Grapple-fans rejoice – fears that wrestling’s 60-year association with Worthing was at an end are no more.
A policy change at Worthing Theatres rang the bell on shows at the town’s Assembly Hall, which John Freemantle’s Premier Promotions had been staging since 1994.
In February, John told the Herald & Gazette he was undecided on his next move – or even if there would be one.
But now he has revealed his plans to bring shows back to Worthing, at a new venue, St Paul’s in Chapel Road, with the first on Thursday, October 26.
John said: “That will be our normal date in the October half term. We have picked up where we have left off.
“It’s going to be packed out, hopefully. The plan is to run shows with the same programme that we had for 23 years at the Assembly Hall.
“The atmosphere should be very good.
Confirmed for the inaugural show at St Paul’s are Doug Williams and Mark Haskins, two of the biggest names in British Wrestling – and the crowd can expect some fireworks after the pair clashed at the last event.
John’s first show in Worthing, on March 31, 1994, featured world-famous star Davey Boy Smith, the British Bulldog, and was held at the town’s Pavilion Theatre.
More shows followed, at the Pavilion and the Assembly Hall, before the latter was chosen as what would become wrestling’s spiritual home in the town.
And now John hopes the tradition will continue at St Paul’s. And it could be a match-up that was meant to be – Premier Promotions shows at St Paul’s, which is dubbed ‘Worthing’s premier community hub’.
“From the supporters’ point of view it’s an excellent move,” John said. “It’s literally seconds from the Assembly Hall. I wanted to stay central.
“I would be silly not to be excited. I’m really pleased that we have found another venue in the centre of Worthing that I feel should carry on the tradition of professional wrestling in the town. I’m looking forward to it.”
St Paul’s manager Anthony Dickinson said: “We are delighted to be adding wrestling to our wide-ranging programme of events.
“It’s good to be working with Premier Promotions, one of the country’s top promoters, whose shows have proved popular with fans at the Assembly Hall for many years.”
Tickets, priced £10 in advance, will be available from September from St Paul’s and via the website stpaulsworthing.co.uk