Is reffing no longer providing enough income?
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A THUG left a former wrestler and popular Plymouth guitarist and singer facing an uncertain future after chopping off the tips of his fingers.
Des Finnemore – known on the pub and club circuit as Des Wilde and to old wrestling fans as Des Fierce – came face to face with his attacker last week and is now contemplating having to cancel forthcoming gigs and instead arrange for meetings with a plastic surgeon.
Police say Des, aged 61, could have been the victim of mistaken identity, but they are still very keen to track the suspect due to the nature of the assault.
Des, from High Street, Stonehouse, said he was called to the front door of his flat at around 5.30am on Saturday January 25 after he heard someone repeatedly knocking on his window.
He opened the door to a man demanding to see a man called “Jimmy”.
Des said: “I told him I didn’t know anyone of that name at this address and he’d got the wrong place. But he kept saying ‘you must know Jimmy’.
“He got angry and said ‘don’t argue with me, I’m John McCarthy’.
“He was effing and blinding and I told him I was going to get the police.
“I was trying to shut the door and he started pushing and pulling it and then he pulled it really hard and slammed it on my fingers.
“My fingers were hanging down. I couldn’t bear looking at them.”
Des was treated at Derriford Hospital where it was found he had completely lost the tops of his forefinger and second finger on his right hand.
As a right handed guitarist who spends many a night playing at pubs, clubs and residential homes across Plymouth, the loss of his fingertips are a major setback.
Des said: “I’ve got another four years before I retire and I was pretty popular at the moment.
“It’s not just the money, I just really love performing and singing. I play a lot of residential homes, playing Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Beatles, Bobby Vee and Elvis. I play a lot of 60s music, playing six days a week and had a lot of gigs lined up. I hate canceling stuff because you feel like you’re letting people down.
“Now I’ve got an appointment with a plastic surgeon in March.”
Des worked as a labourer at the Royal William Yard until 1978 when he turned to semi-pro wrestling. As a light-heavyweight, free-style wrestler he travelled the world, fighting hundreds of bouts including in North Africa where he reigned as champion.
Despite his success and his manager’s urges to turn full time pro, in 1991 Des gave up the name Des Fierce and reinvented himself as Des Wilde, singer and guitarist.
Along the way he’s met everyone from Cliff Richard and Hank Marvin to Sam Fox and Bobby Davro.
The suspect who claimed he was John McCarthy was last seen walking in the direction of Peel Street.
He was described as being white, in his early 30s and around 5ft 6ins tall. He was of average build and had short light brown hair. He spoke with a local accent and wore a grey top and blue jeans.
Police want to hear from anyone who may have information about the incident or who knows the whereabouts of the suspect. If you can assist police contact them on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting crime reference number EC/14/744.