Obituary: Maurice 'Mad Dog' Vachon
Legendary ‘heel’ who won gold at the Empire Games and went on to contest more than 13,000 bouts
In classic wrestling style, like Britain’s Mick McManus, who died in May, Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon was the man fans loved to hate. In grappling parlance he was a “heel”, and there was none better. With what appeared to be a volcanic temper, and a brutally unorthodox style, his fame spread far beyond his native Canada, and he fought more than 13,000 bouts in career that lasted nearly half a century.
Born in Ville-Emard, a suburb of Montreal, he was one of three wrestling brothers, starting out as an amateur and finishing in seventh place at the 1948 Olympics in London at the age of 18. Two years later he won gold at middleweight at the Empire Games in Auckland, New Zealand, and then after a couple of years working as a bouncer in his home town he turned professional, often appearing with his brother Paul.
Thanks to his wild style – stamping, biting and generally fighting dirty – and his off-the-scale interviews, not to mention his shaved head and goatee beard, he soon made a name for himself. He became notorious for filing his nails to sharp points, and for his signature “Piledriver” move. In fact away from the ring he was charming and lovable. “He was the first wrestler to understand the power of television,” said Yves Theriault, who made a film about him. “He was the first wrestler to speak to the camera.”
In 1973 he fought Wladek “Killer” Kowalski in front of a crowd of 29,127 at Montreal’s Jarry Park. After 13,000 fights and 30 titles, his last professional bout was in Montreal in 1986. The following year he was struck by a hit-and-run driver and had one of his legs amputated. In 2010 he was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Maurice Vachon, wrestler: born Ville-Emard, Montreal, Canada, 14 September 1929; died 21 November 2013.
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...