Three Wrestlers Remain In Hospital

Greensboro News & Record – October 6, 1975

WILMINGTON- Johnny Valentine, Ric Flair, and Bob Bruggers, three professional wrestlers familiar to Carolinas and Virginia-area fans, remain hospitalized at New Hanover County Hospital following a Saturday evening plane crash near the Wilmington airport.

Valentine, 47, the reigning United States Heavyweight champion of the National Wrestling Alliance, and Bruggers, 31, were in serious condition Sunday according to a hospital spokesman. Flair, 24, whose legal name is Richard Fliehr, was reported in satisfactory condition.

Also in the twin-engine Cessna 310, which reportedly ran out of gas while trying to land, were pilot Michael Farkas of Monroe, who was in critical condition after undergoing surgery for head injuries and David Crockett and George Woodin, both of Charlotte, who were released from the hospital Sunday. Crockett and Woodin both are promoters.

The athletes involved wrestle from Jim Crockett Promotions of Charlotte and they were en route to a performance in Wilmington Saturday night.

“We understand all but the pilot were doing well this morning,” a member of Crockett’s family told the Daily News Sunday. “We understand a series of tests will be performed to determine the extent of the injuries.”

Valentine was scheduled to wrestle in the main event of a Greensboro Coliseum card Saturday night, Oct. 11. Dory Funk will sub for Valentine in the match against Jack Brisco.

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