British Wrestlers Reunion
Strengthening the Ring of Friendship


Les Riley in the 1960's

Ripley& Heanor News
Popular Langley Mill Wrestler
Les Riley
During the daytime Leslie Riley of Station Road, Langley Mill, follows his
occupation as a skilled plumber, and in the evening you might often see him
setting off in his car bound for such places as Leicester, Ilkeston and
Melton Mowbray, or in a more northerly direction to Manchester or even
westerly to Birmingham. Yes, in addition to being a skilled plumber Les is
also an idol of the wrestling world, where he pits his strength and skill
against some of the toughest characters in the sport.
It is fairly certain that when the fans see the billing Les Riley of Langley
Mill and Derbyshire, then they know that there will be a good contest.
Les keeps himself at peak fitness for his job he has to do. He took up
wrestling while serving in the Navy and developed so rapidly that soon he
was grappling with the best, and won for himself the title of junior
heavyweight champion of the Navy.
And when this familiar smiling figure in the green dressing gown and trunks
enters the ring it is usually to a chorus of shouts of “Good old Les” or
“Watch him Les he’ll have you” to which he usually acknowledges with a nod
and a grin.
Local wrestling supporters will have a chance to seeing Les in action at
Heanor Town Hall tomorrow (Saturday) when he meets the 17-stone cowboy star
“Bronco” Jack Cassidy of Canada, in a special challenge contest, which is
topping a well balanced bill.

Ripley and Heanor News
April 12th 1963

Heanor Town Hall was packed to capacity on Saturday when International
Promotions (Leicester) staged another action packed tournament.
The main event was a light-heavyweight bout between Randolph Turpin
(Leamington) and Les Riley (Langley Mill). It was action and excitement all
the way, as both wrestlers warmed up with Irish Whips and Turpin laid on a
leg lever, Riley hit back with a knee drop. Turpin took the first fall in
this round however, with a victory roll and shoulder press. The third round
was very much Turpin's as he lay on a gruelling body scissors and then
hammered Riley round the ring with three mighty forearm smashes. At the
start of the fourth Turpin held Riley in a bear hug but amid great
excitement, the local star escaped and equalised with a double knee on the
shoulder press. Now it was Riley's turn to raise the cheers, as he executed
a short arm scissors on Turpin, but the coloured star replied by knocking
Riley out of the ring twice. Riley dropped Turpin with a piledriver and
quickly applied an overhead throw. His next move however,brought disaster,
when he tried to follow up with a flying two-foot drop kick, which Turpin
sidestepped and Riley tangled himself in the ropes with the top rope tightly
secured round his groin. He was temporarily knocked-out, and Referee Pygall,
Turpin and two seconds worked feverishly for five minutes before Riley
recovered and was able to be assisted to his corner. Ken Mason announced
Turpin the winner with a technical knock-out, but the former world
middleweight boxing champion declared "No Contest."

Ripley and Heanor News
19th Jan 1962
Photo by George Eyre, Codnor
Standing left to right: Cowboy Cassidy, Sean O’Shea, Les Riley (Langley
mill), Ronto the Bull (referee), Big John (Jacksdale) kneeling: Cliffe Milla
and Jack Taylor

Les Riley’s Sensational Win
Fantastic scenes followed the verdict of the top of the Bill bout. When
International Promotions staged another wrestling tournament at the Town
Hall, Heanor, on Saturday. A packed house was treated to trills spills and
excitement indeed the best bill to be presented in the hall during the
present season.
The entry of Langley Mill’s own star, Les Riley, was greeted with thunderous
applause, when he met the cowboys star “Bronco” Jack Cassidy, of Canada, in
a heavy weight challenge contest right from the first bell, it was action
all the way as Riley carried the fight to Cassidy, who was two and a half
stones heavier in weight. Les escaped from a full Nelson hold, and then
caught Cassidy twice in attempted dropped back-breakers over the knee
Cassidy replied with a forearm smash at the end of the round. As Riley was
being attended to during the interval, Cassidy ran over and emptied his
water bottle down the back of Riley’s trunks and Riley replied by showering
water all over the cowboy at the start of the second round. Two Irish whips
floored Cassidy, who replied with a flying overhead throw but Riley rallied
to secure the first fall with a double knee hold and shoulder press. More
wrangling followed and Riley smashed Cassidy round the ring, and then
followed up with a bear hug. Cassidy flung referee Ron Moore into the post
in a fit of temper, and was then floored himself by a flying two-foot drop
kick executed by Riley, more slanging with the water followed before the
start of the forth, and again it was Riley who dictated the pace by dropping
Cassidy twice in back-breakers over the knee, but Cassidy hit back and
forced Riley into submission with a Boston crab hold. Riley started the
fifth round by tying Cassidy in the ropes, and then ran across the ring to
deliver a two-footed kick to the chest appealed to referee Moore against
this treatment, and then the pair stood exchanging blows in the middle of
the ring. Riley, seeing his opportunity, grabbed Cassidy and flung him into
the post, and won the contest with a full body press as M.C. Ken Mason tried
to announce the result Cassidy flung his towel round Riley’s neck and
punched him round the ring, livid with temper, Cassidy angered Riley again
by deriding him from thee floor of the hall, whereupon Riley dived on top of
him from the ring, and the two rolled among the rows of spectators
exchanging blows, and were finally separated by referee Moore, promoter Jack
Taylor and other wrestlers.


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