Morecambe’s modern-day wrestling star has been immortalised with other lords of the ring on a striking new piece of street art.
‘Psychotic Warrior’ Johnny Phere appears with other star names of British wrestling past and present on a giant outdoor mural called ‘A Morecambe Sporting Life’.
The newspaper-style painting on the outside wall of a Morecambe barber shop celebrates giants of grapple such as Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks and ‘British Bulldog’ Davey Boy Smith who all wrestled in Morecambe.
Native American chief and star wrestler Billy Two Rivers, father of Morecambe-born designer Wayne Hemingway, also appears on the mural as does World of Sport legend Rollerball Rocco.
The artwork, funded by the Government’s Mary Portas project and a collaborative effort by Deco Publique and artists Shane Johnstone, Ben Tallon and Kate ‘Sundae’ Drummond, also pays tribute to heroes of Morecambe sport such as TT motorcycling great John McGuinness and the Morecambe team who won promotion to the Football League at Wembley in 2007.
Johnny visited the artwork on Sunday just days before he attempts to win the British Heavyweight Title for the fourth time.
“It’s really cool to see my name up there among the greats on a public building,” said the wrestling star.
“I’ve always said that when I retire from wrestling I wanted to have something to show for it. It feels great to be recognised in this way.”
Phere will fight current Alpha Omega Wrestling Champion ‘The Heavyweight House of Pain’ Stixx for the title at the Winter Gardens in Morecambe this Saturday (May 14).
Real name Jamie Hutchinson, the 32-year-old tough guy is originally from Warrington but has lived in Morecambe for almost 10 years.
He is the town’s most recognisable wrestling star and competed in matches over the past 12 years at The Dome, The Carleton, Lancaster and Morecambe College, The Globe Arena and the Winter Gardens.
His victories in Morecambe include wins over big British grapple names including TNA’s RockStar Spud, ‘The Beast of Belfast’ Big Damo and former NXT star Joel Redman.
Away from wrestling, Jamie is himself a talented artist.
His superhero paintings adorn the walls of a newly-opened 1950s-style diner on Morecambe promenade.
Hannah’s Happy Bay Diner is named after Hannah Bachmann, whose family run the diner.
Hannah, who died suddenly last month aged 18, was a devoted wrestling fan who went regularly to the matches at the Winter Gardens. There will be a tribute to Hannah before Saturday night’s show.
Tickets are still available for the 10th annual ‘War On The Shore’.
British wrestling legend Marty Jones will be guest of honour at the event and will be inducted into the Morecambe Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Doors open at 6pm. Tickets can be bought on the door or from www.aowuk.com or Studio Bronze on Queen Street.