TV show will remember ‘national hero’ George
THE son of former Dundee world champion wrestler George Kidd has revealed he did not want his father to go through with his final bout at the Caird Hall in 1976.
In the next episode of STV series The People’s History Show, which airs tonight at 8pm, George Kidd Jnr reveals he was concerned two of his father’s ribs had been broken in his previous fight and he didn’t want him to get hurt again.
However, the legendary grappler insisted on taking to the ring because he “had his fans and he felt indebted to them for supporting him for all those years”.
Born in Dundee’s Hill Street in 1925, George rose to become lightweight wrestling world champion, a title he held for 26 years after defending it 49 times.
Since his death in January 1998 aged 92, the former Clepington Road Primary pupil has been honoured with a plaque marking his induction to the Scottish Wrestling Hall of Fame. The memorial adorns a wall of the Caird Hall, a venue where George also had his first paid bout, and where he made his name as one of the biggest British stars in the business in a career which spanned more than 30 years.
The show looks back at the Dundee great and features interviews with former wrestler Len Ironside and ICW star Chris Renfrew, as well as George’s son.
Len Ironside said: “George Kidd, for those who don’t know him, is perhaps the most respected wrestler to ever come from, not only Scotland, but Britain.
“He was a world phenomenon that unified all of the world lightweight titles and made him a legend. He was a proud Dundonian. He became a national hero.”
Glasgow Caledonia University sports historian Dr Fiona Skillen said: “George was only 5ft 6in, so quite a small guy and only weighed about 10 stone.
“Generally wrestlers are big and bulky. So he was using different techniques to be successful. That’s what should be celebrated, the fact he went against popular expectation.”
Wrestler George Kidd.