A while back, Michael Karman, of Farside, Lords of Discipline and Aftershock, posted a few photos of his patch collection on the Old School Paintball Guns facebook group. Among a variety of historical team patches, Karman’s collection included two very early UK Predators’ patches and a patch for the first US-UK Tour in 1989.
1989 – The First US-UK Tour
The First US-UK Tour brought players from many of the well known US teams along with paintball industry members to the UK. The US travelers played on UK fields, met UK players and industry members and watched, but didn’t compete in the UK Mayhem Masters put on by Steve Baldwin and Paul Wilson of Mayhem.
Ridgerunner player, Rick “RJ” Taylor remembers that trip well:
“In 89 only a few folks went over, Tim Schloss, Ross Alexander, Marty Tripes, two girls from a paintball mag who spent most of their time in Paris, Wild Geese, and TAC. We were not allowed to play in [the UK] tourneys in 1989 and 90.”
The US-UK Tour continued until about 1992/93(?) and as time went on, US players were allowed to compete. The Mayhem United Force (MUFs) played in the 1991 Mayhem Masters event and during the next few years, teams including Navarone, the Master Blasters, Bo Peep and his Flock of Sheep and others made the journey across the atlantic to watch or compete.
Rick ventured across the Atlantic in 1989 and 1990 and has messaged me with tons of great photos and stories from his trips. One of Michael Karman’s two early Predator patches brought back some memories for RJ. He received the same early Battlezone Predator “insect” patch, pictured above, from Predator player, D “Jabba” Batters.
“[The] Battlezone patch was [the Predators’] first, they had them made in the summer of 89, I still have the letter somewhere that was sent to me by Jabba of the Preds when they had this patch made. “
Meeting the Predators
During this trip to the UK, RJ remembers meeting and hanging out with Marcus Davis, D Jabba Batters , and the rest of the Battle Zone Predators, along with Tiger Stripe Products owner Tim Schloss. In June-July of 1989, after returning back to the States, Rick received the letter pictured above from D “Jabba” Batters. The envelope also contained Rick’s Battlezone Predators Insect patch.
I asked Rick if he visited Battlezone in 1989 while he and other American’s did their first US/UK paintball tour.
Taylor replied, “[Battlezone] was their home field, never visited it. It was consider a lesser field by the other big name teams.”
In March of 2015, Rick dug around and found the letter that Jabba sent the patch over with, which alluded to the Predators venturing over to the US for the 1989 Line SI (Lively) Masters event.
UK Predators Early History
On November 29th, 2010, Pete “Robbo” Robinson posted a series of video interviews with Marcus Davis. The two discuss Marcus’ paintball career and the multiple trips the Predators made to the United States to compete in the Masters and World Cup tournaments during the 1990s.
Find Robbo’s series of videos at:
And Robbo’s thread on Paintballer-forum about these videos at:
In video 8, Marcus talks to Robbo about how his brother, Nicholas Davis introduced him to Paintball.
Part 8 dialogue starting at 7:30:
Robbo: Timmy H 007 [asks]: How did you get involved in paintball? How was [Marcus’] team (the Predators) put together? And why do you think they were so successful? Right, how did you get involved in paintball?
Marcus Davis: I got involved in Paintball, one of my brothers actually took me.
R: (?) Antoine(?)?
MD: No, Nicholas, one of my brothers took me, to play paintball once with him. Then, to Jim Scott’s site.
MD: In Corimbe (?) Kent, years ago, we went down and I ABSOLUTELY loved it.
MD: So I started going back every week and I ended up being a marshall there. I had been marshalling for him. And that’s when we uhh, I basically formed the Predators.
R: So was that..Jim Scott’s site, ahh I didn’t know…
MD: That’s where the Predators were formed, yeah. The first time we ever went to Fimmia to play paintball, in the first ever world championships, which was in Fimmia.
R: Fimmia Five man wasn’t it.
MD: Fimmia Ten man.
R: Was it?
MD: Fimmia Ten man, yeah you was there…you was there.
