The event at the Castle Street venue was co-organised by Nick Campbell, who wrote a book about the history of pro wrestling in Northern Ireland, and Carrick’s own Dennis Millar aka ‘Diamond Shondell’.
Nick explained: “No referees were needed as former ring rivals like ‘The Ladies’ Favourite’ Ricky Valentine, ‘Tough as Granite’ Rocky Hunter, Lisburn heavyweight Chris Sommers, Newtownards head-locker Bruce McDonald and 94-year-old ‘Dirty’ Noel Arnott locked-up instead in conversation, sharing stories and laughs about their times brawling in halls across the island of Ireland during the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
“Dennis started his wrestling journey training at a gym on Albion Street in Belfast in the 1970s, with his most memorable appearance in action coming in 1985 when he wrestled in front of the millions watching ITV’s ‘World of Sport’ programme.
"Dennis’ last match was in 1993, coincidentally the same year as the first ever NI Wrestlers’ Reunion – this past weekend’s event being the 30th anniversary of that original get together.
“Carrickfergus itself has a prominent place in NI’s history of pro wrestling with many matches being brought to the Town Hall since the 1960s by local promoters as well as to the Castle – most notably as ‘ye old entertainment’ during the popular Medieval banquets held in the 1980s.”
Nick added: “Well-deserved awards In Recognition of Contribution to Irish Wrestling were also presented to former wrestler, referee and promoter Peter Nulty as well as former Belfast wrestler and judo champion Sean Montgomery aka ‘Seanie Rivers’.
"An award was also accepted by Larry Ewart on behalf of his late father Noel, another well-regarded Belfast ring rogue. Peter, Sean and Noel joining all the names above and many more including freshly honoured MBE Dave Finlay Snr and former ITV favourite ‘Kung Fu’ Eddie Hamill in the Irish Wrestling Hall of Fame.
"A vintage poster was also presented by ‘The Lone Wolf’ George Crothers to Carrick’s young wrestling enthusiast and YouTuber Keaton Whiteside,
who attended with his father Darren.”