Eric Tovey, who was one of the most enduring stars in pro wrestling history under the name Lord Littlebrook, the kingpin of the old midget wrestling division, passed away today at the age of 87.
Tovey in is heyday was both the main booker of the division, working out of St. Joseph, MO, as well as the world champion and generally considered the best worker in the division’s history, although Sky Low Low was the biggest star and Little Beaver garnered more fame for being splashed by King Kong Bundy.
Tovey had health problems for a number of years and had been battling dementia. He had two sons who followed him into wrestling, Robert, who worked as Beautiful Bobby Dean, and Chris, who was known as the Karate Kid and Karate Chris Duby. In his later years, he often worked as a heel against his sons.
Born in England, he was an acrobatic small man, only four-foot-four, starting at the age of 14 in the circus. The circus went out of business while touring the U.S. in 1949. A friend suggested he try midget wrestling and he was one of the original midget wrestling stars in the 50s. He was trained under Jack Britton, the father of Gino Brito, out of his wrestling school in Detroit and settled in Ontario, but for most of his career was based in St. Joseph.
Besides training most of the midget stars that came after the 70s, where he also booked them, he also started the careers of people like Col. DeBeers, Butch Reed, Betty Niccoli Sato and Mike Geroge.
He worked a full schedule through 1980, often billed as the world midget champion. He slowed down from there as midget wrestling, which was more comedy based than any aspect of pro wrestling, started losing popularity, especially as the territories died.
He worked a mixed tag team match opposite Little Beaver at WrestleMania III in Pontiac, MI, in 1987, and wrestled at least at late as 1995. He worked in both WCW and WWF in the 80s, being the manager of a tag team called The Royal Family in WCW (Rip Morgan & Jack Victory), and later being a second for Harley Race in WWF.
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While credited with being a great performer with good timing, there was a lot of bitterness because he’d take 30 percent of the pay of the midget talent as a booker.