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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

EARL MCCREADY

Inducted in 1967

Member Details

Date of Birth: June 15, 1908
Place of Birth: Lansdowne, Ontario
Date of Passing: December 6, 1983
Sport: Wrestling
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1926-28, 30

Canadian amateur heavyweight wrestling champion

1928-30

U.S. Intercollegiate heavyweight wrestling champion

1930

British Empire Games, gold medal - heavyweight freestyle wrestling

1933

British Empire professional wrestling champion

Honoured Member EARL MCCREADY
Inspire

Story

Earl McCready was the dominant heavyweight amateur wrestler of the late-1920s, perfecting mat skills that would make him one of the most successful professional wrestlers of his era. Although he was born in Ontario, McCready grew up in rural Saskatchewan. Apocryphal stories have it that he learned to wrestle after reading a book called "How to Handle Big Men with Ease." Nevertheless, when he moved to the provincial capital to attend Regina Collegiate Institute, McCready began wrestling formally at the local YMCA. Though still inexperienced, he appeared in his first tournament in 1926 in New Westminster, where he won the heavyweight division at the Canadian national amateur wrestling championships by defeating a more experienced American wrestler from Oklahoma. At the time, McCready was spotted by some wrestlers from Oklahoma A&M University (now Oklahoma State) who had also travelled to British Columbia for the same meet. They persuaded McCready to return with them to Oklahoma A&M. Over the next three years, under the tutelage of coach Edward C. Gallagher, he won every one of his matches, all but three of them by pinfall. McCready competed in the first three U.S. intercollegiate wrestling championships, winning the heavyweight class each year from 1928-30 and leading Oklahoma A&M to three straight national championships. He won a fall in the 1928 championships in only 19 seconds, still an NCAA record. While at Oklahoma A&M, McCready also played guard on the varsity football team, capturing all-star honours in 1929. McCready also competed as an amateur beyond the collegiate ranks. He repeated his 1926 Canadian heavyweight wrestling championship in 1927, 1928, and 1930. McCready's success led to opportunities to represent Canada internationally. He was selected for the 1928 Olympic team and was the flag bearer that year in Amsterdam. He competed in the 120kg freestyle class, though did not win a medal. Two years later, at the inaugural British Empire (now Commonwealth) Games in Hamilton, McCready captured the gold medal in the heavyweight division. In 1930, after a dominant amateur career, McCready turned to the emerging sport of professional wrestling, a move heralded by Maclean's Magazine: "Hitherto the sport has prospered in Canada without much native talent." He wrestled professionally for 28 years, winning the British Empire championship in 1933. McCready would wrestle throughout Canada, U.S., and the Commonwealth, including considerable time in New Zealand. He appeared in Britain's first-ever televised wrestling match in England. In 1937, Ring Magazine ranked him as the second-best wrestler in the world behind the famed Jim Londos. McCready retired to Washington State to work as a masseuse. He died of a heart attack in Seattle in December 1983 having also been inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports, Oklahoma State, and U.S. National Wrestling Halls of Fame.


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