
John Surtees Official site
Wikipedia: John Surtees
MBike: Photo Album
Primotipo: Lotus 25 – Jim Clark – Monaco 1963…
Στα Ελληνικά:
ΜotoGP Legends: John Surtees

Tourist Trophy Races, Isle of Man, 1958 (National Motor Museum, UK)

Santo vs. la invasión de los marcianos, 1967

-Santo vs. the Martian invasion-

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Santo with Gilda Miros & Belinda Corel in "Santo vs The Martian Invasion", 1967

Santo with Gilda Miros & Belinda Corel in “Santo vs The Martian Invasion”, 1967

Luchador films are Mexican professional wrestling/action/science-fiction/horror films starring some of the most popular masked luchadores (wrestlers) in Lucha Libre (Free Wrestling). The luchadores are portrayed as superheroes engaging in battles against a range of characters from spies, to vampires and martians. These films were low-budget and produced quickly. Nearly all lucha films included fist-fighting and wrestling action sequences which were choreographed and performed by the stars without the aid of stunt doubles. The genre’s popularity peaked during the mid-1960s to early-1970s.
One of the most well-known Mexican superheros / luchador action film stars was Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta (1917 – 1984), more widely known as El Santo (The Saint) who starred in 52 films. He was one of the most famous and iconic of all Mexican luchadores, and has been referred to as one of “the greatest legends in Mexican sports.” He started wrestling competitively in 1934 and 8 years later he used the name “El Santo” for the first time. His wrestling career spanned nearly five decades, during which he became a folk hero and a symbol of justice for the common man through his appearances in comic books and movies.

Santo, el enmascarado de plata (México: Ediciones José G. Cruz) Wednesday 3 September 1952, page 4

Santo, el enmascarado de plata (Ed. José G. Cruz) Sept. 1952, page 4. Mixed technique: hand-drawn illustration with photo-montage.

In 1952, the artist and editor José G. Cruz started a Santo comic book, turning Santo into the first and foremost character in Mexican popular literature. The Santo comic book series ran continuously for 35 years, ending in 1987.
Santo’s film career really took off in 1961, with his third movie “Santo vs The Zombies.” Santo was given the starring role with this film, and was shown for the first time as a professional wrestler moonlighting as a superhero. Santo eventually appeared in 52 films until 1982.
El Santo was known to never remove his mask, even in private company. When travelling on flights, he made sure to take a different flight from his crew to avoid having them see his face when he was required to remove his mask to get through customs. Since his regular mask did not allow him to eat, he had a special “mealtime” variation made with the mouth cut away.
Just over a year after his retirement (in late January 1984), El Santo was a guest on Contrapunto, a Mexican television program and, completely without warning, removed his mask just enough to expose his face, in effect bidding his fans goodbye. It is the only documented case of Santo ever removing his mask in public. He died from a heart attack, a week later. As per his wishes, he was buried wearing his famous silver mask. His funeral is considered one of the biggest in Mexican history as fans and friends flocked to see “el Enmascarado de Plata” (The Silver-Masked One) for last time.
Santo, el enmascarado de plata, vs. la invasión de los marcianos
(Santo, the silver masked man, vs. the Martian invasion) Mexico, 1967 (35mm, b/w, 85 min.)
Extraterrestrials invade Earth seeking human specimens. Announcing themselves in apocalyptic television broadcasts, then tele-transporting themselves to private homes and public sporting events, the platinum-bewigged, mylar-clad, macho Martians, backed by scantly dressed female beauties as counterparts, kidnap select humans, obliterating others with vaporizing rays. But heroic masked wrestler “Santo” neutralizes the invaders with his incredible wrestling prowess, after respectfully consulting a famous scientist and the local priest—thus mediating between Mexico’s high-tech future and its traditional past to restore peace and order to the nation. ¡Bien hecho, luchador!
Sources:
Wikipedia: Santo
Wikipedia: Luchador films
Hammer Screenings: ¡Aztec Mummies & Martian Invaders!
IMDb: Santo el Enmascarado de Plata vs la invasión de los marcianos
Read More:
(re)search my Trash: Santo, from King of the Ring to B-Horror Icon
The Comics Grid: “¡Santo!”: The Stuff of Legend

Jim Londos, 1939

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Jim Londos, World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, 1939

