A decade ago, Steve Irwin was killed aged 44 when he was stabbed by a stingray whilst snorkelling at Batt Reef in Queensland, Australia.
Now, a secret letter has emerged that the Crocodile Hunter penned 12 years prior to his death. The letter shows a man who was understanding his life just before his sudden death.
Addressing parents Lyn and Bob, Irwin wrote: "Probably one of the most unfortunate things in a 'bloke's life' is that it takes over 30 years to realise how essential you have been to build my character, my ethics and, most importantly, my HAPPINESS."
Image credit: Facebook / Allen & Unwin Books
"At 32, I am finally starting to figure it out. In good times and in bad, you were there. Your strength and endurance to raise me will not go unrewarded. My love for you is my strength!
"For the rest of my life I will reflect on the unbelievably GREAT times we've shared and will continue to share. You're my best friends!"
Steve would go on to have greater success after writing the letter, becoming a well-known television celebrity and conservationist, most famous for his work with crocodiles. And his son, Robert, has since been following in his footsteps as you can see.
Video Credit: Australia Zoo (www.australiazoo.com.au)
When Steve died he was taking part in the production of the documentary series Ocean's Deadliest.
On the envelope of his letter, Steve wrote: "Please be happy to know that your strength and wisdom have been passed on."
The letter will be published at the beginning of his memoir, The Last Crocodile Hunter: A Father and Son Legacy, to be released later this year.
The book uncovers the man behind the legend and explains how a plumber from Melbourne became a conservation pioneer, started Australia Zoo and raised his wildlife warrior son.
Featured image credit: PA Images