Death during wrestling bout - emotional words during legend's visit to Bournemouth
These pictures of fan-favourite wrestler Big Daddy were taken less than a week after tragedy struck in the ring.
Although August 27, 1987, was a fun and unforgettable day at the Bournemouth’s Pavilion for local Big Daddy supporters, the 64-inch chested giant was clearly grieving.
Earlier that week his opponent King Kong Kirk, whose real name was Malcolm Kirk, lay lifeless on the canvas after a bout in Great Yarmouth when Big Daddy threw his entire 24 stone across him to score a winning fall.
Kirk had suffered a fatal heart attack in the ring.
“Wrestling is not a con and in that bout he was an awesome figure with a 23-inch neck and no shrinking violet – I gave him all I had in that contest,” Big Daddy told the Echo in an emotional interview at the time.
“He was as strong as three men and I expected him to leap up and face me.
“He had wrestled around the world but there he was lying on the canvas with no life coming from him.”
Despite the tragedy, Big Daddy managed to keep composed in Bournemouth and went on with partner Greg Valentine to win his tag contest against the massive 45-stone Giant Haystacks and Scottish-born Drew McDowell.
A true professional, he didn't feel he could let down his fans, so he kept smiling and greeting his fans.
These pictures were taken on that night in Bournemouth and show Big Daddy before taking to the ring, him in action, meeting his fans, and the fans themselves.
Big Daddy, whose real name was Shirley Crabtree, died of a stroke in December 1997.