Judo Syd is a top grappler

Former professional wrestler Syd  Askin is still teaching boxing and judo at the age of 73 at Scalby Parish Hall. He is pictured puting some of his class through their paces at the centre. 121554c Picture by Dave Kettlewell.'14/04/2012.
Former professional wrestler Syd Askin is still teaching boxing and judo at the age of 73 at Scalby Parish Hall. He is pictured puting some of his class through their paces at the centre. 121554c Picture by Dave Kettlewell.'14/04/2012.
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GRAPPLE fans who used to tune in and watch professional wrestling back in the 60s, 70s and 80s may recognise Scarborough’s Syd Askin.

Syd, now 73, was one of the top stars of the sport back then when he used to do battle in the squared circle.

And it was not until a recent re-union of these stars that Syd was invited to, that all the memories came flooding back again.

Syd, who went under the name Judo Syd Askin, said: “I got a phone call out of the blue from one of the other wrestlers asking me if I would like to go to a re-union in Leeds because they would really like to see me, and I thought why not.

“I never craved publicity when I was a wrestler but I thought it would be nice to catch up with everyone.

“I was interviewed for a documentary about the old-school wrestling on TV, which was huge, and I had a wonderful time.”

Syd is originally from Barnsley and went on to work in the Goldthorpe and Highgate Colliery near Doncaster, which was where he gained the tools to be a wrestler and a martial artist.

He added: “The dangers underground definitely toughened you up and you also had to have good communication skills, which are essential to successful wrestlers.

“I was watching the wrestling one Saturday and thought to myself, I could do that.

“So, at the age of 21, I contacted promoter George de Relwyskow and I asked him for a trial.

“He realised my potential and he invited me to turn professional in 1972 as I learned the business.”

The following year Syd appeared on television himself, facing the likes of Roy St Clair, Steve Logan and Caswell Martin.

The Judo Syd tag was no colourful invention of a creative promoter, as Syd took only 12 months to reach black belt first dan.

His love of judo continued over the years as he went on to become a level three coach.

Syd has lived in Scarborough with wife Jennifer for the past 28 years and currently resides in the Scholes Park area.

He brought his love for judo along with him and has been involved with several different clubs.

He now runs the ASA Judo Club every Saturday morning at Scalby Parish Hall.

Syd added: “It is a lovely little club and it is all about keeping fit, with a bit of judo and boxing mixed together.

“Judo has been a big part of my life along with the wrestling and I have enjoyed both a great deal.”

The re-union definitely rekindles Syd’s feeling about the world of wrestling.

He said: “There is something very British about professional wrestling and the World of Sport show on a Saturday afternoon was huge.

“In its heydey, more people were watching that show than the FA Cup final.”

For further details on the ASA Judo Club contact Syd on 378505.