Cecil Funk, 71, helped Maple Ridge wrestler Nathan Burke defeat Don Ciever during All-Star Wrestling show at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds on Friday.
Friday night in Cloverdale, a Maple Ridge senior realized his lifelong dream of becoming a pro wrestling manager.
Seventy-one-year-old Cecil Funk was in Maple Ridge grappler Nathan “Disco Fury” Burke’s corner during his match against Don Ciever, part of an All-Star Wrestling show held Friday night at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.
Managing a wrestler, even just for one night, was a goal realized for Cecil, who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. The news of Cecil having cancer hit his family and friends hard, noted Cecil’s daughter Kim.
“My brother Bryon and I thought it would be amazing to try and make his dream come true – he has always wanted to be a manager for a wrestler,” Kim said.
The family has known Burke for years and one phone call later, “Disco Fury” made it happen.
With 10 of his supporters sitting ringside, not only did Cecil escort Burke to the ring, he also got involved in the match.
“He [Burke] pushed his opponent out of the ring,” Cecil said, “and I grabbed his opponent and wrapped my arms around him so he could give him an extra couple of punches.”
“He [Cecil] was facing the wrong way, so I said, ‘Hey turn him around so his family can see him!” Burke recalled with a laugh.
It was an emotional night for Cecil: “I ended up crying. I had fun… lots of fun.”
Cecil’s love of pro wrestling dates back decades. The 31st edition of the World Wrestling Entertainment’s Wrestlemania extravaganza is scheduled for March 29 in Santa Clara, Calif., and Cecil said he has the first three dozen them “on tape.”
Seeing Cecil live his dream was a touching moment for his family members, including Kim.
“I cried,” she said. “My daughter was there, she was so excited, my mother-in-law and father-in-law were there, and they don’t even like wrestling.”
Disco Fury pinned his opponent Don Ciever after one of his signature moves, the “pedigree.”
“I enjoyed it, I really did,” Burke said. “It’s humbling to see how the little things in life can make such a difference.”
The match was the first on the card, so Cecil could watch the rest of the show with his supporters.
“This makes my world go round, helping other people,” Burke said. “I sometimes take it for granted to step into the ring. For someone else to walk in my shoes, it’s humbling for me.”
March 2, 2015 01:59 PM