The NWA has issued the following statement on the death of “Freebird” Buddy Roberts, who as previously reported passed away earlier this week:
The National Wrestling Alliance is saddened to learn of the death of Buddy Roberts, a legendary journeyman who wrestled in probably every territory in the world during his career. Starting his career in Hamilton, Ontario under his real name, Dale Hey, he trained and became close friends with Red McNulty, who later morphed into “the Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff. Getting booked in Calgary for Stu Hart through Koloff’s recommendation, Buddy Roberts’ career was off to a great start.
Roberts initially formed a phenomenal tag-team with Jerry Brown in the Tri-States area called the “Hollywood Blondes,” then took the team on the road to Montreal, Canada where they teamed for the Grand Prix Wrestling Promotion headed by the Vachons. It was in Montreal where the Hollywood Blondes acquired Sir Oliver Humperdink as a manager and the partnership was box office magic.
Sir Oliver Humperdink and the Hollywood Blondes won titles and headlined territories all over, from Montreal to Florida to Los Angeles to Texas.
After the Blondes went their separate ways, Buddy worked as Dale Valentine for awhile in Texas with Johnny Valentine as his manager, before Bill Watts had the idea to put him with a green tag-team comprised of Terry Gordy and Michael Hayes called “the Fabulous Freebirds.” It was as a member of the Freebirds, in the twilight of his career, where Roberts achieved his greatest fame and most likely made the most money.
Buddy Roberts was an icon of the wrestling profession and it was an honor to meet him and Jerry Brown, along with my longtime friend the late-Sir Oliver Humperdink. All of us at the National Wrestling Alliance will miss Buddy Roberts and we wish to respectfully extend to his family our deepest condolences.