Philip Gormley (on the left) poses for picture with John Lopresti at fundraiser at Prince Pizza in Saugus, Massachusetts.


As any sports fanatic can tell you, being inducted into the national hall of fame is a dream that seems nearly unattainable; a dream that on Nov. 3, 2012 came true for Malden High School graduate, Phil Gormley. Gormley was inducted into the Massachusetts Branch of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame at the Sheraton Hotel in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Unlike most wrestlers, who began at a young age, Gormley began his wrestling career while attending Boston College (BC) in 1968. He fondly recalls that joining the wrestling team was not his idea, but in fact, his friend’s, who roped Gormley in by stating the fact that “the worst thing that [could] happen [would be] that [he] would hate it, and the best that [he] would love it.” Gormley agreed after coming to the realization that at 5’4’’, he was not in fact destined to become a basketball player. According to Gormley, it took him about a year and a half to “understand the concepts and hard work needed to become a decent wrestler,” and in 1970, after two years of non-stop dedication, he finished in second place at the New England State College Athletic Conference.

Upon graduating from BC, Gormley returned to Malden to serve as both a Malden Public Schools teacher and as the wrestling coach for Malden High School. Dominic Sardo, a 1976 MHS graduate who was coached by Gormley remembers him as a “very dedicated, intense coach,” but also one who would, without a doubt, “do anything for the sport.” Sardo remembers that on several occasions, Gormley equipped students with what they needed to wrestle when they could not purchase it themselves. Sardo jokes that Gormley is the “reason practices over two hours are outlawed,” but is most definitely an “asset to the city.”

On Oct. 21, 2012 a fundraiser was held at Prince Pizza in Saugus, Massachusetts to celebrate Gormley’s fast approaching induction as well as a means to raise funds for Beat the Streets, a Boston youth wrestling program. The fundraiser was a comedy show performed by 1988 MHS graduate Dave Russo, who was also coached by Gormley.

The fundraiser was a success, and as for wrestling, according to Gormley, “there [is] absolutely, positively, no reason why you [cannot] wrestle. Whether [you are] a girl or boy, tall or short, heavy or light, a genius or average intelligence, blind or deaf, or even with only one leg… There [is] no reason you [cannot] wrestle.”


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