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Wrestling legend Vader has died aged 63, according to reports on social media.
Leon White, who was famous for performing as the red-masked wrestler, died on Monday night. The news was announced by his son via his social media account.
A tweet read: "Around a month ago my father was diagnosed with a severe case of Pneumonia. He fought extremely hard and clinically was making progress. Unfortunately, on Monday night his heart had enough and it was his time."
Around a month ago my father was diagnosed with a severe case of Pneumonia. He fought extremely hard and clinically was making progress. Unfortunately, on Monday night his heart had enough and it was his time. pic.twitter.com/hJYjumvxjH
- Big Van Vader (@itsvadertime) June 20, 2018
Before his career in pro wrestling, White was an accomplished american football player and as well as a successful college career, he played in the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams.
Unfortunately he was forced to retire after only a couple of seasons due to injury, but his misfortune turned into opportunity as he embarked upon a second career as a wrestler.
It quickly became clear that he had a natural talent for ring-craft and he went on to work for many different promotions and in several different countries, including a few stints in Japan.
In 1992 he became the WCW World Champion in a huge match against Sting. His career in the WWE was not as successful in terms of titles, but he gained a lot of support from the fans for his power and athletic ability. Even though he was a huge man, he could move around the ring with agility and sell moves well.
His finishing move, the Vadersault, involved him performing a backwards flip from the ring's top rope.
He entered semi-retirement back in 2000, but would occasionally fight for various promotions. His final fight came in Japan back in 2017, but he collapsed and couldn't finish the bout.
White's career was at times plagued by injury, as well as a battle with alcohol addiction. In the late 2000s he suffered an infection after a knee replacement surgery. He then passed out on another trip to Japan and was in a coma for nearly a whole month.
In 2016 he announced that he was suffering from congestive heart failure, and had surgery on his heart earlier this year.
His fans will remember his legacy as one of the great wrestlers of the 1990s. RIP Vader.
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