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Wrestling Referee Joe D’Orazio Unexpectedly Passed Away


We Just received the tragic news that a British professional wrestler from the golden era and also a famous referee, Joe D’Orazio, unfortunately, passed away on Tuesday (March 9, 2022) at the age of 99.

May the legend rest in power.

While official sources have not confirmed the heartbreaking news at this time, some users are spreading his death news on social media; Someone wrote, “What a run for British star Joe D’Orazio, who was a wrestler, promoter, referee, actor, painter, author, poet, and President of the British Wrestlers Reunion.”

As a referee, he presided over bouts held in Blenheim Palace, Olympia, Cafe Royal & Lyceum Ballroom (London), Paisley Ice Rink, Paris, Belgium, Big Top Berlin, Big Top Hanover, King Hussein Stadium Jordan, and Italy.

For 20 years Joe D’Orazio was a resident referee at the Royal Albert Hall tournaments.

Born in Bermondsey, South London, to Italian parents, on July 27, 1922, Joe D’Orazio, grew up he attended The English Martyrs RC Primary School where he met fellow wrestler and best friend Steve Logan.

As a boy, Joe worked in his father’s fish and chip shop on Old Kent Road. After leaving school he worked as part of a demolition squad, knocking down old buildings. Soon after the commencement of The Second World War, he entered The Royal Air force alongside the wrestler Vic Coleman.

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In 1948 he became a professional wrestler alongside his cousin Mike Marino, who was already an established wrestler. His first professional performance took place against New Zealander Russ Bishop.

Other than being a wrestler, Joe is also an accomplished painter, writer, actor, and stunt man. In September 1971 Joe featured on a double-page spread on pages 14 and 15 in the TVTimes where he was interviewed about his love for poetry.

He appeared regularly on ITV’s World of Sport (UK TV series) and was featured in films such as The Reckoning (1969 film). He worked as a stuntman in films such as The Camp on Blood Island.

He has additionally devoted more than 6 decades of his life teaching adults with learning difficulties to paint and draw. Joe often appeared in magazines including ‘The Wrestler and would often write many of the articles under the name of ‘Bob Scala.

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Another fan tweeted, “Rumble Promotions are very sad to hear the news that Wrestling referee Joe D’Orazio has passed away at the age of 99 RIP Joe D’Orazio.”

Also see: Alabama Lawmaker David Wheeler Sadly Passed Away

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