WRESTLING was a very popular sport in the 1950s and 1960s and one reader's carefully retained programmes prove this.

Not only was it popular on the television — no doubt many Looking Back readers will recall the days of wrestling on the tv on a Saturday afternoon — it was also popular here in Bolton at a venue where matches were held live for the local public to enjoy.

The venue was the Bolton Stadium where wrestling was run by Wryton Promotions.

The stadium — known as the Wryton Stadium — was in Blackburn Road and was popular from the 1930s onwards.

Margaret Rigby, who runs Rigby's Fish and Chip Shop in Deane Church Lane, discovered several wrestling programmes in her home and thought other Looking Back readers might have their own wrestling memories, jogged by these almost 60 year-old programmes.

The programmes are for bouts held on Friday March 28, 1958 and Friday June 20, 1958 and feature famous names of the time including Bolton's Vic Hesselle and Leigh's John Foley.

The stadium attracted wrestlers from all over the UK including Gwynn Davies from Wales.

Count Bartelli was another well-known name at that time as was Tony Mancelli described in one programme as an "Anglo-Italian".

The programmes — called Wrestling Mat — feature a range of wrestling topics including information about the various wrestlers, a description of wrestling moves and information about up and coming contenders in the sport.

Famous Bolton wrestler Vic Faulkner was born on July 14, 1944 and was a pupil at St Peter and Paul's RC School and Lord's Commercial Institute in Bolton.

Vic's father Lewis Faulkner was also a wrestler, turning professional in 1935 and retiring in 1963 at the age of 50. Lewis ran the Bull's Head pub in Breightmet for 17 years and Vic owned a pub in Euxton, Chorley.

Vic was just 17 when he became a professional. He travelled the world wrestling including Africa, Italy, East African countries including Kenya and France including bouts in Paris and he also raised money for charity.

Vic was European Middleweight Wrestling Champion from 1966 to 1973 and British Welterweight Wrestling Champion from 1973 to 1977.

Vic and Bert Faulkner often fought together as the Faulkner Brothers or the Royal Brothers and were a famous — and undefeated — wrestling Tag Team in the 1960s and 1970s.

They appeared at Bolton's Wryton Stadium to the delight of local crowds.

They also appeared on television in the 1960s and 1970s, entertaining families who would all gather around the television set to watch wrestling.

Bert Royal was born Herbert Faulkner, but wrestled under the name of Royal because at that time his father, Lewis, was using the family name until he changed his "work" name to Vic Hesselle.

Do you have your own wrestling memories? If so do get in touch with Gayle McBain on 01204 537269 or email gayle.mcbain@nqnw.co.uk