Wrestler Rob's tribute to dad will help Ark

He's been a king of the ring for a decade – and now Basingstoke professional wrestler Rob Holte is marking his milestone year with a fundraising drive that will be a tribute to his late dad and make a difference to Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

Rob’s dad Keith was 61 when he died in June 2015. Keith, who lived in Basingstoke, had been treated for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma for several years, and often had to travel to Southampton for radiotherapy treatment as this was not available locally.

As a tribute in memory of his dad, Rob has pledged that all the proceeds he raises from wrestling shows in 2019 will go to Ark's £5million appeal to help fund a new NHS cancer treatment centre in Basingstoke.

Rob, who lives in Basingstoke, said: “For me, this will be a good way to mark my tenth anniversary and leave a legacy in memory of my dad.

“From when I made my debut in 2008, my dad was my number one fan. He was never a fan of wrestling before, but he came to every show he could, and soon found himself enamoured. He loved the camaraderie and would often turn up early to help out on the ring crew.

“Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2008. He always down-played it as he was determined not to let it have a greater effect on his life than was necessary.

“When my dad had to travel to Southampton for radiotherapy treatment, it was very stressful for him, my mum and the whole family. The care was great but the travelling was very difficult.”

Rob added: “Like a true champion, my dad fought bravely and proudly. However, in June 2015, despite never giving up hope, he sadly lost the fight.

“In his later years, he had been a supporter of Ark Cancer Centre Charity, so I feel very proud to be able to honour his memory by supporting this great cause throughout 2019. I really get why we need a new cancer centre in Basingstoke – one that will provide more help, support and treatment for local people.”

Rob will be wrestling in Basingstoke throughout the year for Varsity Pro Wrestling. As wrestlers are paid based on spectator attendance numbers, Rob – who is aiming to be the new VPW Champion in 2019 – is hoping to get plenty of local support to help him raise money for Ark. 

Rob has set up a fundraising page on Just Giving, and he has set himself a target of reaching £2,000 during 2019. You can donate to his fundraising page at https://bit.ly/2Hi4ml4

Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee Merv Rees said: “Congratulations to Rob on his 10 years as a professional wrestler, and everyone at Ark is grateful to him for supporting the charity’s appeal in his milestone year.”