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Dundee pioneer of TV wrestling inducted into sport’s hall of fame

Chic Purvey in action in the ring.
Chic Purvey in action in the ring.

Influential Dundee wrestler Charles ‘Chic’ Purvey is the latest inductee into Scotland’s professional wrestling hall of fame.

Chic was born in 1927 and brought up in William Street, attended St Mary’s school, and developed an interest in amateur wrestling at the North End Youth Club in Dundee.

He was one of the first wrestlers to appear on television, facing high-profile stars between 1956 and his final televised bout in 1969.  He held Scottish, British and World middleweight titles throughout his career.

Chic died at Roxburghe House, Dundee on Sunday 17 November 1996 at the age of 69.

Wrestler Chic Purvey.

‘All out brawl’

Bradley Craig, founder of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland, said he was “one of the most influential wrestlers to have come from Scotland.”

“His memorable, aggressive style suited live crowds as well as a television audience. He quickly became one of the key talents during the boom time of British wrestling in the post-Second World War period.”

Bradley said Chic made his professional debut in September 1948, working across the country and into England.

The wrestler toured France in the 1950s and developed a roughhouse brawling technique, similar the North American style of wrestling.

“A true pioneer, he had the skills to adapt to any opponent, whether he was involved in a technical bout or an all-out brawl,” Bradley added.

World champion

He held the Scottish middleweight championship from 1952 to 1969 and defended the title in many bouts. A battle with Johnny Eagles at Aberdeen Music Hall in 1966 being one of the most famous, Bradley said.

Chic won the first of three British middleweight championship belts on December 16, 1961. The wrestler won the world middleweight belt in 1964 after defeating Rene Ben Chemoul.

He follows Dundee legend and contemporary George Kidd into the hall of fame.

Bradley said: “Following the events of the Second World War, George Kidd had turned to professional wrestling. He convinced Purvey to try his hand at the business because Charles had attained championships in the amateur ranks.”

The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland is a non-profit entity.  Bradley founded it to preserve the heritage of the Scottish professional wrestling industry.

It has arranged annual inductions of the greatest professional wrestlers to come from Scotland since 2015.

Purvey joins George Kidd (2015), Andy Robin (2016), Frank ‘Chic’ Cullen (2017), Bill Ross (2018), and Drew McDonald (2019) in the hall.

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