Deaf Sports Stars12th October 2013

Sean Midnight Wrestling for his Future

Sean Midnight is a Deaf wrestler aiming for the big time

by Sarah Lawrence

Sean Noone was born and brought up in the Midlands. Sean is Deaf and uses British Sign Language. At 25 years of age, Sean is widely known as a professional wrestler, a sport that has a long and proud deaf history! With Sean continuing this trend, we thought it was about time SL First caught up with him, before he flew out to his next international competition.

Sean was born in Sandwell, but his family moved to Birmingham so that the family home was closer to Longwill School for the Deaf where he attended school. Aged 9, Sean was transferred to a mainstream school for a year, before taking up a position at his secondary school, Braidwood School for the Deaf.

Sean enjoyed the social side of school along with Design Technology, Art and Science, but cheekily he says he was far from being the best Mathematician.

I asked Sean how he got into wrestling. “I remember watching wrestling on TV on every Saturday morning with my brother, Anthony,” he explained. “I was inspired by it, so I told my parents I was going to be wrestler. Their reaction was like “Yeah, right!” I started going to K Star Wrestling, a wrestling school based in Birmingham and then switched to Ultimate Championship Wrestling, as there were two Deaf wrestlers there.”

Sean MidnightWhen Sean finished school, he went to study a BTEC Diploma in Media at Bourneville College but soon realised that was not exactly what he wanted to do. He went on to train to become a youth worker.

Despite being only 25, Sean has been wrestling professionally for nearly a decade, although he says it only feels like yesterday when he started.

Sean describes his greatest achievement as meeting Alan Kilby in person, as he is the person who inspired him to get into wrestling.

A seasoned wrestler on the British Circuit, Sean is also proud to have had the opportunity to wrestle at the MATA Expo in California. During the event, Sean wrestled in front of 6,500 people, and he was such a success he has been invited to return later this year.

sean 2Given the professional fighter name Sean Midnight, Sean recalls one of the pranks played on him and other competitors during a competition in Luton. Sean told me that all of the wrestlers noticed there was something wrong with the clocks. They were asking him why all the clocks in the building had been set at 00:00. They all thought Sean was responsible, until his ‘joking’ coach admitted he had done it as a “Cute Sean Midnight story”.

Sean is always keen to point out that wrestling is a dangerous sport and should not be taken lightly. He recalls a bout when a pile driver move went badly wrong. His neck got badly squashed and he knows he was lucky not to be seriously injured or paralysed.

Sean has wrestled extensively throughout the UK and the USA and is looking forward to appearing in Japan and the Phillipines next year, as well as the USA.

Sean still harbors ambitions to fight in some of the biggest wresting shows in the world, but he worries that being Deaf is a barrier to fighting at that level. Sean is keen to prove that Deaf people have exactly the same talent as hearing people, the one exception being that he can’t hear!

Sean in ringSean hopes to see more Deaf people become professional wrestlers in the future. Through his wrestling, Sean has been able to travel extensively and meet some inspirational people.

True to his Youth Worker training, Sean encourages all deaf children to pursue their dreams. He said, “There may be challenges to face, but with determination and dedication you can overcome them. Ultimately, there is nothing to stop you achieving what you want to do”.  Many people told Sean he could not make a success of wrestling, and he remains intent on proving them wrong.

Credit to Zoe Louise Brown Photography

Article by Sarah Lawrence

posted in Deaf Sport / Deaf Sports Stars

12th October 2013