Former Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor superstar Doug Williams is set to make his final appearance in a Worthing wrestling ring next month.
The current Progress Wrestling Atlas champion, who will defend his title at The SSE Arena, Wembley, on Sunday, is expected to announce his retirement ahead of surgery later this year to repair long-term shoulder, neck and back injuries.
But Williams will be in action in Worthing when the giants of the grappling game return to the St Paul's Centre on October 22.
Promoter John Freemantle said: "Doug has been there, done it all and got the T-shirt. He has wrestled all over the world, won championships in the United States and Japan and on home soil been voted Wrestler of the Year seven times and won the Worthing Trophy on a record six occasions.
"He really has nothing to prove, and I understand doctors have now advised him he could suffer permanent damage if he carries on wrestling."
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Williams is currently running down a demanding schedule that he has followed since breaking into the big time 20 years ago but has promised to fulfil his existing engagements, one of which is the Premier Promotions date on the Worthing half-term spectacular after he competes in a tournament in Hamburg the previous weekend.
John, who gave Williams his first Worthing bout in a bill on the pier in 1998, said: "Doug has been arguably the most popular, and certainly the most successful, wrestler on our shows since he made his debut, and it would be fitting if the fans he has thrilled over the years turn out in force for what is likely to be the last time they will have the chance to see him in action in the ring."
The October event will once again see the St Paul's Centre, a bustling community hub and cafe during the day, transformed in a couple of hours into one of the South's best grappling arenas for the Monday night spectacular that will kick off the second season of shows since wrestling moved from the town's Assembly Hall.
It is a move John has hailed as a success: "We presented our first show on the pier in 1994 and ran there and at the Assembly Hall for 23 years, but the fans have been brilliant and tell us the atmosphere at St Paul's is the best they have ever experienced."
Next month's show will feature the Worthing Trophy, a knockout tournament that is being sponsored by local company Sussex Ford Breakers for the 25th year, plus tag-team action, and among the other stars lined up to appear are PWF title-holder "Dazzling" Darrell Allen, the "Prince of Mumbai" Rishi Ghosh and young Adonis Josh Faulkner.
Tickets, with discounts for advanced bookings, are available in person from the St Paul’s Centre or via the website – stpaulsworthing.co.uk