The George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame announced that Dick Bourne will be receiving the 2022 Jim Melby Award for his contributions to pro wrestling journalism.

Bourne and David Chappell operate the long-running Mid-Atlantic Gateway website.

As well, Bourne has written or co-written a number of great books, including:

  • Crown Jewel: The NWA Championship 1959-1973
  • Ten Pounds of Gold (with Dave Millican)
  • Big Gold: A Close Look at Wrestling’s Most Celebrated Championship Belt (with Dave Millican)
  • Four Horsemen: A Timeline History
  • United States Championship: A Close Look at Mid-Atlantic Wrestling’s Greatest Championship
  • The Mid-Atlantic Championship: The Legendary Champions, the Title Belts, the Complete Story
  • Minnesota Wrecking Crew: A Brief History of the Anderson Family in Pro Wrestling

and

  • ¬†two Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Yearbooks (1975 and 1976, both with David Chappell)

Perhaps you note a theme with the above books? “Dick Bourne is the Indiana Jones of title belt archaeology,” once noted Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com.

Dick Bourne, left, and David Chappell. Photo courtesy Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Don’t go looking for many comments from Bourne. The Mid-Atlantic Gateway notes that “Dick Bourne is not on Twitter. He is anti-social, lives in a fortified bunker buried deep in the hills of North Carolina, and eschews all social media. God love him.”

Bourne is a longtime resident of Mount Airy, North Carolina, and is originally from Kingsport, Tennessee.

He and Chappell have operated the Mid-Atlantic Gateway since 2000.

“Our website is all about the positive, about reliving and sharing good memories,” Bourne told Mike Mooneyham in 2020. “We don’t get into any of the backstage drama. We like to try and present the history of the territory just as it was presented to us back then on television and in the arenas. It’s like back in the days when people passed along folk tales from generation to generation; we want to pass along these great stories told decades ago so that new generations of wrestling fans will know them, too, and those great names will never be forgotten.”

Previous Melby Award winners at the Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame include Jim Melby, Mike Chapman, Mike Mooneyham, Scott Teal, J Michael Kenyon, Bill Apter, George Napolitano, Wade Keller, Larry Matysik, Dave Meltzer, Scott Williams, Koji Miyamoto, Brian Shields, Mark James, and the duo of Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson.

Earlier this year, other Tragos/Thesz honorees were announced, including inductee Mike Rotunda, Lou Thesz Award winner Trish Stratus, and Gordon Solie Award winner Jim Ross.

The induction weekend has been announced for July 21-23, 2022, in Waterloo, Iowa. Tickets are available here.

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