Michael Willson

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Michael Willson
Born
Michael Anthony Willson

(1963-10-29) 29 October 1963 (age 55)
NationalityUnited Kingdom British
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)

Michael Anthony Willson (born 29 October 1963 in Dartford, Kent)[1] is a former professional sportsman best known for his role as Cobra on the British TV show Gladiators[2][3] from 1992–2000.

Career[edit]

Willson began as an amateur boxer and bodybuilder.[citation needed] He began training to become fitter, gain muscle and definition. Through his training Willson put on 2 stones of muscle he entered his first bodybuilding competition. He was one of the original Gladiators from season one. In the Gladiators, Cobra would not take himself too seriously, he would pull faces at the judges and the audience, wear wigs and do monkey impressions. He was a firm favourite throughout the UK. Cobra won bodybuilding titles Mr South London and Mr Kent, he has also won a half-marathon.

Cobra is known for his high-kicks and splits upon entering the Gladiator arena at the start of each episode. He is also known as the joker of the Gladiators team. His practical jokes lighten the mood between the shows as filming can be very stressful.

Although he is the joker in the pack he is deadly serious when it comes to the events, as soon as he hears the call of 'Gladiators Ready' he is ready for action. Although he is one of the smallest male Gladiators he is very quick and agile can still prove himself against the best on the Duel podium, in which he has never been knocked off by a contender. Although it was evident he was a serious fighter, he always respected the contenders. He was also a master of the 'Hang Tough' rings along with 'Jet' for the females. He quickly became one of the favourite Gladiators of all time along with heroes like Shadow, Wolf, Hunter, Lightning and of course, Jet.

Now living in the West Midlands, he counts watercolours amongst his hobbies. Willson spends time visiting schools and youth clubs up and down the UK, promoting that keeping fit can be fun. Cobra embarked upon a promotional tour of schools in the late nineties in partnership with NatWest, encouraging schoolchildren to sign up for a bank account. Many of these children, now adults, still have the same bank accounts today. Cobra was also part of the special UK international team and headed off to compete against South Africa in the Springbok Challenge 2000. He more recently visited the University of Dundee union to take part in some games with the students.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "findmypast.co.uk". search.findmypast.co.uk.
  2. ^ Arnold, Sarah; Deborah Sherwood (27 April 2008). "Gladiators: Whatever happened to the Nineties stars?". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Cobra". The Sun. 10 May 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  4. ^ Hill, Patrick (September 14, 1997). "MY BULLY BOY DAD MADE ME A GLADI-HATER!; Beatings Gave Cobra the Venom to Be a Star.But He Never Forgave His Father". People.

External links[edit]