Remembering John English

Today we pay tribute to a true star of Mardi Gras and a monumental character on the Sydney scene.

John English passed away of cancer a few days ago.

This photo shows John on the left with Ron Muncaster on the right - united in their typically elaborate and unforgettable handmade Mardi Gras Parade flair.

A trained professional wrestler, John toured Australia performing matches around the country under his various personas: The Welsh Wizard, The Red Baron, The Zebra Kid and The Golden Wonder!

John was a fixture of the Mardi Gras and the late-night party scene for 30-odd years, and regularly exhibited his photos at the Redfern and Surry Hills markets for over 15 years. He loved dressing up and was a self-portrait enthusiast long before the world embraced the 'selfie' pic. John used to laugh: "There are more photos of me than Lady Di!"

John English's friend Craig Craig remembers him as "one of the most motivated, driven and enthusiastic men I have ever had the privilege to know."

"He was an army guy turned stripper turned dazzler wrestler, and obsessive fetishist with a camera. The hooded man in his masses of tight-fitting Lycra outfits appeared in pose with signage at every new sculpture, whether it be on top of the MCA, Sculpture by the Sea, or Anthills in the Northern Territory. Whatever, whenever, John was there with his three signature poses. At times there would be three rolls of film to view a week.

"He was the last of that generation - adorned with an appropriate outrageous outfit to appear at special events at many gay-themed nights. Quick with a self-deprecating joke about his sexual appeal!

"I truely saw John as a forerunner to this generation's freedom of expression. Proud to be body-aware and dress to accentuate it. A simple man with a heart of gold. Always there for Ron. They made a fine pair of outlandish exhibitionists who were appreciated by masses. They had a special relationship."

All are welcome to attend the funeral service for John English, which will be held on Thursday 27th October 2016 at 3pm. Eastern Suburbs Crematorium, 12 Military Road, Matraville 2036 in the South Chapel.