Big name at town’s Glider

Big Daddy in action at the Glider.
Big Daddy in action at the Glider.

The Gliderdrome is no stranger to housing the stars.

Through the ages, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Tina Turner, Slade, Tom Jones, Otis Reddin and T-Rex are among the many, many acts to have appeared at the Boston venue.

Manfred Mann, The Animals, Thin Lizzy and Status Quo can also be added to that list.

But none of those famous names are as big - in real life, anyway - as Big Daddy.

In 1983, the 6ft 2ins 27-stones wrestling man mountain - known as Shirley Crabtree to his mum - arrived at the Glider.

Big Daddy is by far the most popular British wrestler of all-time, and his appearance was an appetite-whetting occasion.

The Big Daddy Splashdown was his signature move.

He would run off the ropes and finish off an oponent by belly flopping onto them.

That was not something for a rival to relish as daddy was in the Guinness Book of Records for his 64-inch chest.

At the Glider he teamed up with Pat Patton to defeat King-Kong Kirk and Scrubber Daly in a charity event hosted by Boston Rotary Club.

Of course, the fans’ favourite - there were 700 in attendance to cheer him on that night - and his pal overcame their opponents.

Also on the bill was local favourite Bill Clark, who defeated Battlestar.

Another fighter from this neck of the woods, Grasshopper, beat Dave Lawrence by two falls to one.

Also competing on the bill were Steve Logan and The Saxon Brooks. But the fight ended as a no-contest due to an injury sustained by Logan.

Wrestling was just one of several sporting appearances at the Glider over the years.

In just the past decade, Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor and Tony Drago have all given snooker masterclasses.

On top of that, boxing superstar Ricky Hatton helped promote his bout with Floyd Mayweather jnr at a sportsman’s dinner do.