Norm Kimber: Announcer Extraordinaire

 
For fans of the Mid-Atlantic era and into the last years of the NWA days here, memories of Norm Kimber would rate high when recalling wrestling in the city. He was the 'voice' at MLG, usually very serious and business-like, but often looking to be holding back a smile while surrounded by the craziness of the ring.

 Well dressed in a suit, tux, or occasionally a sports coat with sweater underneath, he brought an air of sophistication to the proceedings. He introduced the wrestlers and promoted the next big show at MLG while also manning the ring bell at the little table beside the ring.

Main pic with Pat Flanagan MLG Hot Stove Lounge 1969

 By the time we knew him as Norm Kimber the ring announcer, he had already put in many years in the office. First as a 'man-friday' type and then taking over the publicity chores before taking over the ringside duties, apparently 38 years in total.

 He was in the office at the height of the 1950's revival of pro wrestling. Possibly as early as 1948 when Norm was just 17-18 years old. He had been working as a copy/messenger boy at the Toronto Star when writer Joe Perlove introduced him to Frank Tunney.

 He later said 'It was wonderful for me, because I had been a sports fan all my life.' Of Frank he said he was the 'easiest going guy you ever wanted to meet, respected by everyone in sports. He always had a cigar in his mouth, and even when he quit smoking I think he kept a rubber one there.'

 At that time the office was busy with boxing people, reporters, and the wrestlers that were part of the inner circle that worked with Tunney through those years. Along with publicity man Frank Ayerst and Kimber there were 'Deacon' Allen, Phil Lisner, Tommy Nelson, and the various scribes who frequented the office as well as Frank's nephew Jack who came in soon after.

 He took over the ring announcing duties in 1973 replacing long-time announcer Jerry Hiff. He would stay in that capacity through 1986 and then briefly appeared for Angelo Mosca's short lived Pro Wrestling Canada. Occasionally he would be replaced by Jack Tunney at MLG but he didn't miss many cards through that 13 year period.

 In 1986 he was fired by Jack Tunney. As per Norm in a Where Are They Now item 'There was no warning, no remuneration, no holiday pay, no nothing.'

Not as much known about Norm as should be, if you can add to the story of Norm Kimber please contact me.

-AC