Johnny Kwango

John Lagey (20 April 1920 – 19 January 1994), better known by his ring name Johnny Kwango, was an English professional wrestler. He was frequently seen on ITV's coverage of British Wrestling.[1][2]

Johnny Kwango
Birth nameJohn Lagey
Born(1920-04-20)20 April 1920
Died19 January 1994(1994-01-19) (aged 73)
Peckham, London, England
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Johnny Kwango
DebutLate 1940s

Early lifeEdit

Lagey was a ballet dancer in The Ballet Negres, the first all-black dance company in Europe. His mother was a strongwoman in a German circus, and may have been possibly Europe's first female professional wrestler.

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Kwango wrestled from the late 1940s to the 1980s, and was famous for his head-butt moves.[1] He achieved fame in Britain through televised matches on ITV, but also enjoyed popularity in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.[2] He also worked as a referee during the 1980s.

Personal lifeEdit

Lagey was an accomplished drummer and pianist, playing in various nightclubs in London with his brother, Cyril, who was a musician with the comedy orchestra known as Sid Millward & His Nitwits. Lagey's older brother, Butcher Johnson, was also a wrestler. Lagey's hobbies included photography, cars, amateur radio, and collecting jazz records. He lived in Peckham and died of cancer at the age of 74. He was survived by his six children.

In popular cultureEdit

Kwango was the subject of a song by the Bevis Frond and was namechecked in the Half Man Half Biscuit song "Prag Vec at the Melkweg".


  1. ^ a b "Kent Walton". The Daily Telegraph. 28 August 2003. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Johnny Kwango; Obituary". The Times. 14 February 1994. p. 19.

External linksEdit