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Lord Athol Layton

Real name: Allan Layton

From Australia. Moved to Ontario at age 30 in 1950 and remained here until his death in 1984. A giant at around 6'5", he frequently used "judo chops" through his career. Began wrestling in 1948. In North America, Layton worked as an wrestler and TV commentator -- primarily with Frank Tunney in Toronto and The Sheik in Detroit.

Made his Maple Leaf Gardens wrestling debut in a main event against Sky-Hi Lee in November 1950. Formed a notable tag team with Lord James Blears in the 1950s. Challenged Lou Thesz for the NWA title at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1953. Lost to Pat O'Connor in a 1956 match for the vacant British Empire title. Frequently worked as a special referee in Maple Leaf Gardens main events in the 1950s and 60s.

Wrestled the Sheik in 16 Maple Leaf Gardens main events from 1969-1973 (14 singles matches, two tag matches). Layton's final main event appearance in Toronto was teaming with Mighty Igor against Abdullah the Butcher and Waldo Von Erich in 1975.

Continued to wrestle in Toronto until the summer of 1976 (age 55), losing to the Kelly Twins in his final Maple Leaf Gardens match while teaming with Detroit wrestling great Lou Klein. For the rest of his life, he worked as the PR director for a distillery.

Layton was nominated to run as a Liberal in a Toronto riding in the 1963 Ontario election, but chose to step aside. Well-known for his involvement with charities and social organizatons, particularly the Shriners where Layton achieved the high rank of Imperial Potentate. Presented with the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship in 1983. Died after a heart attack in 1984 at age 63.

"Lord Athol Layton has amassed an amazing record of wins since his arrival here a couple months ago. In fact, fans in the Bay Area have yet to see him pinned in a match. He stands 6'6½" and weighs 265 pounds and is one of the biggest and most powerful men in wrestling." (From WRESTLING AS YOU LIKE IT, Jan. 24, 1953)

"No fewer than 10 men spent 10 unsuccessful minutes trying to uncouple Lord Athol Layton and The Sheik at the Gardens last night after the feature skirmish was halted with a double disqualification by referee Bunny Dunlop. Dunlop had actually been the third referee to venture into the ring. Tiger Tasker was the starting man in white, but he retired early when Layton bounced him with The Sheik, spinning Tiger onto the timer's table.

George Kanelis was the second. As he made a motion to stop the fight, he was waylaid by an errant judo-chop from Layton. Then Bunny hopped in and made the timer turn the lights on. This, of course, was a mere technicality since Layton and The Sheik had their teeth and talons embedded in one another and were in no mood for a shower." (From the TORONTO STAR, May 4, 1971)

Prominent Titles:

  • NWA World tag champion (Chicago), with Lord James Blears, 1953
  • 2-time International TV tag champion (Los Angeles), with Lord James Blears, 1954
  • Hawaiian tag champion, with Tom Rice, 1957
  • 2-time NWA U.S. champion (Detroit), 1962-63
  • NWA World tag champion (Detroit), with Bobo Brazil, 1970

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