Malcolm "King Kong" Kirk
|Born||18 December 1936
Featherstone, West Yorkshire, England
|Died||24 August 1987 (aged 50)
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||King Kong Kirk
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Billed weight||309–353 lb (22 st 1 lb–25 st 3 lb; 140–160 kg)|
|Billed from||West Yorkshire, England|
|Retired||4 August 1987|
Prior to professional wrestling Kirk was a coal miner and professional rugby player. From 1954 he played 38 first team matches at prop forward (number 8) for Featherstone Rovers, scoring one try, 2 matches for Castleford and also for the struggling Doncaster club where he was a team mate of another future professional wrestler, Ted Heath.
Bald and fearsome looking, Kirk was usually cast as the "bad guy" and often tagged with the superheavyweight Giant Haystacks. Kirk's work rose to its prominence in the 1970s and 1980s due to the popularity of televised wrestling in the United Kingdom. In 1979 also featured in an Italian movie, Io sto con gli ippopotami with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill.
In August 1987, Kirk died after a tragic turn of events during the final moments of a tag team match at the Hippodrome circus in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, when he teamed with King Kendo against British wrestling legend Shirley "Big Daddy" Crabtree and his nephew Greg Valentine (Steve Crabtree). After Big Daddy had delivered his signature Big Splash and scored the winning pinfall, Kirk turned an unhealthy colour, was rushed to the James Paget hospital in Gorleston and pronounced dead on arrival. The inquest into Kirk's death found that he had a pre-existing heart condition and cleared Crabtree of any responsibility.
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