He was neither the tallest nor the strongest. Just 1m75 at the height and what you need in biscottos. Roger Luc, who has just died at the age of 90 and whose funeral took place this Friday in Charenton-le-Pont (Val-de-Marne), was above all, as those who have survived want to say , one of the last representatives of the golden age of wrestling. The one who spent several decades every Friday in the black and white station, live from the Elysée Montmartre or the Wagram room in Paris, with the comments of Roger Couderc. Another time.
Like many wrestlers of that time, the one who called himself Jean Luc or Jimmy Oswaldo in the ring started with the Greco-Roman wrestling: “We were a lot of amateurs in the same case, but there were also boxers, weightlifters, bodybuilders, and even a judoka, remembers Bob Plantin, 84, who came from Créteil. Jean Luc was a good wrestler, a troop man with a very good technical background. He was just missing the chat but people were enjoying watching him fight. “
Originally from Charenton, Roger Luc finished his activity at 42 in 1972, after an ankle injury. “My father was a delivery driver for Etablissements Nicolas,” says his daughter Isabelle. He went on tour for wrestling and, on his return, he continued with his work. He has always been able to reconcile his sporting and professional careers, and his family life. We were welded. In 2005, the town hall celebrated the golden anniversary of the veteran, standard bearer of the city, with his wife Suzanne.
L’Ange Blanc, Le Bourreau de Béthune, Chéri-Bibi, The Little Prince, Robert Duranton, René Ben Chemoul… Certain names and nicknames still speak for an entire generation. The actor Lino Ventura was European wrestling champion in the middleweight, before also embarking on wrestling. A career stopped after being screened in metal chairs in 1950, during a meeting at the Cirque d’Hiver. A double open fracture forced him to reconvert as an organizer of fights, before becoming an actor three years later.
“It was not cheating at the time, remembers Bob Plantin. In the middle, there were about 300 guys who were all a little stuntman. The headlines were severe and I can’t count the number of times the guys left with their arms upside down. Modern wrestling has nothing to do with ours, which died in 1982 (after the cessation of TV broadcasts). With the disappearance of his former ringmate, the octogenarian realizes that the wrestling guestbook as he lived it turns another page: “Our history was beautiful. It won France loyalty in thatched cottages by the small screen. When football had the means to be broadcast, we modestly took our place. “