Frank was a wrestling giant

Dave “Butcher” Bond was born Frank Wallen on June 27, 1954.

Even before his life would take him to international fame in the wresting ring, Dave was a successful sportsman – coaching rugby, football, cricket or even judo, and mastered every level.

He was four years with the United Amateur Wresting Club at Camberwell.

He won the British Intermediate Heavyweight Title in 1972 and 1974 and was runner-up in 1973.

It was from there he was introduced to Joe D’Orazio, a former black belt in judoka as well as a famed referee, who helped turn Frank Wallen into Dave Bond.

During training sessions he would train with the likes of Lee Bronson – mostly noted for having incredible bouts against Billy Robinson – and Mark “Rollerball” Rocco, AKA Black Tiger.

From Dave “The Lion” Bond to “Butcher” Bond to the “Soulman” Bond, he carried himself with swagger as well as backing it up with excellent technicality and hard-nosed offense.

He appeared on the ITV’s Saturday afternoon World of Sport’s wrestling programme regularly.

In 1977, he was half of a tag team with Johnny Kincaid which took on Peter Roberts and the iconic mask-wearing Kung Fu at Picketts Lock.

He was 18 stone of muscle.

But it is clear from footage the contestants are hardly breaking sweat in the heavily-orchestrated fights – screaming housewives notwithstanding.

The Caribbean Sunshine Boys, formed in 1977 and the name was given to them by Mike Marino.

It was actually the first time Johnny Kincaid or Dave were heavily booed.

Both men remained best friends up until their passing.

The Caribbean Sunshine Boys and the Kung Fu Fighters – Pete Roberts and Kung Fu both made their debuts at on October 8, 1977 at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon.

In another televised bout, slimmed down from 18 to 16 stone, Dave beat Terry Rudge in the Grand Prix Belt in 1988 Challenge Shield at Walthamstow but was beaten in the final by Pat Roach.

It is still painful, though, to hear Dave, or Frank, be booed for doing nothing other than his job.

That was his last bout. He sadly he passed on January 4, 2012.


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