Was Davey Boy Smith’s Middle Name Seriously “Boy”?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to pro wrestling and pro wrestlers and whether they are true or not.

PRO WRESTLING URBAN LEGEND: Davey Boy Smith’s middle name was actually “Boy.”

Davey Boy Smith’s story is sadly pretty typical for many wrestlers.

After a long career, Smith became less popular with fans as he reached his late 30s, and by this time was addicted to painkillers (and that was what he officially checked into rehab for, he was reportedly taking many other drugs at the time, from recreational drugs to anabolic steroids) and in rough shape personally and financially.

He died in 2002 of a heart attack at the age of 39.

But during his peak, Smith was one of the more popular wrestlers in the wrestling world, and was an icon in his native England.

Smith began wrestling as a young man in the late 1970s, joining his cousin Tom Billington, who wrestled under the name The Dynamite Kid.

Together, they became known as the British Bulldogs.

When they joined the WWF in the early 1980s, they even added an actual bulldog to their act, a bulldog named Matilda.

Eventually, Smith became a solo act, going by the name British Bulldog.

In any event, the point of this piece is to note an amusing tale involving Smith’s name. He was known as Davey Boy Smith, but shockingly enough, “Davey Boy” was his ACTUAL name!!

You see, when he was born, the clerk wrote “boy” in the same line as “name” instead of in the box for sex. Therefore his “official” name was Davey Boy. Smith related the humorous anecdote to Simon Garfield, for Garfield’s 1999 book, The Wrestling.

It worked well enough, though, as Davey Boy Smith served him well as a name for many years.

Thanks to Garfield and Smith for the information and thanks to commenter ChrisTheDude for explaining that the original stated reason for Smith’s odd name (that “Boy” was written in the “middle name” section) was erroneous.

The legend is…


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4 Responses to “Was Davey Boy Smith’s Middle Name Seriously “Boy”?”

  1. AverageJoeEveryman on November 8th, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Always liked the Bulldog

  2. ParanoidObsessive on November 9th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Eventually, Smith became a solo act, going by the name British Bulldog.

    As tragic as Davey Boy’s life was, Billington’s life might actually have been even worse.

    Of course, pro-wrestling seems to be a spawning ground for tragedy in general, sadly.

  3. Sorry, but even as it’s been re-written this legend isn’t true, for a number of reasons:

    1. It is completely implausible that the official government registrar of births would be so clueless as to write both his name and gender in the name field. Additionally, the name field records the baby’s full name *including* surname, so the registrar would have had to “accidentally” write “David Boy Smith” which is completely unbelievable.
    2. On a UK birth certificate the gender isn’t recorded as “boy” or “girl” but as “male” or “female” (I have my own in front of me right now)
    3. Most tellingly, UK birth records can be searched online and his name is clearly recorded as simply “Smith, David” with no mention of a middle name

    Smith was a notorious prankster and I strongly suspect he told Meltzer the above story as a joke and Meltzer believed him. I doubt very much that Meltzer ever had sight of Smith’s birth cerificate

  4. Garfield even. I don’t know why I wrote Meltzer……..

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