A huge beast of a man once jumped from Hammersmith Bridge into the River Thames to save two people struggling in the water below.
One of them, a young girl, had fallen in, and the second was a gentleman who had gone in to save her but got into difficulty himself.
Thankfully the second hero was a strong wrestling champion, Chick ‘Cocky’ Knight, and he was able to pull the pair to safety on June 15, 1930.
This wasn’t Chick’s only lifesaving feat – just four years earlier he’d saved a fellow soldier from drowning at Catalan Bay in Gibraltar.
The two were at the time serving in the 1 Battalion Suffolk Regiment, based in Gibraltar, when Private Edward Durrant got into difficulty swimming, being pulled some 300 metres out from the shore into the water.
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Chick’s strength again allowed his to swim out to get his mate and performed CPR, saving the man’s life.
Born in Hammersmith in 1903, Chick – or Arthur Richard George Knight – was a hugely popular and successful boxer with a career spanning a quarter of a century.
Weighing nineteen stone, Chick played dirty, but no matter how many times he broke the rules he never enraged fans, becoming known as ‘London’s most lovable villain’.
He was one of the first wrestlers to be seen on British television, wrestling the Canadian Earl McCready on August 31, 1938 in a series of wrestling exhibitions broadcast on the BBC.
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Chick even featured in a couple of films, starring along George Formby in Trouble Brewing and as a stuntman in The Wicked Lady.
For the rescues Chick received certificates from the Royal Humane Society, but his great-nephew Andy Scott wants him to get a plaque on the side of Hammersmith Bridge in commemoration of his heroic act – you can sign the petition here.
Chick is also being inducted into the British Wrestler’s Reunion Hall of Fame later this year, while Andy is writing Chick’s memoirs which will no doubt be amusing given his colourful life story.