WRESTLING has taken Harwich by storm since a company launched in the town five years ago.

Wrestling League held its first event on November 23, 2014, and last weekend it held a special show in Kingsway Hall, Dovercourt, to mark its fifth anniversary.

The company is run by Mark Young, from Dovercourt, who started the business with his friend and wrestler Marty Scurll.

In the past two years, Wrestling League has managed to expand its shows to London.

Homegrown wrestlers have also been able to perform in other countries after being recognised for their talent during the shows.

The business has featured worldwide talent, many of whom compete regularly on television.

Others wrestlers such as Matt Riddle, have been signed to companies in America.

Mr Young, 32, said: “I was already in the business through social media and I had a lot of good contacts in America.

“I happened to be in an area where no-one was running any shows, and Marty wanted to get involved.

“When we first started, the plan was to have no more than four shows a year, but the demand kept growing.”

Wrestling League now holds about 12 shows a year.

Following the company’s growing success, Mr Young set up a wrestling school for aspiring wrestlers in 2016.

Once the wrestling students mastered the art of the sport, they would be able to have the chance to compete in Wrestling League matches.

Mr Young said: “Implementing monthly shows gave School of Slam talent a chance to work with professional wrestlers.

“For anyone wanting to join the school, the sky is the limit.

“It is proven that if you work hard, train hard and learn, you will be rewarded.

“In just a few years, we have helped so many people in one area achieve their dreams and beyond.”

The School of Slam students are taught by British professional wrestler Paul Tyrrell.

Former students include home-grown hero Harry Mant, 22, who was the first wrestler from the School of Slam to appear in a Wrestling League show.

Harry, from Harwich, said: “I was at Wrestling League’s debut show five years ago and have always been a lifelong fan of professional wrestling.

“I am proud to wrestle in the shows and be a part of the school.

“It has allowed me to live out my childhood dream and given me some of my best friends, who help me inside and outside of the ring.”

The School of Slam continued to have its impact on Wrestling League in 2017, when more wrestlers made the jump to compete in its shows.

Arron Warnes, 30, a School of Slam wrestler who began training in 2017, said: “It’s an amazing, family-like atmosphere to be a part of.

“It is something Harwich has to be proud of, and we thank everyone for their support over the years.

“Without the fans, we wouldn’t be able to act out our dreams.”

Wrestler Sam Alderson, 27, known in the ring as Dexter, said: “I have gone from watching shows as a fan to wrestling up and down the country nearly every weekend thanks to Wrestling League”

If you would like to see a show or train to become a wrestler, visit the Wrestling League or School of Slam Facebook page.