Incredibly sad to hear this news, although sadly I thought the day would come quicker than it has.
I still class Dynamite’s book as perhaps the greatest Wrestling book ever written. Brutally frank and honest, he does come across as having a slight ego but at the same time was ready to admit to some of his mistakes.
It always shocked me that his life was pretty much over by his mid-thirties. Perhaps it was just how old he looked or that it seemed like he was around for ages, but I always presumed he was in his late 50’s or something. But looking back to what I was doing in my 30s, I couldn’t fathom being confined to a wheelchair. It must have been crazy to have done what he did and then for life, and the world, to pass him by. No wonder he became even more bitter and resentful in later years.
Sadly I guess his attitude and the way he treated others meant that no-one was in a rush to see him or help out. And perhaps his story is the one above so many others that highlights the shocking way in which Vince will profit from someone’s talent before leaving themn with nothing.
There’s a lot of stories about Dynamite and his personality (many of which he confirmed) and this isn’t the place to speak ill of the dead, but if there was ever proof of Karma than his life would be it. Not necessarily his cruel and bullying nature -but the way in which he abused his body in and out of the ring.
But despite everything – the one thing that can’t be overlooked is his immense contribution to the world of wrestling and the sheer innovation and originality that he displayed.
RIP Tom Billington – you are deserving of a place in the HOF.