Muscular Development, Vol 2, No 2, Page 10, February 1965


By Oscar Heidenstam

TO COMMEMORATE our 15th Annual Mr. Universe Contest, over 60 physique competitors, amateurs and professionals from 23 nations, vied for top honors. The contest was staged at one of London's most famous theatres, the Victoria Palace.

Class 1 (over 5'9")
1. Vern Weaver, U.S.A.
2. Adrian Heryet, England
3. Paul Nash, England
4. Geoffrey Whittaker, England
5. Tommy Williams, South Africa
6. Gordon Van Sertima, British Guiana
Class 2 (from 5'6" to 5'9")
1. John Hewlett, England
2. Michael Hercules, Trinidad
3. Maway Abed Al Mjed, Syria
4. William Betsalel, Israel
5. Roy Pirrott, England
6. Beresford Morris, Jamaica
Class 3 (under 5'6")
1. Eddie Silva, South Africa
2. John Citrone, England
3. Terry Parkinson, England
4. Phil Wood, Barbados
5. Leslie Vaughan, England
6. David Tonks, England
Amateur Mr. Universe -
Class 1 (over 5'8")
1. Earl Maynard, Barbados
2. Serge Nubret, Guadeloupe
3. Reinhard Smolana, West Germany
Class 2 (under 5'8")
1. Leopold Merc, Austria
2. Raymond Morris, South Africa
3. Vincent Gilles, Guadeloupe
Professional Mr. Universe -

Many bodybuilders around the world continue to show amazing physical improvement due to the great influence by the top physique men in our earlier contests. From many far off countries such as Malaya, Israel, Syria, Egypt, South Africa and others, these countries now have a number of outstandingly built men. Many of the European countries, particularly Belgium and France, have, in recent years, produced a number of well-developed physiques. And, of course, Britain first took the lead back in 1948 when men like Grimek and Reeves competed in the first Mr. Universe contest held on these shores. This inspired all the bodybuilders in Great Britain, and before long a number of well-built men appeared in our contests, notably Reg Park.

Although United States still turns out most of the "world beaters" in physique contests, today other countries are also producing many powerful and well-built men who are taking top honors in physique contests.

This year Britain had the smallest entry in this contest since we started holding this event. Only 16 entries this year as compared to 20 and more in previous years. Even these were carefully selected from the hundreds of contests that are held in various sections around the country. I personally attend about 45 of these contests a year!

Since 1952 two separate contests have been held; one for amateurs, which always has the largest number of entries, and another for the professionals. I may point out, however, that there are no cash awards given to either winner, only trophies, and each man pays his own traveling expenses.

This year only nine entries made up the professional entry list, but an outstanding representative list it was. Since we did not get an entry from the United States, the two favored entries were Earl Maynard from Barbados, and Serge Nubret from France. We were half-expecting the entry of Tom Sansone who won the amateur title last year and who said he would try for the professional one this year. But circumstances made it impossible for him to make the trip this year leaving the professional division open.

The professional contest is divided into two divisions; tall and short men. It was a sensational, overall victory for Earl Maynard, with Serge Nubret placing second, and Rheinhard Smolona from Germany getting third.

In the short man's class, Leopold Merc from Autria took first, Raymond Morris from South Africa 2nd, and Vincent Gilles from Guadeloupe 3rd.

The amateur portion of the contest is divided into three categories: Class 1: Tall - from 5'9" and over. Class 2: Medium - 5'6" up to 5'9". Class 3: Short - up to 5'6". Judging is done the day before by a panel of 12 judges, none of whom have any interests, professionally, in the iron game to be swayed in their judgment.

The one most striking thing about these contests is that every year the margin of points between the winner and runners-up get smaller and smaller, proving that a man must be in top condition to win. If he is out of condition just a little on the day he is judged, he is apt to lose enough points to put him back in the running. A man with weak points, such as poor calves, weak back or soft abdominals, such weaknesses are bound to lose enough points to prevent a man from winning.

Today's trend is definitely towards greater muscularity with proportionate bulk, and if the contestant combines both, his chances of winning are good. The physique men who have only big measurements don't seem to get anywhere in the contest today. They must have good muscular separation, and all our winners in the past have had this combination.


