It is with deep regret that I inform you of the death of Denis McNamara affectionately known as ‘Big Mac’. He was indeed one of the great British heavyweight wrestlers of his time and competed with distinction in domestic and international competitions spanning more than a generation.
Denis’ funeral will take place at 1030hrs on Monday 30 November 2009 at the South Essex Crematorium, Ockendon Rd, Upminster RM14 2UY
Denis was 6 times British Champion and British and European Police Champion. He also held many titles as English and Southern Area Champion.
On the international front, Denis won 3 bronze medals at successive Commonwealth Games from 1962 to 1970. He also attained a 5th place finish in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
It was in Tokyo where he defeated the much fancied Japanese wrestler in front of the Emperor of Japan which did not go down well in Japan but made headline news in many other countries including Great Britain.
Denis was well placed to fight for a bronze medal in those Olympics but unfortunately sustained a dislocated thumb in his next match against the Turk and had to withdraw.
Not everybody will appreciate the talent, dedication and commitment required to compete at this high level of competition but it is certainly recognised by fellow athletes, both past and present and by the British Wrestling Association.
Denis should be applauded for his outstanding contribution to our sport.
On behalf of the British Wrestling Association I wish to offer our sincere condolences to you and your family at this difficult time.