Jim Londos, World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, 1939

Jim Londos, “The Golden Greek” (1897 – 1975) was born Christos Theofilou in Argos, Greece. He was a Greek professional wrestler and one of the most popular stars who performed on the professional wrestling circuit during the Great Depression.
At age thirteen he ran away from home and eventually ended up emigrating to the United States. Working whenever he could, Theofilou took several odd jobs including cabin boy, construction jobs and posing nude for figure drawing classes. Theofilou landed a job as a catcher in a carnival acrobatic act. It was during this period that he was exposed to professional wrestling and began training.
Londos’ first matches would be as “The Wrestling Plasterer” Christopher Theophelus, a gimmick that saw him coming to the ring in overalls. After a number of years he dropped this in favour of wrestling under the name Jim Londos and being a no nonsense wrestler. At 5’8 and 200 pounds, Londos was often smaller than his opponent. However, his low center of gravity, his formidable strength, and powerful legs made up for any lack of height. Jim Londos became known for his strong work ethic, as he worked as many dates as he could, often wrestling nearly every night of the week.
Capitalizing on his handsome features and strong physique, Londos developed a practice of matching himself against the ugliest opponents he could find. Then fans responded to the booking scheme exactly as “The Golden Greek” planned…by backing Londos even more. This “Beauty vs. the Beast” idea served Londos well, and helped build himself into the most popular wrestler/biggest draw on the East Coast throughout the 1930’s and early 1940’s.
During Londos’ era, there were several versions of the “World Title” that all carried much prestige in the territories they were defended in. Londos, one of the premier wrestlers in the business at the time, won several of them. In 1937, Londos defeated the famous Bronco Nagurski in Philadelphia the World Title as recognized by eastern promoters, and held that version of the World championship for the next 12 years, retiring as champion. Truly, Londos was one of the best of his day, and an all-time legend… But there was always one man who Londos and the promoters (as well as many fans) knew Londos could never beat — at least not without that man’s cooperation. Perennial World Champion Ed “Strangler” Lewis wrestling skill was such that virtually no one could beat him in a legitimate encounter – he was just that much better than his competition. The two engaged in several legitimate and “worked” matches, with Lewis allowing Londos to win only when he and his Chicago promoters felt it helped business. Londos reputation kept intact and continued to draw record crowds across the world. He competed in many  countries during his 15+ year long career. He once drew a crowd of nearly 100,000 in his native country of Greece, and became a national hero overseas as well as in America.
Londos retired in 1946 as one of the greatest champions in history. He engaged in, by his own estimate, over 2,500 matches and lost only a few. He spent much of his retirement working for charitable organizations, particularly for Greek World War II orphans.
Londos died of a heart attack August 19, 1975 in Escondido, California.
Sources:
Wikipedia: Jim Londos
Professional Wrestling Online Museum
Wikipedia: List of early world heavyweight champions in professional wrestling

c1939feb23O Τζιμ Λόντος (Χρήστος Θεοφίλου, 1897-1975) ήταν Παγκόσμιος Πρωταθλητής Επαγγελματικής Πάλης (κατς).
Δεκατεσσάρων χρονών έφυγε από το Κουτσοπόδι του Άργους για την Αμερική. Αρχικά εργάστηκε σε διάφορες δουλειές για βιοπορισμό, όπως αχθοφόρος, καμαρότος, μοντέλο για ζωγράφους και φωτογράφους κ.ά. Μεταπήδησε στην επαγγελματική πάλη, αφού πρώτα εργάστηκε “κάτσερ” σε ακροβατικά στο τσίρκο.
Αρχικά εμφανιζόταν ως “Κρίστοφερ Τεόφιλου, ο γυψαδόρος παλαιστής”, γιατί εμφανιζόταν με τα ρούχα της δουλειάς πριν τον αγώνα. Αργότερα καθιέρωσε το “Τζίμ Λόντος”, ένα προσωνύμιο που του δόθηκε από τον αθλητικογράφο Ρόσκο Φόσετ, έπειτα από μία νίκη του στην αρένα “Λόντον” του Πόρτλαντ.
Ήταν ευέλικτος, ταχύς αλλά και δυνατός, με άρτια τεχνική. Καθώς όμως ήταν κι όμορφος με καλοσχηματισμένο σώμα, στην αρχή της καριέρας του διάλεγε να αντιμετωπίζει άσχημους αντιπάλους, ώστε το κοινό να ταυτίζεται μαζί του και να τον υποστηρίζει. Σύντομα οι οπαδοί του άρχισαν να τον αποκαλούν “Χρυσό Έλληνα”. Έγινε επίσης γνωστός και για το λεγόμενο “αεροπλανικό κόλπο”, μια λαβή δικής του επινόησης. Αφού αρχικά προσπαθούσε να κουράσει τον αντίπαλο του, έσκυβε ξαφνικά και τον έπιανε με το ένα χέρι από τα πόδια και με το άλλο από το λαιμό. Τον σήκωνε ψηλά, τον στριφογύριζε κάμποσες φορές και στη συνέχεια τον έριχνε βαρύ στο καναβάτσο. Ήταν συνήθως η κορύφωση κάθε αγώνα του.
Υπήρξε από τους πρωτεργάτες τους είδους της πάλης που αργότερα έγινε γνωστό διεθνώς ως “κατς”. Την εποχή του οικονομικού κραχ στην Αμερική ήταν από τους λίγους που το όνομα του έφερνε κόσμο στα γήπεδα που αγωνιζόταν.
Στα 16 χρόνια της καριέρας του έδωσε περισσότερους από 2.500 αγώνες και ηττήθηκε σε λιγότερους από δέκα. Το 1938 ανακηρύχθηκε Παγκόσμιος Πρωταθλητής βαρέων βαρών, τίτλο που κράτησε μέχρι το 1946 που αποσύρθηκε. Εθιμοτυπικά του δόθηκε δια παντός η περίφημη χρυσή και αδαμαντοποίκιλτη ζώνη του πρωταθλητή.
Στο υπόλοιπο της ζωής του ασχολήθηκε με την φιλανθρωπία, κυρίως για τα ορφανά Ελληνόπουλα του Β’ παγκοσμίου πολέμου. Απεβίωσε από καρδιακή προσβολή στις 19 Αυγούστου 1975 και το μνημείο του υπάρχει στο Oak Hill Memorial Park στο Escondido της Καλιφόρνια.
Περισσότερα για διάβασμα:
Σαν Σήμερα: Τζιμ Λόντος
Αργολική Αρχειακή Βιβλιοθήκη Ιστορίας και Πολιτισμού
Μηχανή του Χρόνου

