Lord Athol Layton
Athol Layton (August 20, 1919 – January 18, 1984) known by his ring name Lord Athol Layton, he was an English-Australian professional wrestler, amateur boxer, and professional wrestling commentator, best remembered as being a major wrestling attraction in the 1950s and 1960s as both a tag-team and singles wrestler. As a tag team performer, he formed a memorable team with Lord James Blears, with whom he won various championships throughout the United States and Canada. As a singles wrestler, he drew large crowds particularly in Toronto against Billy Watson and The Sheik and in Detroit against Dick the Bruiser. He also appeared as a longtime color commentator for wrestling television shows in the Ontario, New York, Ohio and Michigan territories.
|Lord Athol Layton|
|Birth name||Allan Layton|
|Born||August 20, 1919|
|Died||January 18, 1984 (aged 62)|
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Lord Athol Layton|
|Billed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Billed weight||260 lb (118 kg)|
Born in the county of Surrey in England, Layton moved with his family to Australia at the age of 13. He served in the Australian Imperial Forces during World War II, where he was Australia's Heavyweight Amateur Boxing champion for two years. At some point prior to his service, he met his wife Leah, with whom he settled down to run a pub with after his discharge from military services.
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Layton became interested in a career in professional wrestling after seeing a wrestling show visiting his town. Through a friend, with little experience or training, he had his first wrestling match in Singapore in 1949. Shortly thereafter, Layton went back to England to hone his craft in professional wrestling. After this training, he arrived in Toronto and began wrestling full-time for promoter Frank Tunney's Toronto, Canada-based 'Maple Leaf' territory. He would make his Maple Leaf Gardens debut in November 1950, in the main event bout against Ski Hi Lee.
In 1952, he formed a tag team with Lord James Blears. Managed by Captain Leslie Holmes, in 1953 they won the NWA World Tag Team Championship (Chicago version) in NWA Chicago. They would go on to capture many tag team championships in various territories throughout the United States and Canada including the Ohio-New York version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship on two occasions. Layton would also win tag team championships with Bobo Brazil in August 1970 in Detroit and Ilio DiPaolo in November 1959 for the Midwest Wrestling Association.
In Detroit in August 1962, as a fan favorite, Layton beat Dick the Bruiser for the United States Heavyweight Championship. He went on to win the title again in 1963. Owing to concerns over an eye injury, Layton wrestled his final match in 1976 at Maple Leaf Gardens, teaming with Lou Klein in a tag-team match against the Kelly Twins
As early as June 1961 Layton was working as a television commentator for the Tunney promotion for the live TV wrestling show on CBLT Toronto and later at CHCH in Hamilton, Ontario. He excelled in this position and worked for Ed Farhat in Detroit on WXON as well. He also performed as a color commentator in various territories including Cleveland and Toronto.
Throughout his career, Layton was a regular volunteer, working on behalf of disabled and underprivileged children. He was awarded the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship in 1983 for his charitable work, one year before his passing.
He gained Canadian citizenship in 1958
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
Heavyweight Amateur Boxing Champion (Australia), two years during the Second World War period
- National Wrestling Alliance
- NWA World Tag Team championship (Chicago/Indianapolis version) w/Lord James Blears
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Detroit version) w/Bobo Brazil
- NWA World Tag Team championship (Ohio-New York version) (four times; two times with Lord James Blears and two times with Ilio DiPaolo)
- NWA Canadian Open Tag Team championship (Toronto version) w/Billy Watson
- NWA Hawaii Tag Team championship w/Tom Rice
- NWA (San Francisco) Pacific Coast Tag Team championship w/James Blears (two times)
- Midwest Wrestling Association
- MWA Ohio Tag Team championship w/Ilio DiPaolo
- Worldwide Wrestling Associates
- WWA International Television Tag Team Championship w/James Blears (two times)
- American Wrestling Association
- "Athol Layton".
- "SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Lord Athol Layton".
- Hornbaker, Tim (January 3, 2017). Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams, and Piledrivers. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9781613218754 – via Google Books.
- "SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Lord Athol Layton". canoe.com. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
- "Athol Layton". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
- Harris M. Lentz III (January 1, 2003). Biographical Dictionary of Professional Wrestling, 2nd ed. McFarland. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7864-1754-4.
- in Detroit, as a fan favourite, he beat Dick the Bruiser for the United States Heavyweight championship in August 1962 and went on to win that title again in 1963
- Hornbaker, Tim (January 3, 2017). Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams, and Piledrivers. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9781613218754.
- Blinoff, Sheila (October 19, 2011). "Ward 9 News must be doing something right by 1984". Beach Metro Community News. Retrieved June 1, 2017.