Frank Luhovy was a wrestler before wrestling was cool.
The Alvinston man, known in the ring as Cowboy Frankie Lane, died May 24 after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis.
Brooke-Alvinston Councillor Frank Nemcek was cousins with Luhovy and says he loved life in the ring.
“He was wrestling all his life, since he was a young kid in his twenties,” says Nemcek. “Frankie worked in the Ford Plant in Talbotville but Frankie wanted to be in the limelight…he wanted to be a star.”
So Luhovy went to a wrestling school in Windsor to learn the trade and then went on the road.
Nemcek says Country Frankie Lane often was on the card during events at the Alvinston arena but he also wrestled in the United States and Europe.
And he stayed in the ring for decades, being involved in the sport he loved until he was in his mid-forties. Country Frankie Lane even had a chance to wrestle Hulk Hogan before Hulk made it big.
Nemcek says Luhovy was unusual in his family of farmers. “That was a pretty big thing but back then they (pro wrestlers) made nothing…but Frankie liked to be the center of attention and he got to see the world.”
Nemcek says family members would often go to watch Luhovy in action. One Friday night, Nemcek’s parents went to see him wrestle at Cobo Hall in Detroit. At the time they believed the fights were real. Luhovy was “beat up pretty bad, there was blood and guts and everything” and had to be carried out of the ring on a stretcher. His parents were concerned for their nephew’s welfare. They visited the Luhovy’s the next day and asked how Frankie was doing because “he got beat up pretty bad.”
Luhovy’s dad pointed them to the barn where the found Country Frankie Lane doing chores without a scratch on him. Nemcek says the wrestlers were “stretching the truth a little bit.”
Nemcek says his cousin could often be found on the family farm helping out by picking stones or doing chores but he loved life on the road, wrestling and signing autographs for the fans. “He saw the world and he had a good time.”
For the past 10 years, Luhovy had been living at Fiddick’s Nursing home, dealing with the effects of Multiple Sclerosis.
He was 74.