L: LeDuc - Leslie

Wrestling Heritage A-Z

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Gilbert Leduc

World class French mid heavyweight, erstwhile world champion, made a number of visits to Britain, usually of a short duration. His first visit, to northern England  was in 1949, numerous short visits during the 1950s and finally tours for Paul Lincoln Management in 1964 and 1965

Dean Lee

When heavyweight Dean Lee came to our notice he was Kiwi Dean Lee, New Zealand champion no less, or so the promoters claimed. Reality was that he was a Yorkshireman, and although resident in New Zealand for quite a number of years this was a homecoming.  When Dean Lee and his wife packed their bags for New Zealand in 1963 his sporting background was confined to boxing and judo. Interest in wrestling developed in New Zealand where he was trained by John DaSilva, a man already well known to British fans. Our earliest sighting of Kiwi Dean Lee back in Britain is an Edinburgh show in December 1970. Opponents included Andy Robin, John Lees and Tony St Clair. He then moved to work for the independent promoters and we last found him at Tamworth in 1973 wrestling The Wild Man of Borneo. We would like to learn more.

Kwik Kick Lee

Not as acrobatic as his namesake, Sammy, young Kwik Kick (Akira Maeda)  came to Britain in 1982 and 1983 where his not inconsiderable skill was placed on the back burner in matches against  Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy.  Lee returned to japan where he established himself as one of the country's top wrestlers and promoters. He allegedly fell out of favour with Japanese promoters when he began to take the combative element of the sport just a little bit too seriously! 

Tiny Pat Lee

A young lightweight who worked in the north and Scotland during the late sixties and 1970s. Trained by Leon Arras he worked for the independent promoters before being signed up by George deRelwyskow for Joint Promotions. Tagged with Tom Jowett as The Dons, with reference to their home town of Doncaster.

Sammy Lee

Sammy lee was unknown to ritish fans when he came to our shores but his speed and agility led to an immediate acceptance by the UK fans.  Flying head scissors, dropkicks and a succession of leg executed throws following one after the other at bewildering speed  made the young Japanese wrestler unique in British rings.  Sammy Lee was trained by Karl Gotch, the American based Belgian who had learned his trade from the Wigan wrestlers in the 1950s. Unsurprisingly Lee was chosen as a frequent tag partner of Big Daddy, but we won't hold that against him.  The name Lee was bestowed on him, real name Satoru Sayama, to capitalise on the martial arts film star BruceLee. On returning to Japan Lee took to wearing a mask and became Tiger Mask, going on to become a legend of Japanese professional wrestling.

Leo Lefebvre

Billed as French heavyweight champion as he wrestled up and down the land between 1936-9; we don't know if he was honoured in the same way across the channel. Was oddly allowed to challenge for the British Empire title. Work that out.  It might well have been because he was Canadian!

Jacques LeJaque
French welterweight visited Britain in the mid 1980s. Jacques made two television appearances; the first an impressive straight falls win over Ray Crawley in December 1985, followed a few weeks later when he failed to capture Danny Collins European welterweight title when he lost by the odd fall.

Benny Lema
The globetrotting Italian heavyweight visited Britain in November, 1954, wrestling Britain's best, including Norman Walsh and Farmer Johnny Allan.

Henri LeMao
French lightweight Henri LeMao made a couple of visits to Britain around 1960. He came over in 1959 at the invitation of Paul Lincoln and wrestled George kidd in Woolwich for Kidd's World Lightweight title. He returned two years later to face more Lincoln hopefuls that included Zoltan Boscik, Peter Cortez, Peter Rann ,Linde Caulder and Johnny Williams.

Le Petit Prince
Diminutive French lightweight who caused a stir on his trips to the UK in the early seventies. He looked tiny and unthreatening as he climbed through the ropes. All that changed when the bell rang and he unleashed a dazzling assault on his opponent. The combined qualities of wrestling skill, acrobatics, speed and looks made him enormously poular wherever he appeared. The man from Audincourt near the Swiss border had an amateur wrestling and gymnastics background and combined the two to give acrobatic displays that left many heavier opponents bewildered.  Feuded in England with Zoltan Boscik, honours ending up largely even.

In 1966 he had the honour of being the first ever opponent in a televised match of young French giant Jean Ferre.  At 6'11" and still growing, youngster Ferre was double the size of Le Petit Prince.

His real name was given in Britain as Alberic D'Ericourt but Wrestling Heritage can reveal it was in fact Daniel Dubail. 

Ray Leslie
Middlesbrough's Ray Leslie trained at St Lukes, Middlesbrough, under the guidance of mid heavyweight champion Norman Walsh.  He was one of a team of wrestlers known as the St Lukes Matmen (founded by Freddy Dawson) who often put on wrestling shows in aid of charity. After working throughout the north and Scotland for the first couple of years of his career he moved south in 1962 lured by the cheque book of independent promoter Paul Lincoln. Ray returned to Joint Promotions in 1964 and we enjoyed cheering him on before disappearing from our rings around 1967.