Bert Trautmann, 1956

Colorization: Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization: Manos Athanasiadis

Bert Trautmann dives for the ball moments before the collision which left him with a broken neck, during the FA Cup 1956

Bert Trautmann dives for the ball moments before the collision which left him with a broken neck (FA Cup Final) 1956

Bernhard Carl “Bert” Trautmann, (1923 – 2013) was a German professional footballer who played for Manchester City from 1949 to 1964.
Brought up during times of inter-war strife in Germany, Trautmann joined the Luftwaffe early in the Second World War, serving as a paratrooper. He fought on the Eastern Front for three years, earning five medals, including an Iron Cross. In 1944, he was transferred to the Western Front, where he was captured by the British as the war drew to a close. Earlier, he had been captured by the Russians and the French Resistance, but escaped both times. With the war drawing to a close, Trautmann did not attempt a third escape.
As a volunteer soldier who had been subject to indoctrination from a young age, he was classified a category “C” prisoner by the authorities, meaning he was regarded as a Nazi. Trautmann, of only 90 of his original 1,000-man regiment to survive the war, was then transferred to a prisoner-of-war camp, near Northwich. He was soon downgraded to non-Nazi “B” status, after which he was taken to PoW camp in Lancashire.
Trautmann refused an offer of repatriation, and following his release in 1948, settled in Lancashire, combining farm work with playing goalkeeper for a local football team, St Helens Town.
“When people ask me about life, I say my education began when I got to England. I learnt about humanity, tolerance and forgiveness.”
Performances for St Helens gained Trautmann a reputation as an outstanding goalkeeper, resulting in interest from Football League clubs. In October 1949, he signed for Manchester City, a club playing in the country’s highest level of football, the First Division. Some Manchester City fans were unhappy about signing a former member of the Luftwaffe. In addition to this difficulty, Trautmann was replacing the recently retired Frank Swift, one of the greatest keepers in the club’s history. Though privately expressing doubts about the signing, the club captain, Eric Westwood, a Normandy veteran, made a public display of welcoming Trautmann by announcing, “There’s no war in this dressing room”. Season ticket holders threatened a boycott, and various groups in Manchester and around the country bombarded the club with protest letters. Manchester boasted a sizeable Jewish community and 20,000 demonstrated against City’s new signing before Dr. Altmann, the communal Rabbi, appealed for the German player to be offered a chance, reminding everyone that an individual should not be punished for his country’s sins.
“Thanks to Altmann, after a month it was all forgotten,”… “Later, I went into the Jewish community and tried to explain things. I tried to give them an understanding of the situation for people in Germany in the 1930s and their bad circumstances. I asked if they had been in the same position, under a dictatorship, how they would have reacted? By talking like that, people began to understand.”… “I volunteered when I was 17. People say ‘why?’, but when you are a young boy war seems like an adventure. Then, when you’re involved in fighting it’s very different, you see all the horrible things that happen, the death, the bodies, the scariness. You can’t control yourself. Your whole body is shaking and you’re making a mess in your pants.”… “Growing up in Hitler’s Germany, you had no mind of your own. You didn’t think of the enemy as people at first. Then, when you began taking prisoners, you heard them cry for their mother and father. You said ‘Oh’. When you met the enemy, he became a real person. The longer the war went on, you started having doubts. But Hitler’s was a dictatorial regime and you couldn’t say what you wanted. In the German army, you got your orders and you followed them. If you didn’t, you were shot.”… “I kept nothing from the war; I don’t have my Iron Cross any more.”
Trautmann made his first team debut on 19 November against Bolton Wanderers, and after a competent display in his first home match, protests shrank as fans discovered his talent. He continued to receive abuse from crowds at away matches, which affected his concentration in some early games.
City’s match against Fulham in January 1950 was Trautmann’s first visit to London. The match received widespread media attention, as most of the British press were based there; several leading sportswriters watched Trautmann in action for the first time. The damage caused to the city by the Luftwaffe meant former paratrooper Trautmann was a target of hatred for the crowd, who yelled “Kraut” and “Nazi”. City were struggling in the league, and widely expected to suffer a heavy defeat but a string of saves from Trautmann meant the final score was a narrow 1–0 loss. At the final whistle, Trautmann received a standing ovation, and was applauded off the pitch by both sets of players.
Over time, Trautmann gained acceptance through his performances in the City goal, playing in all but five of the club’s next 250 matches.
Manchester City had a strong season in 1955–56, finishing fourth in the league and Trautmann, won the FWA Footballer of the Year Award, the first goalkeeper to win the award. Two days later, Trautmann stepped out onto the Wembley pitch for the match that would gain him worldwide acclaim.

