AN OLD Town wrestling star will take centre stage in a new tour and TV special next month.

Known as The English Lion, Eddie Ryan will be travelling the country to some of the biggest UK arenas alongside former WWE superstars Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Carlito, John Morrison, Chris Masters and Jake Hager and ITV Love Island reality star and pro wrestler Adam Maxted.

Having moved to Swindon in 2008 to pursue a career in wrestling, 32-year-old Eddie said his road to stardom hasn’t always been plain sailing but hopes the exciting new tour will change his life forever.

“I moved with limited savings and no job, but I had confidence that I would hit the ground running, which I did,” he said. “I come from a very working-class family and I’m the eldest of five, one brother, three sisters. We struggled growing up, so I know the value of money. I was taught my work ethic by my mum who is an absolute saint. Everything I want in life, I know I’ve got to work for.

“After I graduated from university I went training five days a week just to get myself better, and to get myself in the condition I needed to be in to be a professional athlete in this country.

“Now nine years have passed and I’m glad to say I’m one of the busiest wrestlers in the country.

“And now 5 Star Wrestling has taken a look and given me an opportunity and I’m going to take that with both hands.”

The live TV wrestling special will feature on the new all-sport channel FreeSports and the tour kicks off on Thursday, February 1 at Liverpool Echo Arena.

It will be a major part of the 5 Star Wrestling Live on FreeSports weekly TV series – the first time a British wrestling company has aired a live TV series on prime-time television available throughout most of the country.

While Eddie juggles his nine-to-five office job with dedicating hours of his week to training, he hopes that once the exciting tour gets underway, wrestling will become his sole focus.

“Wrestling is the hardest sport I have ever done and it takes a massive toll on your body,” he said.

“It isn’t just one activity, such as running. You run, you jump, you lift, you climb, you fall, you get up.

“It was in November when the promoter made contact with me and expressed an interest in having me as a part of the shows, mainly because of my unique look and attire. We came to an agreement and I am now a part of the full tour. I was incredibly excited but luckily I have actually already been a part of shows with both Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam.”

Eddie added: “With the large amount of travelling that is involved in wrestling, as well as usually travelling to shows with other local wrestlers to keep costs down, travelling with friends and family is usually not possible but now, the bonus of the live shows being on TV every week means everyone that wants to, can stay up to date with me can watch it live and free on Freesports.”