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Giant Haystacks (1946-1998)

Real Name - Martin Austin Ruane
Lifespan - 10

/10/46 - 11/29/98

6'11" 560 lbs. - Camberwall, Greater London, England

Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional Background - Indies(`67-`75), Joint Promotions(`75-`9?), India, Africa, CWA, Stampede, WCW(`96)


Luke McMasters, Haystacks Calhoun, Loch Ness, Loch Ness Monster

Peak Years - `75-`87

Place in History

Martin Ruane was a gentle giant outside of the ring, but one of the most fierce and nasty big men a pro-wrestling ring has ever seen. He moved to London at a young age and was frequently teased do to his girth. He turned into a tough kid who got into pro-wrestling almost by default. He was painfully shy and hated being in the limelight, so it's a wonder he stuck with it.  In the 1970s, British pro-wrestling on TV was going through a curious shift under the influence of the Crabtrees.  The promotion of Shirley “Big Daddy” Crabtree as the top star made it necessary for some similarly large men to play foils.  Giant Haystacks, who was even bigger than Daddy, was a great fit.  Although both were limited in the ring, they had unique charisma, a well-developed chemistry and both were pushed hard as unbeatable.  Giant Haystacks was a brutal heel and enjoyed tours of Europe and was even brought to Calgary. As Haystacks came into his forties his large frame began to take a huge toll on his knees and back. He slowed dramatically and when ITV cancelled World of Sport and British wrestling practically died, Haystacks entered semi-retirement. Many North American fans might remember him for his brief, but forgettable run in WCW in early 1996. He was a shadow of what he had been over a decade earlier - one of the biggest and baddest heels in the world!  Not even three years later, Haystacks had passed away.  TV wrestling lends itself to larger-than-life characters and few if any ever fit that more than Giant Haystacks.