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  July 6, 1997



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Memories of fateful night haunt Bulldog


By RICK BELL -- Calgary Sun
British Bulldog   The sun shines Saturday afternoon and the British Bulldog roars on his Harley to a Stampede barbecue at dad-in-law Stu Hart's place.

Family and friends gather just 24 hours before today's wrestling megashow In Your House, where Davey and the rest of the Hart Foundation grapple with the backstabbing likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin.

"It would be a great victory, right here in Calgary. It would be like the day I won in court," says Davey Boy.

That day is Feb. 7, 1996, and the British Bulldog walks out of the Calgary courtroom a free man, cleared of a charge of aggravated assault.

The threat of a long stretch behind bars and a career in ruins vanishes as a judge rules the wrestler acted in self-defence on the summer night in `93 when Davey Boy and his wife Diana went to the Back Alley.

"I'm not a thug. I'm not a big bully wrestler who goes around and beats up kids. I do my job in the ring and that's it. I don't go into nightclubs picking fights," the British Bulldog tells me.

"I'm an easygoing guy. If somebody asks me to do something for people like sick children. I never turn them down.

"This whole thing cost me a lot. Somebody saw an opportunity to challenge me and I wouldn't hit him. Six months later they say I assaulted him. But the truth came out. If anyone was assaulted it was me."

Yes, the court finds on that summer night Kody Light verbally harasses Diana and gives Davey Boy a test-of-strength handshake. The wrestler puts Light in a front face lock and takes him over to the bouncer.

When the bent-over Light stands up he falls, cracking his head on the cement floor.

The judge says Davey Boy didn't assault Light. It was Light who assaulted the British Bulldog.

The grappler's mind still holds memories of the call from Stu in Calgary months after the incident telling Davey Boy of the assault charges.

And how the cops surrounded his house in Tampa to pick him up while he was off in England.

And surrendering to police in Calgary.

And the sight of his name, The British Bulldog, dragged through the world's press.

"I'm past it now. I'm bitter in a sense because of the way the law works. Police telling me I'm going to prison before it went to court. You're convicted before you start."

But this day is a happy one. The working class kid from just outside Manchester has come a long way from the days of delivering fruit and vegetables on a bicycle.

"My parents didn't want me walking the streets, smashing windows and wrecking cars. They put me in wrestling school and it paid off."

It sure did. As we talk of today's hoped-for victory, young kids fool around Stu's outdoor wrestling ring, the burgers sizzle, the beer is cold and the sky is clear.

The British Bulldog is home.

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