Leslie Alan Malady (October 28, 1940) better known by the name Les Thatcher is an American former professional wrestler who achievied many accolades over his career. He now has a hand in running "Elite Pro Wrestling Training" in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, with other professional wrestlers, Harley Race and Ricky Steamboat.
Thatcher was born in Cincinnati, Ohio with an Irish father and a French/English mother. He first watched wrestling when he was eight years old while at a friend's house. He said, "The action on that little ten-inch black & white screen just reached out and grabbed me". In his youth, he played basketball, baseball, and football. He started wrestling at his local YMCA as a twelve-year-old. He attended Central High School in Cincinnati.
On July 4, 1960, Les Thatcher made his professional wrestling debut against “Cowboy” Ronnie Hill in Blue Hill, Maine.
In 1966, Thatcher started to work as part of a "cousins" faction. He was a member of the team with Roger Kirby and Dennis Hall. They used this gimmick in various southern territories until 1969.
He won several regional tag team championships with various partners, including Nelson Royal and Roger Kirby. He turned his hand to singles competition and excelled as a junior heavyweight. He was noted for his high-flying dropkicks and sound technical ability.
In 1974, Thatcher started to host and produce Southeastern Championship Wrestling. Throughout his broadcasting career, he has worked with Gordon Solie, Bob Caudle, Lance Russell and Jim Ross. During his announcing/hosting tenure, he worked for such companies as Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling. He helped to introduce concepts that are still common on wrestling programming today.
He also wrote for many notable wrestling publications of the time and helped to produce the World Wide Wrestling Federation's first color magazine in 1978.
Thatcher had a hand in the gym and bodybuilding business between 1987 and 1994. He was involved in the designing, building, and managing of two Cincinnati area gyms during that time. It was around this time he became a professional bodybuilder. He competed in 14 contests over a seven-year stretch, winning first place in 5 contests, second on 3 outings, and third 3 times, only placing out of the money in three shows.
In 1995, Thatcher opened his training school. "Les Thatcher's Main Event Pro Wrestling Camp". He also promoted the Heartland Wrestling Association. With the Heartland Wrestling Association he helped produce the Brian Pillman Memorial Shows.
Notable graduates of the school include; Matt Stryker, Shark Boy, B.J. Whitmer, Chad Collyer, Charlie Haas, Shannon Moore, Johnny “The Bull” Stamboli, Jimmy Yang, Nigel McGuinness, Jamie Noble, Elix Skipper, Rosey & Umaga.
Now, after making appearances on various radio programs, being elected onto the board of the Cauliflower Alley Club and receiving various awards, Thatcher is part of "Elite Pro Wrestling Training". As mentioned before, he is part of this project with Harley Race and Ricky Steamboat.
Thatcher co-hosts a weekly wrestling radio program with Doc Young called "Wrestling Weekly" on www.f4wonline.com. The complete audio archives for this show are now available to download at The Wrestling Weekly Audio Archive. He also does routine website audio shows for PWInsider.com with Mike Johnson. Thatcher also appeared in an episode of To Tell The Truth.
Championships and accomplishments
- Cauliflower Alley Club
- Art Abrams Lifetime Achievement Award (2005)
- Member of Board Of Directors
- National Wrestling Alliance
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-America version) (1 time) – with Dennis Hall
- NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Mid-America version) (3 times) – with Roger Kirby, Bearcat Brown and Dennis Hall
- NWA Southern Tag Team Championship (Mid-America version) (1 time) – with Bearcat Brown
- NWA Tennessee Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Dennis Hall, Whitey Caldwell and Nelson Royal (2)
- Smoky Mountain Wrestling
- First-ever inductee to the SMW Hall of Fame in 1994