The Black Boy inn, Cobridge was a location for boxing
and wrestling training.......
John Thomas (Tut)
Whalley lived as a child at 9 Princes Street,
He came from a family of two brothers and five sisters
and stated his father’s occupation as Labourer and
mother’s as a Housewife.
Tut was a pupil at Cannon Street School, Shelton and
learnt to box at ‘The Black Boy Inn’ in Cobridge under
the tutelage of Jack Bartlett. Before his boxing career
developed he worked as a mould runner for Johnson's
Pottery in Hanley and as a driver for G.E.G.B.. During
the Second World War (1939-45) he was a Physical
Training Instructor (Sergeant) in the R.A.F. Regiment.
He fought at flyweight and was a Southpaw.
Throughout his career
he fought 150 fights and only lost two. Once he had
eight professional fights in 12 days and said the reason
this was possible was because he won them all on K.O.s.
assisted by his great speed. Tut is unmarked by his
boxing career and has no broken nose, scars or
cauliflower ears to betray his pugilism.
of Mow Cop's best-known characters was Bill Ogden, who was a
professional wrestler from the age of 22 until he quit the ring at the
age of 60.
After watching the Saturday night wrestling at the Victoria Hall,
Hanley, Bill decided to try his hand at "grappling," and began
training at the Black Boy pub in Cobridge.
Later, as he got more proficient, he trained at the famed Belshaw
brothers' gym in Wigan, cycling there and back from Mow Cop every
Sunday, a great deal sorer on the return journey than when he started
out. He was billed as Coalman Billy Ogden when he made his debut at
the Ideal skating rink,Hanley, in 1935, and in an eventful career
fought world champions Jack Beaumont and George Kidd in title bouts.
In the latter half of his career he became a ring "villain" under the
name Gypsy Joe Savoldi, and was famed within the "game" as one of "The