The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland announced its latest inductee today — legendary middleweight wrestler Charles “Chic” Purvey. The announcement was made at the press offices of D.C. Thomson in Dundee, Scotland, and an article detailing the induction was in The Courier newspaper.
Purvey transitioned from boxing and amateur wrestling to the professional wrestling industry in 1948. In a career laced with championship glory, Chic was able to capture the Scottish Middleweight title, three reigns with the British Middleweight strap, and the World Middleweight crown. He also won the Belle Vue trophy at a tournament in Manchester in 1963. One of the most popular stars during the boom of televised pro wrestling, Purvey would make a guest appearance in an episode of Coronation Street in October 1964.
Chic Purvey passed away on November 17, 1996 at Roxburghe House, Dundee, when he was 69. He created a lasting legacy of in-ring excellence during his career as one of the premier middleweights in the professional wrestling industry.
He was one of the most influential wrestlers to have come from Scotland. He had a memorable, aggressive style which was suited to live crowds as well as a television audience, and quickly became one of the key talents during the boom time of British wrestling in the post-Second World War period. A true pioneer who had the skills to adapt to any opponent, whether he was involved in a technical bout or an all-out brawl.
Born in 1927, Charles Purvey was brought up in William Street, and attended St Mary’s school, and developed an interest in boxing and amateur wrestling at the North End Youth Club in Dundee, Scotland, where he met George Kidd.
Following the events of the Second World War, George Kidd had turned to professional wrestling and convinced Purvey to try his hand at the business, as Charles had attained championships in the amateur ranks.
He was prepared for a career in pro wrestling, studying under Kidd, Les Kellett, and Kidd’s mentor Norman Morrell (Morrell was a former Olympic competitor who was a key figure in the sport, and worked as a promoter).
Purvey made his professional debut in September 1948, working across the country and into England. Has some memorable bouts with Rab Hannon over the contendership for the Scottish Middleweight title.
In the 1950s, he toured France and became a protégé to North American star Pat Curry. Inspired by this influence, Purvey develops a roughhouse brawling technique, similar the North American style of wrestling.
Purvey was one of the first wrestlers to appear on television and faced high-profile stars such as Mick McManus and Jackie Pallo in televised bouts between 1956 and 1960. His last TV appearance was a tag match with partner Ted Hannon against brothers Bert Royal and Vic Faulkner in April 1969. (Yet, the British wrestling magazines rarely featured him.)
Perhaps the biggest match of Purvey’s career was holding Mick McManus to a draw in front of 5,000 fans at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
His major popularity as a draw in the UK led to promoter Max Crabtree renaming Frank Cullen as Chic Cullen.
TITLES WON BY PURVEY
- Held the Scottish Middleweight championship, with a reign that spanned from 1952 to 1969, defending the title across the country in a number of high-profile defences. One of the most famous defences was a bout with Johnny Eagles at Aberdeen Music Hall in 1966.
- Defeats Tommy Mann at Belle Vue, Manchester to become the British middleweight champion on 16th December 1961. During the following two years the title passed back and forth between Purvey and Mann, making Chic a three-time British champion.
- Purvey won the Belle Vue trophy at a tournament in Manchester in 1963.
- In 1964, Purvey defeats Rene Ben Chemoul for the world middleweight belt, holding it for five months.
ABOUT THE PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING HALL OF FAME FOR SCOTLAND
The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland is a non-profit entity founded to preserve the heritage of the Scottish professional wrestling industry. Founded by wrestling historian and author Bradley Craig, it was established with one clear mission: to celebrate and preserve the rich history of the art, science and sport of the professional wrestling within the cultural fabric to the nation of Scotland, and to honour the achievements and significance of its key contributors.
Since 2015, it has arranged annual inductions of the greatest professional wrestlers to come from our nation, at venues across the country. This induction announcement is made on Monday 21st December 2020 to celebrate one of the greatest middleweight wrestlers in the history of the business, Charles ‘Chic’ Purvey.
With this induction, Purvey joins a class of wrestlers comprised of George Kidd (first ever inductee, 2015), Andy Robin (inducted 2016), Frank ‘Chic’ Cullen (2017), Bill Ross (2018), and Drew McDonald (2019). Purvey joins the legendary George Kidd as the second Dundee citizen to enter this Hall of Fame.