From Hitler Youth to Manchester City

From Hitler Youth to Manchester City F.C

The 1956 FA Cup Final was contested between Manchester City and Birmingham City at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday 5 May 1956. The match was watched by a crowd of 100,000 and a television audience of five million.
In the 75th minute, Trautmann, diving at an incoming ball, was knocked out in a collision with Birmingham’s Peter Murphy in which he was hit in the neck by Murphy’s right knee. No substitutes were permitted in those days, so Trautmann, dazed and unsteady on his feet, carried on. For the remaining 15 minutes he defended his net, making a crucial interception to deny Murphy once more. Despite his injury, he continued to play, making crucial saves to preserve his team’s 3–1 lead. No further goals were scored, and the referee blew for full time. As the players left the field, the crowd sang a chorus of “For he’s a jolly good fellow” in tribute to Trautmann’s bravery. Roy Paul led his team up the steps to the royal box to receive Manchester City’s third FA Cup. Trautmann’s neck continued to cause him pain, and Prince Philip commented on its crooked state as he gave Trautmann his winner’s medal. Three days later, an examination revealed that Trautmann had broken a bone in his neck. He had dislocated five vertebrae, the second of which was cracked in two. The third vertebra had wedged against the second, preventing further damage.
“Wherever I go, people always ask about my neck. I still have pain if I make unexpected movements of my head. But I was very lucky: surgeons told me I could have died or been paralysed.”
Trautmann played for Manchester City until 1964, making 545 appearances. On 15 April 1964, he ended his career with a testimonial in front of a crowd officially numbered at 47,000, though the true figure was estimated to be closer to 60,000. Trautmann captained a combined Manchester City and Manchester United XI against an International XI.
After his playing career, he moved into management and later as part of a German Football Association development scheme. In 2004, he was appointed an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for promoting Anglo-German understanding through football.
Trautmann died at home in Valencia, Spain, on 19 July 2013, aged 89.
Sources:
Wikipedia: Bert Trautmann
Wikipedia: 1956 FA Cup Final
Guardian: Bert Trautmann: from Nazi paratrooper to hero of Manchester City

Άρθρα στα Ελληνικά:
Τρελοποδόσφαιρο: Ένας Γερμανός στο Μάντσεστερ
iefimerida: Μπερτ Τράουτμαν: Το πρωτοπαλίκαρο των Ναζί που λατρεύτηκε στην Αγγλία

British 4X100 m freestyle swimming team, 1912

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Color by Manos Athanasiadis

British 4X100 m freestyle team at the 1912 Olympics, with a chaperone in the middle. From left to right: Belle Moore, Jennie Fletcher, Annie Speirs, Irene Steer. (Photo by Bob Thomas)

British 4X100 m freestyle team at the 1912 Olympics, with a chaperone in the middle. From left to right: Belle Moore, Jennie Fletcher, Annie Speirs, Irene Steer. (Photo by Bob Thomas)

