Meet Neil Pickup

1.)    How long have you been Armwrestling? How did you get started & what happened ?

 A.)  I first came across the sport in 1987 at the age of 13 when the “Over the Top” Tournament took place in Manchester. This is very close to where I live in Blackburn in the North West of England, I convinced my dad to take me along to have a go, got my little ass well and truly whipped, but got hooked at the same time. Unfortunately like so many people I had nobody to train with in the north of England ( the sport was only really developed around London in the South )and after two or three years of trying hard with no technique and lots of seriously painful “ achy breaky arm !!! ” I decided there had to be a better way. I was lucky enough to get hold of some video footage of the truly phenomenal Andrew “ COBRA”  Rhodes and the Master, John Brzenk Jr. after seeing them pull in Paris. At this point following literally hours of copying their respective pulling styles as I interpreted them, my results started to dramatically improve. I also had “some other videos” as well when I was sixteen, which may well have helped develop my forearms, however I began knocking over the chalk stand at  almost every tournament I attended and I once fell off the stage three times in one day ……………….. so I stopped watching them !!!    


2.)   What have you done since? 

A.) I usually try to get a woman involved these days if I can !!! …………. Oh! with Armwrestling sorry!!!

In 1992 I began to promote Armwrestling events in the local area around where I live under the banner of “ IRON ARM NORTH WEST  HARDCORE ARMWRESTLING PROMOTIONS". The intention of these early shows was to raise the profile of pulling in the U.K.’s Northern Counties and to get people involved. I would run a tournament with 4 male weight classes and a ladies open for total new comers, the top three finishers in each weight classes would then qualify to go forward to the“ IRON ARM NORTH WEST FINAL CONFLICT ” at the end of the year.  To spice up the events, at the end of each one I would do the “ 100 – 1 NATURAL INSTINCT ” challenge matches where I would take on all comers, of any weight. They had to pay one pound to charity and if they could take a pin off me I would give them one hundred pounds. Thinking back to my youth today, I must have been out of my mind to offer this ………. having said that however, myself and both referees were wearing trainers and the car was always left running !!!

      The “ IRON ARM ” series was a massive success and indeed is still today the nations strongest and  most established Armwrestling tradition. It is the reason that Armwrestling in the North of England has developed into the dominant force that it is today, the foundations for the organization which I am proud to have founded the N.A.W.F.  ( Northern Armwrestling Federation ) came from these early shows. As did great British Armwrestlers such as “ Wise Grip” Andy Barker, “Uno Bicepo” Chris Andrews, “Technique” Austin Clark, “ Lady Natural ” Elaine Pickup, “Raven” Alison Cox, “Captain Scarlet” Steve Rodgers, “ Big Time” Mick Fielding, “ The Secret” Stuart Hall, etc.

      During my own career in Armwrestling I have been lucky enough to have traveled literally all over the world an I have met some really fantastic people who I am proud to call my friends and from who I have learned a lot. This is my favorite part of Armwrestling, the international tournaments pulling against guys from other countries who I don’t often know much about and trying to use new techniques and styles against their own.   

     3.)   What exactly have you won all over the World ? 

A.) During my career in Armwrestling I have won been fortunate enough to win many, many tournaments both in the U.K and abroad taking titles in many countries including Belgium , France , Italy , Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, USA, Canada and Germany. I won’t list a large number of them but instead some of the results which are most important to me personally :-       


      Multiple British Champion, title held on both Right and Left Arms.

      6 Time Northern Professional Champion (3 times on both arms.)

      3 Time Northern Pro. Overall Champion.

      2 Time Winner of “ ARM WARS U.K.” International Open ( at 3 weights / 1998)

      2 Time Winner of “ Enter The Lions Den” Invitational on both arms.

      2 Time Total Trophy Winner both arms.

      UAC 1998 Winner & Overall Champion.

      Battle of the Bikeshow 1999 Champion & Overall R-up.

      Best of the Best UK Winner 1999 –90kg.

      3 Time New Year Cup Champion & 2 Times Overall Champion.

      3 Time Mr. Iron Arm UK & Twice Overall Champion.

      3 Time London Championships Winner at –90kg.

      2 Time Southern Championships Winner at 2 weights.



      Current -85kg. EAF  European Champion.

      EAF European Championship Silver Medallist and three time bronze medallist.

      WAF World Championship – 80kg. Silver Medallist

      WAF World Championship 2 time –80kg. Bronze Medallist

      WAF World Championship 2 time –85kg. Bronze Medallist

      2 Times First Day Winner Main Event  / Idaho & Day 2 Bronze Medallist.

      5 Time Winner of Belgium International Open Championships.

      2 Times Winner Geneva & Rappersvil Swiss Open Tournaments.

      Winner French International Tournament Lambres le Dues.

      3 Time R-up German Over the Top International Event.

      Italian International Open Winner 1999 & 3rd in overall.     

     I have also been fortunate enough to win various other International titles in different countries however, these events listed above hold special memories for me for various reasons. 

      I would like to extend my gratitude to the following people whom have helped me tremendously during my armwrestling career, in various ways these persons have supported assisted and encouraged me and without them I feel that I would not have been as successful as I have been and I certainly would not have had as fantastic a time as I have enjoyed over the years.

      The gorgeous “RAVEN” ALISON COX my little hoochie, No.1 fan and jelly sex doubles partner!  My World Champion Sister Elaine, “ Little Picky ” both of whom I love & am mega proud !!! Andy “Wise Grip”, “Badger” Barker, Austin “Technique” Clark, & “Sidewinder” Mick my ever present training partners and mates. Also all my team mates in the mighty N.A.W.F. Nigel Cawthorne “The Silverback”, “Ice Man” Dean Watson & “Bad Boy” Alan Greaves. Pascal & Miriam Girard, Robert & Lorie Redden, Bill Frank, Willy, Georgio Rilly, Tsvetan Gashevski, Kathy Defeche, Petra Spatz, and all my other friends in World Armwrestling.

      I would also like to thank Jordan, Jo Guest and Natasha from Wet n Wild magazine 96, “Shaver Raver Ho’s of Winter Special”, for their individual contributions to the development of my wrist-forearm and my current state of partial blindness !!! 

      I’ve just rounded off my year in 2000 with a trip to Finland for the World Championships out there,  I managed a bronze medal on either arm. I am greatly looking forward to the coming year in 2001 and I will be training harder than ever. Good luck folks in whatever you decide to do in 2001, keep the faith and keep pulling hard and often.


Many thanks to Neil Pickup,  Dave Devoto



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