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Regional journalist turned TV wrestler dies aged 76

Roger GreenA journalist by day and wrestler by night who began his career at a regional daily has died aged 76.

Tributes have been paid to Roger Green, pictured left, who started out at the Portsmouth Evening News before working simultaneously Fleet Street and as a grappler in the ring.

During his wrestling career, Roger fought with and against famous names such as Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks under the name ‘The Graduate’.

As well as wrestling and two stints in regional and national journalism, Roger also became an artist and contributed to several expatriate magazines after relocating to the Algarve, Portugal.

In a 2013 interview with The News, Roger told his former employer: “There were only two things in life I ever wanted to do – be a reporter and a bodybuilder.”

He published his autobiography, Memoris of a TV Wrestler, in the same year.

A native of Havant, Hampshire, Roger began working at the News in 1959 as a trainee reporter.

He later became a freelancer and crime reporter for the Daily Mirror before becoming a familiar figure on the British wrestling circuit from the 1960s onwards.

In 1967 Roger left the media industry to take a pre-diploma in art at Leeds, followed by a degree at Reading University.

He moved to the Midlands in the late 70s to teach social studies to day-release apprentices, but did not enjoy the experience, so moved back into journalism, setting up a news agency in Stafford which provided court coverage for both the local and national media.

In an obituary for the Guardian, former colleague Lotte Hughes wrote: “He created a job for me at that agency, for which I will always be grateful, as it got me started in journalism.

“Roger could not abide dogma, authority, rightwing politics or racism. Behind the hard man exterior was a compassionate soul with his heart in the right place.”

After his spell in Portugal, Roger retired to Southsea, Portsmouth.

He is survived by his children, Tracey and Vincent, from his marriage to Pat, which ended in divorce, and by his sister, Sue.

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  • January 25, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Crime reporter on the Mirror! I bet his wrestling came in handy. Sounds like he got what he wanted out of life, and a lot don’t.

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