The 1912 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the V Olympiad, held in Stockholm, Sweden, between 5 May and 27 July 1912. Twenty-eight nations and 2,408 competitors, including 48 women, competed in 102 events in 14 sports. The Swedish hosts introduced the first Olympic use of automatic timing devices for the track events, the photo finish and a public address system. For the first time, competitors in the Games came from all five continents. It was also the first time Japan participated. The modern pentathlon, women’s swimming and women’s diving all made their Olympic debuts.
Olympic Games have been the most important international swimming competition. While men’s events were an integral part of all Olympics, women’s races were introduced only in 1912, and until 1924 were limited to the 100m freestyle and the 4x100m relay, because it was thought women were too weak to swim any distance longer than that.
Public nudity was a major concern in designing early swimwear. It was a major factor behind the non-participation of American women in the 1912 Olympics. At those Games British women wore full-body silk suits of such a volume that they could be passed through a wedding ring. The suits were complemented by bras and bikini-style briefs as they became transparent when wet. Women’s coaches were rare at early Olympics, and to further reduce the chances of harassment women were accompanied by chaperones.
Jennie Fletcher (1890 – 1968) was a British freestyle swimmer. At age 15, she set a world record in the 100 yd freestyle that stood for seven years and she was British champion from 1906 through 1912. During a three year period, she broke her own world record eleven times. She was selected for the 1908 Olympics, but the women’s swimming events were cancelled due to a shortage of participants. She did get to compete in the 1912 Games in Stockholm at the end of her career, where she won a gold medal in the 4×100 m relay and a bronze medal in the individual 100 m race.
One of 11 children in an underprivileged family, Jennie worked in a clothing factory for 12 hours six days a week and swam in what little spare time that remained. Despite their impoverished circumstances, her parents refused an offer for Jennie to tour as a professional with Annette Kellerman in 1907. While Annette was startling the public with her daring one-piece silk suit styled with long sleeves and legs, Jennie had been wearing a shorter sleeveless knee length version for years. “We were told bathing suits were shocking and indecent and even when entering competition, we were covered with a floor length cloak until we entered the water.”
In 1913 she began teaching swimming in Leicester, which ended her competitive career as she turned from an amateur into a professional. In 1917, she married and immigrated to Canada.
Isabella “Belle” Mary Moore (1894 – 1975) was a Scottish freestyle swimmer. She competed at the 1912 Summer Olympics and won a gold medal in the 4×100 m relay. At 17 years and 226 days old, she remains the youngest British woman to win an Olympic gold medal; she is also the only Scottish woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming.
Annie Coupe Speirs (1889 – 1926) was an English freestyle swimmer who won a gold medal in the 4×100 m relay at the 1912 Olympics. Individually she finished fifth in the 100 m event.
Irene Steer (1889 – 1977) was a Welsh freestyle swimmer. She was one of the three Welsh women who have won Olympic gold medals. In 1912, Steer won a gold medal in the 4×100 m relay and failed to reach the final of the individual 100 m race.
Library of Congress
De Montfort University, Leicester
Olympic Movement
BBC News

Οι 5οι σύγχρονοι Ολυμπιακοί αγώνες, που έγιναν στη Στοκχόλμη το 1912, ήταν πρωτοποριακοί από πολλές απόψεις. Για πρώτη φορά συμμετείχαν αθλητές από τις πέντε ηπείρους και εγκαινιάστηκαν νέα αθλήματα με τη συμμετοχή και γυναικών. Επίσης καθιερώθηκαν και κάποιες τεχνολογικές καινοτομίες όπως η αυτόματη χρονομέτρηση και το φώτο-φίνις.
Στην κολύμβηση, οι γυναίκες διαγωνίστηκαν μόνο στα 100 μέτρα ελεύθερο και στα 4χ100 μικτό στυλ, γιατί θεωρούσαν ότι δεν είχαν τη δυνατότητα για μεγαλύτερες αποστάσεις.
Τα μαγιώ που φορούσαν οι κολυμβήτριες, αν και ολόσωμα, ήταν αρκετά προκλητικά για την εποχή. Φτιαγμένα από λεπτό μετάξι (μπορούσαν να περάσουν μέσα από ένα δαχτυλίδι) γινόταν εξαιρετικά αποκαλυπτικά όταν βρέχονταν. Αυτός ήταν και ένας από τους λόγους που δεν πήραν μέρος οι Αμερικανίδες κολυμβήτριες. Οι Βρετανίδες που κέρδισαν στα 4Χ100 μικτό στυλ, απεικονίζονται σ’ αυτή τη φωτογραφία μαζί με τη συνοδό τους (τη σύζυγο του προπονητή), που ο κυρίως ρόλος της ήταν να τις προστατεύει από τυχόν παρενοχλήσεις.
Η Τζένυ Φλέτσερ (1890 – 1968) ήταν μια πραγματική ηρωίδα της εργατικής τάξης. Ένα από τα 11 παιδιά μιας φτωχής οικογένειας του Λέστερ, δούλευε σε εργοστάσιο 12 ώρες τη μέρα, 6 μέρες τη βδομάδα και κολυμπούσε στον ελάχιστο χρόνο που της έμενε.
Από τα 15 της είχε το παγκόσμιο ρεκόρ στις 100 γιάρδες που παρέμεινε ακαταρρίπτο για 7 χρόνια, και ήταν πρωταθλήτρια Βρετανίας από το 1906 ως το 1912. Δεν πήρε μέρος στους Ολυμπιακούς του Λονδίνου το 1908, καθώς οι αγώνες κολύμβησης ακυρώθηκαν λόγω έλλειψης συμμετοχών. Το 1912 όμως, παρόλο που ήταν στη δύση της καριέρας της, συμμετείχε στους Ολυμπιακούς της Στοκχόλμης και κατάφερε να πάρει το χρυσό στα 4Χ100 και το αργυρό στα 100 μέτρα ελεύθερο.
Το 1913, σταμάτησε τον πρωταθλητισμό γιατί έγινε επαγγελματίας και ξεκίνησε να διδάσκει κολύμβηση στο Λέστερ. Το 1917, παντρεύτηκε και μετανάστευσε στον Καναδά όπου έζησε τα υπόλοιπα χρόνια μέχρι το θάνατο της το 1968.
Στη φωτογραφία, τα κορίτσια που κατέκτησαν το χρυσό μετάλλιο στα 4Χ100, με την συνοδό τους στη μέση. Απο τα αριστερά προς τα δεξιά: η Ισαβέλλα Μουρ, η Τζένυ Φλέτσερ, η Άννυ Σπέιρς και η Ιρένε Στηρ.
Η Μουρ παραμένει η νεώτερη Βρετανίδα που έχει πάρει Ολυμπιακό χρυσό μετάλλιο και συγχρόνως η μόνη Σκωτσέζα που το κατάφερε στην κολύμβηση.
Η Στηρ είναι μία από τις τρεις μόνο γυναίκες από την Ουαλία, που έχουν κερδίσει Ολυμπιακό χρυσό μετάλλιο.

