About British Wrestling

Aspens take pride of place among a worthy list of GB Commonwealth Games wrestling medalists

Edward Melrose was the first, back in 1934. And for 20 years, Scotland could proudly boast Britain's only Commonwealth Games wrestling gold medal - until Kenneth Richmond did it for England in 1954.

Up until 2010, three more Englishmen won gold at the Commonwealth Games: Tony Buck in 1962, Brian Aspen in 1982, and Noel Loban in 1986.  Then in Delhi, in 2010, Myroslav Dykun (born in the Ukraine, but with naturalised citizenship and wrestling for England,) won gold in the 66kg Greco-Roman event.

Bantamweight Brian Aspen came from a family steeped in Commonwealth Games wrestling history. He won a bronze four years before his gold medal glory and another bronze four years after, to emulate the achievements of his dad, Albert, who, though never managing top place on the medal podium - like his son, won medals at three successive Commonwealth Games between 1958 and 1966, all bronze in the Featherweight (62Kg) division.

The Aspens won six of England's tally of 54 medals since the first ever 'Commonwealths' took place in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1930.

In that year, England won six silver medals, and added another five silver and a bronze when the Games were held in London, in 1934. Joseph Reid and Stanley Bissell won medals at both - Bissell both silvers, Reid a bronze in '34, following his silver four years earlier. Scotland won two bronze medals in '34, and then just the one bronze four years later in Sydney, when England had a disappointing campaign by previous standards, picking up just two bronze.

Two bronze was also all the English had to show for their efforts in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1950, the first Games after The War - but one of them won by Richmond, who then went on to win England's first ever gold in Vancouver four years, later in the heavyweight division. England also won a silver and a bronze that year, and four years later, when Cardiff hosted the Games, it was just the two bronze, while the Scots came home with two silver medals.

Buck's gold in Perth, Australia, in 1962 was one of five medals for England, including a silver and three bronze medals, including a second in succession for Bert Aspen, while Scotland took a bronze, and then just the one silver in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1966, while England again had to settle for two bronze - including a third and final one for Bert, now 32.

Between 1970 and 1978 England and Scotland picked up four silver and 11 bronze medals between them. One of those English bronze medalists in 1978 was Aspen junior, who at just 19 - was following his father's footsteps onto the medal podium. He won bronze as a featherweight, before dropping down a division, and winning bantamweight gold in Brisbane in 1982, and then bronze four years later.

At the Edinburgh Games of 1986, Noel Loban won England's fourth gold medal, as a light heavyweight. With no wrestling at the 1990 Games, Noel returned in 1994 as a heavyweight, and won one of three English silver medals. England also won the single bronze, while the Scots added two bronze medals to the two bronze and a silver they won in Edinburgh eight years earlier.

Wrestling did not feature at the Kuala Lumpar Games in 1998, and though the 2002 Games were in GB wrestling territory in Manchester, all home nations finished empty handed.

Once again, wrestling missed out at the Melbourne Games, but when India won the right to host the 2010 event in Delhi, organisers did not hesitate to put this most ancient of sports back on the agenda.

England brought back four medals from Delhi in 2010.  Myroslav Dykun's gold (66kg) and  Terrence Bosson's silver (60kg) both in Greco-Roman and two Freestyle bronze medals - by Leon Rattigan (96kg) and Sasha Madyarchyk (60kg).