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The Wrestling Legacy Of The British Bulldogs

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

Who were The British Bulldogs? What was the magic ingredient that transformed this pair of working-class young lads from a small Northern mining community into globally-recognised sporting superstars? How should Davey Boy Smith and Tom Billington be remembered?

Author Steven Bell specialises in drawing out some of the fascinating untold stories from the worlds of sports and entertainment. With three published books to his name, all of which have been very well received, his latest Pitch Publishing release - Dynamite & Davey - has been described as “a love letter to arguably the two greatest British wrestlers of all time.”



Steven joins Second Mountain Comms' Ben Veal as the special guest for episode eight of Good Journeys with Second Mountain, the podcast series that explores the lives of inspired people and their inspiring stories, to talk about his latest release.


Episode eight of the Good Journeys with Second Mountain podcast is out now.


Listen/watch:


The British Bulldogs: Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid


Dynamite & Davey: The Explosive Lives of The British Bulldogs, charts the incredible story of The Dynamite Kid Tom Billington and The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith - and what a tale it is. With a foreword from the pair’s brother-in-law Ross Hart and a touching afterword from Dynamite Kid’s daughter Bronwyne Billington, it’s been favourably compared by many within the industry as one of the best books ever written on the world of professional wrestling.


Steven Bell Dynamite & Davey

OVERCOMING IMPOSTER SYNDROME AS A WRITER


"It's been a rollercoaster ride"

Steven speaks openly on the #GoodJourneysPod about his path to becoming a writer, overcoming anxiety and battling with imposter syndrome at the start of his writing journey.


"I decided to channel my anxiety in a positive way ... when I stumbled across these incredible sporting stories, I thought, why not write a book? I decided to begin this first as a hobby, not knowing quite where it would take me ... three published books later, it's been a rollercoaster ride and this one [Dynamite & Davey] has been received so well by some really lofty people and childhood heroes of my own. It's very surreal and humbling."


Bret Hitman Hart testimonial Dynamite & Davey book

THE GOLDEN ERA OF WRESTLING


"They were in the right place at the right time"

Bell's interest in The Bulldogs was piqued many years before he made the decision to become the author to tell their story: "I'd learnt that they were first cousins - I thought that added another dynamic to the story - I'd heard that they were from Wigan, the mining town of Golborne close to my home, so I felt that I had some shared heritage with them. Suddenly, Davey Boy Smith went from being this larger-than-life character, a hero of mine as a child, to somebody who I felt I could relate to."


Dynamite & Davey does much more than just recall the incredible rise of this pair of British grapplers; it also charts the evolution of the professional wrestling business, from being a territorial-based sport to exploding into mainstream popular culture in the mid-1980s.


Billington and Smith were central to the expansion of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF): "They were in the right place at the right time, with as much talent in the world as anyone could possibly have in the sport ... they'd started in the right way, they took zero shortcuts in their training, they were revolutionary because of their almost telepathic communication. They launched tag team wrestling into a new stratosphere."



A PERSONAL LETTER TO THE DYNAMITE KID


"I couldn't tell that story"

One of the most poignant parts of Dynamite & Davey comes from Bronwyne Billington, the daughter of Tom Billington, who shares her highly personal story about being reunited with her father after many years of estrangement from one another.


"I knew that I couldn't tell that story as well as she can, so I asked her to write the afterword to the book," recalls Steven.



"Bronwyne has thanked me for giving her the opportunity - but I owe her all the thanks for her involvement. She writes a letter to her dad; being able to cleanse her mind of all of that and get it down on paper where it will stand the test of time, I know how much it means to her to have that out there for people to read forevermore."


Each and every #GoodJourneysPodconversation can now be watched, in full, over at Second Mountain Comms' YouTube channel: https://tinyurl.com/mrycuvh4

Good Journeys with Second Mountain podcast

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