André Grapperon, 1913

Color by Manos Athanasiadis

André Grapperon, a French champion motorcyclist at a board track somewhere in the U.S., 1913

André Grapperon, a French champion motorcyclist at a board track somewhere in the U.S., 1913

Board track racing was a type of motorsport popular in the United States during the 1910s and 1920s. Competition was conducted on circular or oval race courses with surfaces composed of wooden planks. These large tracks, with steeply banked turns as high as 60 degrees, were raced on with motorcycles that had evolved only slightly from their bicycle origins, yet were capable of speeds approaching 100 mph.
The races were hugely popular with spectators, and the board tracks popped up across the country during the ‘teens and ‘twenties. The first board track for motor racing was the circular Los Angeles Motordrome, built in 1910 based on the same technology as European velodromes used for bicycle racing. Board tracks proliferated in part because they were inexpensive to construct, but they lacked durability and required a great deal of maintenance to remain usable.

Springfield board track

Springfield board track

Racing on a board track was exceedingly dangerous due to flying wood splinters and debris, and due to the primitive tire technology of the era. The danger on the motorcycling motordromes was aggravated by the riders’ lack of proper safety equipment. Fans sat above the top of the track, looking down at the racers. When a rider lost control, he could slip up off the track and into the crowd. Many fatalities occurred, often involving spectators.
With the onset of the Great Depression in the early 1930s, board track racing disappeared rapidly. By 1929, at least 24 board tracks had been built around the country, although by 1931, 20 of the 24 had been shut-down or abandoned, and from 1932 on there were no more championship-level races run on boards.

Indian is an American brand of motorcycles originally produced from 1901 to 1953 in Springfield, Massachusetts, US. During the 1910s Indian became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. Indian’s co-founders George M Hendee and Carl Oscar Hedstrom had both been successful racing cyclists in their day and so were well aware of the valuable publicity to be gained from racetrack successes.
At first, Indian motorcycles used in competition were modified road models, and not until 1908 did the Springfield company offer a purpose-built racing motorcycle for sale. The following year Messrs Hedstrom and Hendee opened their own home-town, pine-board motordrome in Springfield, thus providing Indian with its own test track and works rider ‘Jake’ DeRosier – one of motorcycle sport’s first superstars – with a stage to showcase his immense talent. Indian was soon profiting from its products’ competition successes, to such an extent that the firm was overwhelmed with orders.

The New York Times, 13/08/1913

The New York Times, 13/08/1913

The 1912 Indian 61ci Board-Track Racing motorcycle is one of the earliest models built by the company. It’s fitted with an overhead 8-valve 61 cubic inch V-twin with a Bosch magneto, a Hendee carburettor, 28 inch wheels, no brakes and no throttle. Speed was controlled by turning the magneto on or off with a button on the handlebars. The suspension is provided by the tire sidewalls and if you wanted to stop, you put your feet.
André Grapperon, was a French champion motorcyclist. As was common when the riders posed, Grapperon is shown on his Indian with the steeply banked track visible behind him.

