It was with a great deal of sadness that I learned of the death last night of British wrestling legend Drew McDonald.
Drew, a proud Scotsman, became known to television viewers during the World of Sport era, and when Greg Dyke consigned the weekly wrestling show to the scrapheap he continued to ply his trade on the circuit. He would later go on to become an integral part of the 21st century scene here in Britain, most notably for the Frontier Wrestling Alliance, where he took part in a number of high-profile storylines during the company’s glory days.
Drew could have a good match with anyone he stepped into the ring with, and his opponents over the past fifteen years or so alone read like a who’s who of the good and the great. Whether it be the high-flying Jody Fleisch, his perennial foe Robbie Brookside, or even the middle-aged and crazy Terry Funk, Drew would always put in a great effort. In fact one of my biggest mark-out moments came when Drew and Funk went at it during a six man tag match at the FWA’s British Uprising III show back in 2004.
In the ring Drew could be an absolutely scary bastard. He looked and acted like the kind of guy who’d rip your head off and spit down your neck hole. He was the no nonsense kind of guy who didn’t take any crap from anyone. Away from the ring though and he was the complete opposite. I remember when I attended the FWA’s Carpe Diem show in 2002. When I went backstage briefly and I introduced myself he gave me a very firm handshake and treated me like an old friend.
Three years later I found out just how kind he was. I can’t really go into details about what happened, but what I can say that after I’d e-mailed Drew asking for his help he telephoned me to offer me some morale support. His kind words that day meant a lot to me, and they still do nearly ten years later.
In recent years Drew worked as a European talent scout for WWE, and there’s a few men and women who can credit Drew for getting them jobs across the pond.
Some of the tributes and stories I’ve read on social media since his passing have been truly heart-warming and emotional. Drew really was one of those guys whose peers didn’t have a bad word to say about him, and the world will definitely be a poorer place without “the Highlander from Hell” in it.
So to a true legend of the wrestling business, one of the biggest villains inside the ropes, but one of the true gentlemen outside it, rest in peace Drew, and thank you for all the memories.
By day I‘m an unemployed retail worker, and at weekends I volunteer in a local museum, but by night I’m the author of The Two Sheds Review, Britain’s longest running professional wrestling and mixed martial arts blog. It’s been online in one form or another since June 2000!