R: Ohhhh yeah. Jerry Wahl!
MD: Yeah Jerry Wahl Barber. Jerry Wahl Barber, remember you guys I think come second.
R: Yeah I think we did.
MD: And Barts Stud Squad come first.
R: Right yeah.
MD: Cause they beat us. We didn’t place (?).
R: That was a long time ago.
MD: That’s how we basically started playing.
MD: We used to be called the Battle Zone Predators, we used to be called.
R: Yes, yes, I remember that.
End at 8:55 in part 8
In the excerpt transcribed from Robbo’s and Marcus’ dialog, Marcus tell Robbo how the Predators first competed in the 1989 Mayhem Masters. Robbo was likely playing for Naw Wrecking Crew which took second in the event. Bart’s Stud Squad took first that year. As Marcus recalls, The Predators didn’t place in 1989.
And In the above thread on P8ntballer-forums.com, Anthony “Shiney” Elvins posts that originally he and Marcus Davis played on Bad Company together but later left to form the Battlezone Predators:
“Me and Marcus met in Bad Company then left to form the Preds.”
Find that specific post at http://p8ntballer-forums.com/threads/interview-with-marcus-davis-one-of-the-most-successful-brits-of-all-time.96744/page-10#post-1319121
Battlezone Predators’ Group Photo from RJ
I’m not sure how the Predators ranked in the May 1989 Mayhem Masters, but they made an impression on Rick and Tim Schloss. Rick traded his Ridgerunner comp to Marcus on that trip. Marcus can be seen holding the Purple Carter Comp in the photo above.
Find this photo on mcarterbrown with some of RJ’s thoughts at:
Rick and I have been asking around for player identifications on this 1989 photo of the Battlezone Predators. With the help of Stephen Whyteleaf, and the Predators’ facebook page, we can name the following players:
3. D “Jabba” Batters
4. Ian ______ (or Lee?)
5. Anthony/Tony “Shiney” Elvins
6. Teresa Davis
7. Dave Thomas
8. Anthony’s wife
10. Trevor Giddings
11. Anthony Davis
12. Marcus Davis
The 1990 US-UK Tour and the Predators 1st Big Win
In 1990, Rick, Tim Schloss, and others traveled back to the UK, for the second US-UK paintball tour. During this tour they visited and again marshaled the second Mayhem games, in May of 1990, witnessing the Predators first major win. Marcus and his team beat out Bart’s Stud Squad and placed 1st, as the underdogs of the tournament.
Rick writes, commenting on the huge upset at the Mayhem Masters when the Battlezone Predators overtook Bart’s Stud Squad, Bad Company, Nam Wrecking Crew and other prominent UK teams:
“Marcus and Preds were looked at as nobodies in 89. It was quite a surprise to everyone when they won in 90.”
Thinking back Rick reflects, that “After the game I think [Marcus] had trouble believing himself that he had beaten Bart’s. Last I ever spoke to him was when he was coming off the field after winning.”
The Predators and Tactical Assault Command c.1990
Tim Schloss sent the above photo, which shows the Battlezone Predators. Schloss labeled this photos as 1989 but Rick estimates it was taken in 1990. The Predators are holding their team banner and are pictured with, as Rick believes, members of Tactical Assault Command.
With the help of RJ, the Predators, and members of Tactical Assault Command we’ve identified several members from this photo.
1. Troy Palmer (TAC)
2. Not TAC
3. Tony “Shiney” Elvins
5. Marcus Davis
7. D “Jabba” Batters
8. Tim Schloss?
10. Wild Geese?
11. Dan Theis (TAC)
12. Wild Geese?
13. James Flanagan ? (TAC)
15. Wild Geese?
17. Leo Pon (TAC)
Giant thanks to Michael Karman, Rick “RJ” Taylor, Tim Schloss, Stephen Whyteleaf, Teresa Davis, and Tony Elvins, the other Predators on the UK Preds page and Mark “Slim” Hatfield (of Tac).