Οι αγώνες μοτοσικλετών σε ξύλινες κυκλικές πίστες ήταν ιδιαίτερα δημοφιλείς στις ΗΠΑ τις δεκαετίες 1910 και 1920.
Οι πίστες έμοιαζαν με τα βέλοντρομς στην Ευρώπη, που όμως ήταν φτιαγμένα για ποδήλατα.
Οι αγώνες ήταν ιδιαίτερα επικίνδυνοι τόσο για τους αναβάτες όσο και για τους θεατές. Οι μοτοσικλέτες ήταν ακόμα αρκετά πρωτόγονες. Έμοιαζαν περισσότερο ποδήλατα με πανίσχυρες μηχανές. Δεν είχαν φρένα ούτε αναρτήσεις και τα λάστιχα ήταν υποτυπώδη. Οι οδηγοί έκαναν γύρους με ταχύτητα 160 χιλιομέτρων την ώρα, πάνω σε επιφάνειες με κλίση ως και 60 μοίρες, ενώ σκλήθρες και πριονίδια από την πίστα τους χτυπούσαν στο πρόσωπο. Όταν έχαναν τον έλεγχο ήταν εύκολο να καταλήξουν πάνω στο πλήθος που τους παρακολουθούσε από την κορυφή της πίστας. Τα πολύνεκρα ατυχήματα που συνέβησαν, έθεσαν αρκετές φορές σε αμφισβήτηση την διοργάνωση τέτοιων αγώνων. Η Μεγάλη Ύφεση του 1929 έφερε το οριστικό τέλος τους.
Η εταιρία “Ίνδιαν” έφτιαχνε μοτοσικλέτες στο Σπρινφιλντ της Μασσαχουσέτης από το 1901 ως το 1953. Τη δεκαετία του 1910 ήταν η μεγαλύτερη κατασκευάστρια στον κόσμο. Η μοτοσικλέτα που εικονίζεται στη φωτογραφία, είναι το αγωνιστικό της μοντέλο του 1912, με 8βάλβιδο κινητήρα 1000 κυβικών σε διάταξη “V” και 28αρες ζάντες. Δεν είχε φρένα, ούτε ανάρτηση.
Ο Αντρέ Γκραππερόν, ήταν ήδη πρωταθλητής στη Γαλλία, όταν το 1913 πήρε μέρος σε board track αγώνες μοτοσυκλέτας στις ΗΠΑ.

Rocky Marciano vs Jersey Joe Walcott, 1952

Rocky-Marciano-02Hp

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

1952 Jersey Joe Walcott - Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano vs Jersey Joe Walcott, (Photo: Herb Scharfman / Collection Bettmann / Getty images) 1952

