JOHN LEES

Post questions concerning the History of Physical Culture and we will try our best to answer them for you.

Moderators: DannyBoy, Harry Hayfield, David Gentle

User avatar
DannyBoy
Posts: 2085
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:09 pm
Location: Virginia Beach

Re: JOHN LEES

Post by DannyBoy » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:47 pm

peter yates wrote:HI DANNY,
I HAD NOT SEEN THAT COVER BEFORE THANKS FOR POSTING IT. IN THE LATEST ISSUE OF HEALTH AND STRENGTH MAGAZINE THERE IS A TWO PAGE SECTION BY FORMER WRESTLER FRANK RIMER ON SOME OF THE BRITISH BODYBUILDER/WRESTLERS THERE IS A SHOT OF ADRIAN STREET AS HE IS TODAY AND LOOKING GREAT. HE ALSO MENTIONS JOHN LEES WHO HE SAYS IS STILL TRAINING AT 86. GOOD FOR HIM.
REGARDS, PETER.
Yeah, Adrian Street has kept himself in really good shape. And it's great to hear that John Lees is still training as well.

Tom K
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:17 am

Re: JOHN LEES

Post by Tom K » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:49 pm

I hope John Lees is still alive and well..

I read this article by Weider about Lee's win in 1957 Mr Universe

https://musclememory.com/showArticle.php?mb580616

"In my opinion, based on my knowledge, John Lees is greatly out of proportion. His mid-section is soft, there are pads of fat on each side of his lower back, and - while not due to any fault of his own, but obvious none-the-less, he is knock-kneed! His chest is deep and his pectorals are thick, but neither are properly shaped. His posture is poor and his shoulders droop. His skin tone is that of an older man."

So I went to try and find footage of John Lees, and found in the British Pathe archive only a few seconds from the 1955 Mr Universe of Mr Lees.

I created a quick animation from the few seconds clip below:
Image
(if you can't see it visit https://giphy.com/gifs/john-lees-nabba- ... rkoFOjsCLw )

I can't see an ounce of fat on him? What was Joe Weider doing knocking him so much?

Wrestling fans have always been very keen on archiving, so there are full records of his wrestling matches online, but I was hoping to see if there were any of his Saturday night wrestling matches available- must have been before VHS became common as I can't see any. Its a shame that clip above maybe all we have of him in action!

peter yates
Posts: 2406
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:38 pm
Location: NEW YORK, USA

Re: JOHN LEES

Post by peter yates » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:24 pm

Hi Tom, perhaps uncle Joe was peeved because John had taken the top prize and not one of his own boys. John was always in good condition even when not competing. He always looked fantastic when i watched him wrestle on Saturday afternoons,especially his wide shoulders and broad back. He is still alive and David usually meets up with him at the annual wrestlers reunion, so he can tell you more.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

User avatar
David Gentle
Posts: 570
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:39 pm
Location: England
Contact:

Re: JOHN LEES

Post by David Gentle » Thu Oct 31, 2019 5:52 pm

Although John Lees didnt turn up at the last wrestling reunion, i think he is still fine. He entered the U niverse many times and i think won it after, and dont quote me, ten attempts. He came from Stallbridge in the midlands and still there as far as i know, he hated his tag, "The Stallbridge Steve Reeves) As Peter rightly said(and he is rarely wrong) Old uncle Joe was fine with the universe until his blokes he sent over began to lose to better UK physiques, Joe even used to run down Reg Park, with similar comments, saying he had a fat waist, his trunks were too high etc, all rubbish stuff as REg out muscled his guys and won the titles. Reg like Lees tried out wrestling, but unlike John Lees, didnt like having to take what we call "The bumps" ie. you get chucked around a bit at first to see if you can stick it, also Reg was not as agile as required or wrestling unlike another bodybuilder, who by the way did turn up, ie. Spencer Churchill now over 90, Spence was a good wrestler as well as looking good.It may be fake, but its not a game for sissies. David Gentle
David Gentle
Chief Moderator
Author & Historian,
Physical Culture
https://davidgentle.com

peter yates
Posts: 2406
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:38 pm
Location: NEW YORK, USA

Re: JOHN LEES

Post by peter yates » Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:33 pm

Another reason Uncle Joe may have been badmouthing, was to try and turn bodybuilders away from NABBA and to his own IFBB organization.However many times John took to eventually win the Universe he kept on plugging away until victory. It was not that he was not in terrific shape but that in the 50s their were so many improved physiques competing. While the wrestling bouts were often scripted you still had to be strong, quick, agile, skillful and able to take the knocks, which were real. We also have to remember at that time a lot of the real hard, old timers were running the wrestling clubs, and if you wanted a chance to make it in the ring you had to jump through their hoops first. Of course wrestling changed, for the worse in MPV, as time went on and became a spectacle. Am i right in that you recently mentioned there is a new wave of wrestlers in the UK moving back the the older style that we used to watch on Saturday afternoon? Hope so.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

Tom K
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:17 am

Re: JOHN LEES

Post by Tom K » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:54 am

David Gentle wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 5:52 pm
Although John Lees didnt turn up at the last wrestling reunion, i think he is still fine. He entered the U niverse many times and i think won it after, and dont quote me, ten attempts. He came from Stallbridge in the midlands and still there as far as i know, he hated his tag, "The Stallbridge Steve Reeves) As Peter rightly said(and he is rarely wrong) Old uncle Joe was fine with the universe until his blokes he sent over began to lose to better UK physiques, Joe even used to run down Reg Park, with similar comments, saying he had a fat waist, his trunks were too high etc, all rubbish stuff as REg out muscled his guys and won the titles. Reg like Lees tried out wrestling, but unlike John Lees, didnt like having to take what we call "The bumps" ie. you get chucked around a bit at first to see if you can stick it, also Reg was not as agile as required or wrestling unlike another bodybuilder, who by the way did turn up, ie. Spencer Churchill now over 90, Spence was a good wrestler as well as looking good.It may be fake, but its not a game for sissies. David Gentle
I have never heard of Reg Park trying out for wrestling. Can you give more details?

peter yates
Posts: 2406
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:38 pm
Location: NEW YORK, USA

Re: JOHN LEES

Post by peter yates » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:19 pm

Same here. Be interested to know more about that.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

Post Reply