Class 3 - Short men. The overall competition in this class was excellent. Eddie Silva, the current Mr. South Africa title holder was the winner. He was sponsored by Reg Park's gym in Johannesburg. This was his second Mr. Universe competition. Last year he finished fifth but improved enough in the past few months to take first in this class this year.

Second place went to John Citrone, England, who twice won the Jr. Mr. Britain title. He also holds some British records in the Strength Set (Power lifts). At a bodyweight of 168 pounds he has officially curled 180 pounds, bench pressed 400, and squatted with 510 pounds. This fellow is very powerful as you can judge from the above lifts.

Third place went to Terry Parkinson also from England. This man transformed himself from a heavy, bulky individual, into a shapely well-built bodybuilder.

Class 2 - Medium height. This division was won outright by John Hewlett, who also won the amateur Mr. Universe title. John is one of Britain's top physique men. He has an amazing record of winning his height division four times, but last year slipped to third place because he got too bulky. To prepare himself for this contest he trained six days a week regularly for five months. One of the judges last year told him the reason he did not win his height class was because he looked too smooth in the abdominal area. To correct this week spot he did 3,000 sit-ups daily during the entire five months, developing amazing muscularity with excellent abdominals. John is 5' 7½" in height and weighs 178 pounds.

Second place went to Michael Hercules from Trinidad, a giant of a man but a bit on the smooth side. And third place went to Abd Al Mjed Mawaz from Syria.

This was the class in which John Decola entered and we were very disappointed when John Grimek telephoned me from York to say that Decola had injured his back and would not be able to compete in our contest. I thought Decola would have been a match for anyone, making the competition much tougher.

Class 1 - Tall men. There were 18 contestants in this division most of whom were husky and well-built. Vern Weaver, who came over to compete in Decola's place at the last minute, competed in this class. Last year Weaver placed second to Tom Sansone in this division and finished second to Tom in the overall contest. This year Vern won this division with Adrian Heryet, a British entry, placing a close second. Adrian is always a hard man to beat as he keeps himself in top form at all times. And third place went to Paul Nash, the present Mr. Britain title holder.

The show went along smoothly and the crowd enjoyed the fine performance. Besides the Mr. Universe contests, we also held the Jr. Mr. and Miss Britain Physique event the same evening, plus a number of fine variety acts. The Victoria Palace was packed to capacity and more than 2,000 people witnessed this fabulous physique spectacle.

We are especially grateful to Bob Hoffman and MD magazine that has given us excellent publicity. Bob Hoffman has always been generous and paid the fare of many men to our great event. We always welcome our American friends and are anxious to see them all.

So once again another great contest was brought to a close, and everyone who saw it had nothing but praise for our efforts and the men who competed. Next year we will hold another Mr. Universe contest and we look forward to more American entries. Until next year, keep training!


- The Mr. Universe winners: John Hewlett left, and Earl Maynard right.

- Winners and runners-up of the amateur and professional Mr. Universe contest line up for a final picture. More than 60 competed in this great contest.

- Besides the Mr. Universe contest a Junior Mr. and Miss Britain contest also took place. Standing, L. to R.: Corinne Loveday 3rd, Eric Willetts, the Jr. Mr. Britain winner, Oscar Heidenstam, the author and promoter of these contests, Jane MacQueen, the Jr. Miss Britain winner, and Christine Preston 2nd. Kneeling are Wilfred Sylvester 3rd, and John Hamill 2nd.

- A candid shot taken Behind the Scenes during the prejudging of the Mr. Universe contestants the morning before the big event.

- Photo below shows only a small portion of the jammed-packed audience of the Victoria Palace theatre. Many late comers were turned away because even standing room was overcrowded.

- Vern Weaver, second in the Mr. Universe contest, and John Hewlett (right) winner of the contest, give the cameramen a few last poses.

- Serge Nurbret was favored as a winner in the professional division but placed 2nd to Earl Maynard this year.

- William Betsalel, Israel took fourth in the amateur section of class 2.

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