In 1951, after five attempts and 20 years, Jersey Joe Walcott (Arnold Raymond Cream, 1914–1994) finally win the Heavyweight Championship, at age 37. At that time, he was the oldest-ever heavyweight champion in history.
On September 23, 1952, he defended his title for the second time. His opponent was Rocky Marciano.
Rocky Marciano (Rocco Francis Marchegiano, 1923–1969) was special because he had everything working against him, from his short stature to his advanced age. He was a failed Italian ballplayer who had boxed a bit in the army and he was well into his 20s before he seriously pursued boxing.
When, trainer Lou Duva, first saw Marciano, he said: “This guy can’t even walk, but whenever he landed a punch, the other guy would go spinning like a top.” According to Duva, Marciano’s pride in being champion kept him on top. “He used to tell me, ‘Nothing makes me feel better than to walk into a restaurant and hear someone say Hi champ.'”
Rocky Marciano’s rise through boxing’s ranks was spectacular. He rose to the challenge, cleaning out the heavyweight division with his hammer-like fists and amassing a formidable record of 42-0 with 37 knockouts (Kos). But still there were those who questioned his abilities. Marciano was wild and often clumsy. Joe Walcott would call his style “amateurish”.
Marciano faced the World Heavyweight Champion, Jersey Joe Walcott, at the Municipal stadium, in Philadelphia on September 23, 1952. Despite his advanced age of 38-years-old, Walcott was supremely confident of beating Rocky beforehand and started the fight fast. Only a minute into the fight, Walcott rocked Marciano with a straight right hand that forced Rocky to clinch. As soon as the two were separated, Jersey Joe gifted Marciano with his first knockdown at the end of a short left hook. Rocky got up at the count of four, ignoring the roars of his corner to stay down for an eight-count, and tried to redeem himself, but Walcott had him outclassed. Marciano walked through punches that would have broken an ordinary man’s jaw. At the close of round twelve, Jersey Joe lead by scores of 8-4, 7-5 and 7-4-1. By the thirteenth round, Rocky had no chance of a decision win and came out of his corner looking for the kill. Just over half a minute into the round, Marciano bullied Walcott into a corner. Walcott feinted with the left hand and followed with the right – one of his signature moves – but Marciano didn’t flinch. Rocky plowed his right hand into Walcott’s undefended face before he could deliver the goods, snapping his head back in one of the greatest one-punch knockouts in boxing history.
The Philadelphia Municipal Stadium went wild. Marciano was the new World Heavyweight Champion.
In his dressing room, the former champion tried in vain to recall what had happened. “I don’t remember anything. I don’t know if it was a right or a left. I wasn’t tired. I felt good. I was setting my own pace. Then – BANG! It hit me. I still don’t know what hit me. I couldn’t even try to get up.”
The two would meet again in a rematch, three months later. Walcott was knocked out in the first round and never fought again. Rocky would remain champion until 1955 as he retired with a perfect 49-0 (43 KOs) record.
On Aug. 31, 1969, Marciano died in a plane crash. Joe Louis and Jersey Joe Walcott were at his wake. “Walcott walked to the casket and collapsed, he was crying so much.”
Wikipeadia: Rocky_Marciano
Wikipedia: Jersey_Joe_Walcott
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Το 1951, ο Τζέρσυ Τζο Γουόλκοτ, σε ηλικία 38 ετών έγινε παγκόσμιος πρωταθλητής πυγμαχίας βαρέων βαρών. Ήταν ο μεγαλύτερος σε ηλικία πυγμάχος που κατακτούσε αυτό τον τίτλο. Την επόμενη χρονιά θα υπερασπιζόταν τον τίτλο του απέναντι σ’ έναν αδέξιο 29χρονο Ιταλό, πρώην αθλητή του ράγκπυ.
Ο Ρόκυ Μαρσιάνο, ωστόσο ήταν μοναδική περίπτωση. Δεν είχε ούτε τη σωματοδομή ούτε την τεχνική ενός πρωτοκλασάτου πυγμάχου. Είχε όμως απίστευτη θέληση, μια γροθιά δυναμίτη και σαγόνι από γρανίτη. Κατάφερε να κερδίσει 42 αγώνες στη σειρά, τους 37 με νοκάουτ, πριν να διεκδικήσει τον τίτλο από τον Γουόλκοτ.
Οι δύο πυγμάχοι συναντήθηκαν στις 23 Σεπτεμβρίου του 1952, στη Φιλαδέλφεια, για έναν αγώνα που έμελλε να καταγραφεί ως ένας από τους 10 σπουδαιότερους στην ιστορία της πυγμαχίας.
Παρά την ηλικία του ο Γουόλκοτ, ξεκίνησε εντυπωσιακά τον αγώνα. Θεωρούσε τον αντίπαλο του “ερασιτέχνη” και με τον αέρα του πρωταθλητή, κατάφερε από τον πρώτο γύρο, να ρίξει τον Μαρσιάνο νοκντάουν. Ήταν η πρώτη φορά στην καριέρα του που ο Ρόκυ έπεφτε στο ρίνγκ. Στους επόμενους γύρους, η υπεροχή του Γουόλκοτ ήταν καθολική. Ο Μαρσιάνο είχε σχεδόν τυφλωθεί από τα χτυπήματα στο πρόσωπο, αλλά άντεχε ακόμα. Στο τέλος του 12ου γύρου, οι ελπίδες του Μαρσιάνο να κερδίσει στα σημεία ήταν ελάχιστες. Στον 13ο γύρο όμως μπήκε αποφασισμένος να τελειώσει τον αγώνα όπως ήξερε. Ο Γουόλκοτ, οπισθοχώρησε στα σχοινιά και ετοιμάστηκε να κάνει τη  χαρακτηριστική του κίνηση. Αμύνθηκε με το αριστερό, προετοιμάζοντας τη δεξιά γροθιά του για ένα ισχυρό γυριστό χτύπημα. Πριν προλάβει ν’ ολοκληρώσει την κίνηση του, πάνω στη στιγμή, η “σιδερένια” γροθιά του Μαρσιάνο τον άφησε στον τόπο, αναίσθητο. Μια γροθιά που έμεινε στην ιστορία ως “Suzie Q” και έδωσε τον τίτλο του Παγκόσμιου Πρωταθλητή Βαρέων Βαρών στον Ρόκυ Μαρσιάνο. Ο Γουόλκοτ, δεν κατάλαβε ποτέ τι τον χτύπησε. Αφού συνήλθε, αργότερα, ρωτούσε τι συνέβη.
Μετά από τρεις μήνες ο Γουόλκοτ θέλησε να πάρει τη ρεβάνς, αλλά βρέθηκε νοκάουτ από τον πρώτο κιόλας γύρο. Μετά σταμάτησε την πυγμαχία.
Ο Ρόκυ παρέμεινε πρωταθλητής μέχρι το 1955, που αποσύρθηκε. Είναι ο μόνος πυγμάχος στην ιστορία που δεν έχασε ποτέ στην καριέρα του, έχοντας 49 νίκες με 43 νοκάουτ.
Τον Αύγουστο του 1963, ο Μαρσιάνο σκοτώθηκε σε αεροπορικό δυστύχημα. Παρών στην κηδεία του και βαθιά συγκινημένος ήταν και ο πρώην αντίπαλος του, Τζέρσυ Τζο Γουόλκοτ.