It’s Les Kellett 1:40am on a Friday night on IchLugeBullets
Adrian Street: Do you know the story of when Les got his hand bit? He was talking to a friend of his on the farm, feeding the hogs, and this big old boar bit him on the hand. He got an infection and his hand swelled up like a boxing glove. Instead of going to the doctor’s like a normal person, he was wrestling that night so he went to the show.
In the dressing room, the guy he’s wrestling with says “Don’t go in the ring and wrestle like that”. Les goes “Yes… yes, I think you’re onto something there. I can’t go in the ring and wrestle like that. So what I’m gonna do to get rid of the poison is put my hand here, on the ground, and I want you to stamp on it.”
“Oh, I can’t do that Les”
“But you’ve told me, and I agreed, that I can’t go in the ring like this. So stamp on it, or I’ll stamp on you.”
So this other wrestler stamps down, hard, on his hand, and all this blood and poison and pus comes shooting out of it. This is in full view of the other wrestlers. He had to be the centre of attention did Les”
Taken from Simon Garfield’s “The Wrestler”
To be honest, it’s late, I’m creatively braindead, and reading Masta Ace twittering about how he’s done a guest verse on a “really funny” track by Chester French is just convincing me to give up on music and refocus my attentions on something that’s less likely to disappoint me repeatedly, such as “betting on Liverpool to win the Premiership”. So here’s a hotchpotch of photos, words, and video clips of Les Kellett.
If there can be said to be one man who accurately represents the ILB ethos, other than Stu Ungar, it’s Les Kellett: ugly, defiantly working class, self-loathing, unable to take anything seriously, prone to bouts of unnecessary aggression on people who have only engaged in the mildest of transgressions, and permanently with a stupid fucking smirk on our faces.
He never really got the credit he deserved in his lifetime, mainly on account that he was, as that anecdote and many others from The Wrestler confirm, a fucking psycho, and you really can’t have “national treasures” suddenly beating Catherine Townsend around the head with their belt in the middle of a seven page Sunday supplement profile interview. More’s the pity.
But it would have been nice to see him claimed as one of the last vestiges of old English working class culture, a shot of him in the crowd when the darts is on, a walk-on role at half-time in Bradford City cup matches, a reality TV show where him and Dean Windass go drinking together… I dunno, but if you’re gonna live in a farmhouse with no running water, at least be entertaining.
Kellett’s been dead seven years now. Truly, one of the greats.