Buddy Colt. (Photo Provided)

Buddy Colt. (Photo Provided)

Buddy Colt, regarded as one of the top workers in the business during the late ‘60s and ‘70s but whose in-ring career was cut short by an airplane crash in Tampa Bay in 1975, still lives in the Tampa area where he was once the top heel in the Florida territory.

Despite being seriously injured in the airplane crash that claimed the life of fellow wrestling star Bobby Shane, Colt remained active in the wrestling business, serving as a manager, booker and commentator. Colt’s right ankle was shattered in the airplane crash. He never wrestled again. Colt, however, refused to allow a tragic plane crash to overshadow an illustrious career.

“I loved the business too much to do that,” he said.

Colt began his career as a babyface billed as Cowboy Ron Reed, a derivative of his real name, Ronald Read). But when he later transformed into a bleached blond, braggadocios, heat-drawing heel known as Buddy Colt, he became one of the top draws in the Georgia and Florida territories.

Now 82, Colt ventured into the building supply business when his wrestling days were over.