Glasgow wrestler Jim McKenzie inducted into City Chambers Hall of Fame

SEVENTEEN years after the death of Jim McKenzie, the Glasgow wrestler has joined his former sparring partner one last time after being inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland.

The Lord Provost oversaw a ceremony at the City Chambers on Friday where McKenzie, a lightweight who was a titan of the British wrestling scene in the 1960s, became the seventh man to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a plaque was awarded to his widow. Helen, their daughter Gillian, and Bill Ross, McKenzie’s former teammate and occasional adversary.

Jim McKenzie in his prime (Photograph courtesy of Jim McKenzie’s family)

“Jim McKenzie was perhaps the best wrestler in Glasgow,” Hall of Fame founder Bradley Craig said. “He was also one of the leading champions in the lightweight division at a time when Scotland’s lightweight stars were the best in the world.

“Bill Ross and Jim McKenzie’s ‘Flying Scots’ were without a doubt the best tag team in Scotland. They were probably the greatest tag team of their generation.

“They had fantastic battles across the country. Jim’s speed with Bill’s strength was a virtually unbeatable combination.

HeraldScotland: the The “Flying Scots” in action (Photograph courtesy of Jim McKenzie’s family)

When presented with McKenzie’s old belt, a teary-eyed Ross admitted seeing it once again “brings back a lot of memories”.

He then recalled one particular wrestling match that highlighted how the “Flying Scots” were back in their prime.

“Jim was a highly respected wrestler who had great speed and a great sense of humor,” Ross recalled. “As far as I was concerned, he was a great professional and a good friend, and we had many tough fights over the years!

HeraldScotland:

“Because of the training I was doing, I was just a little bit stronger than Jim all the time. I was always strong in my legs, good at pushing. A lot of times I felt the boys come out and let Jim make them dizzy.

“It always stuck in my mind: We were fighting against a French team and I saw one of the guys gesturing to his muscles and shaking his hand – calling us sweet, basically. Jim and I l we timed.

“I said I’d go out first and push him around a bit. Well, two or three minutes later, I picked this guy up, held him above my head, and dropped him on the canvas. I tagged Jim, he rolled over and immediately pinned him.

“The promoter knew exactly what I was doing because I had done it before. He was laughing and said to me “those boys were supposed to be here for a two month contract”. The guys ended up packing it up and going home!

Gillian McKenzie, Jim’s daughter, was not born when her father retired from the sport and said she enjoyed learning more about his status in the wrestling world.

HeraldScotland:

She said: “I am very proud that my father’s career will be remembered decades after his retirement from the ring.

“He was a great father, and it’s really special for me to learn of the impact he had as a top wrestler in the years since his passing.”

Helen McKenzie, Jim’s widow, added: “My husband loved his days as a wrestler which gave him some of the happiest times of his life, traveling around the country with many other stars of his generation.”

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