IronMan, Vol 18, No 3, Page 10, November 1958
THE eleventh Mr. Universe Competition at the London Coliseum was a most successful project. Bodybuilders from all over the world traveled to Britain to take part in this contest which now appears to be the premier event in the physical culture calendar, and the standard was, as usual, extremely high.
The competition was organized in the National Amateur Bodybuilders' Association of Gt. Britain -- a non-profit concern which does not incorporate professional instruction, so all competitors are assured of a square deal. None of the judges have any commercial interests in any of the entrants and were selected for their long experience, knowledge, and impartial decisions. There were eight judges and a secretary, and each had equal voting powers. A whole day is spent on judging the various classes and all competitors are closely scrutinized and compared from all angles and during their posing routines. The show actually takes place on the following day and the results are kept a close secret until the finale -- not even the judges know the complete final placing.
The sensation of the show was in the form of a last minute entry from Reg Park, and being in his usual splendid condition he was a clear winner of the "Professional Mr. Universe". There were two classes -- one for men up to and including 5'8" in height and one for those over 5'8". A very worthy runner-up in the 'tall men's class' was Bruce Randall of U.S.A., the sensational 27 year old who played tricks on nature by increasing his bodyweight to 401 lbs. and then reducing to 183 lbs. At the Mr. Universe Show, Bruce weighed in the region of 218 Ibs. and looked in great shape. His arms and shoulders were particularly good and although they were gigantically built, the muscular definition had to be seen to be believed. I, personally, have never seen such a huge pair of arms with such magnificent delineation. Reub Martin, a well-known strong man and acrobat, was a popular third place winner, a real clown of a man. He had the audience in fits of laughter during his posing routine. Reg Park, on the other hand, despised the light hearted approach and sweated in the dressing room, pumping up until the very last moment and then went under the posing lights to bring gasps of amazement from the packed audience. The Belgium entrant in this class, Pierre Vandervondelen, was also very well received.
In the smaller men's class, John Isaacs of South Africa came out on top, John is currently living in California and travelled to London for the show, looking better than he ever did -- there must be something about that California sunshine! John is Reg Park's brother' in-law, so the family should be pleased with this double victory!
American readers will soon have the opportunity of seeing John Isaacs in the professional wrestling ring as he has been training under the eagle eye of Buddy Rogers with a view to hitting the high spots on the mat.
Placed second to Isaacs was Andre Corot of Algiers -- a trimly built athlete with wonderful abdominals and a fine posing routine. An Austrian competed in this class for the first time. It's nice to see the net spreading wider and wider each year.
The Amateur Mr. Universe Competition was divided into three classes -- under 5'6", 5'6" to 5'9" and over 5'9".
There were some marvelous West Indian bodybuilders who helped greatly to raise the standard of the Competition; they took away many of the prizes, and each year they send along some new competitors with world class physiques. Earl Maynard of Barbados won the tall men's class, beating massive Henry Downs of England into second place, and Doug Strohl of America was third. I was extremely impressed by John Carson, a big, rugged Irishman, who looked terrifically powerful but lacked just a little bit in shape.
The first five places in Class Two were won by West Indians. This time Paul Wynter of Antigue was first. Paul has the best latissimus development I have ever seen -- they give him the perfect wedge shape which is so greatly coveted. Frank Satchell of Jamaica was second and Guy Payne of Barbados was third. Guy was one of the most muscular men in the contest. He looked as if carved in bronze, but had one or two faults he must attend to. His posing routine could be greatly improved and unfortunately he has rather thick ankles, which at 10 1/2 " make his 15 1/2 calves look quite small.
During the Show, Louis Martin, the Jamaican weightlifter, received a terrific ovation after his posing routine.
The small men included the current Mr. Britain, Len Sell, and Earl Clark from Leo Stern's Gym. Actually, these two men tied for the class win, with Pierre Swerts of Belgium third, and muscular David Mitchell of Scotland fourth.
Earl Clark was beautifully tanned and had a very neat and compact physique, However, for sheer muscular size he was overshadowed by Len Sell. Sell looked in very hard condition, so it is not surprising that the result was a draw.
The judges now had to decide between the class winners for the Amateur Mr. Universe Title. They had to choose between Earl Maynard, Paul Wynter, Earl Clark ,and Len Sell. One judge voted for Maynard, three voted for Sell and four voted for Clark. Yes it was a win for Earl Clark and once again the title went back to the United States.
After the Competition I made a point of asking what the various overseas contestants thought of the British methods of judging the competition and running a show. Without exception they said they had been amazed by the smooth running and fine presentation of the Show at the Coliseum and they thought the judging system was the fairest they had seen.
The supporting items on the programme were of a very high standard. The act of "Tarzan and Pongo" was flown over from Paris and Arthur Robin the beautifully built negro, who won last year's professional title, came on the stage dressed in leopard skin loin cloth and leading a huge 'ape'. The pair did balancing and acrobatic stunts with touches of comedy including scaring the life out of the females in the audience when the 'monkey' jumped off the stage towards the Royal Box!
Another fine act was presented by Tony Carroll -- a pocket Hercules -- 4'1O" in height. Tony broke six inch nails and bent them two at a time. He lifted huge weights on his fingers and in his teeth. He punched a six inch nail through a piece of wood 4"x2" thick and then allowed a number of men to try to strangle him by looping a rope round his neck and then enjoying a tug of war competition with the wee man in the centre! Tony told me the organizer had suggested this stunt thinking it would be one fellow less to pay!
The Marcille Trio and the Duo Ruvane did fine balancing acts and the Junior Mr. and Miss Britain finals proved to be one of the best-ever competitions, with Stuart Baumguard retaining his title and the charming Welsh entrant winning the "Junior Miss Britain" title.
The curtain came down on a spectacular finale which included all the performers and competitors mounted on a massive stairway with flags of many nations as a background. The prize winners were on Victor's rostrums and the picture - presented by this galaxy of stars was a fitting climax to a memorable display.
- Earl Clark of Stem's Gym in San Diego, was a popular winner in the amateur class of the Mr. Universe contest. Bruce photo.
- Reg Park showing his arms and shoulders. There was no question about the winner of the Professional class when Reg entered at the last minute.
If you find these articles interesting and useful, please