Tributes have been paid to Scots wrestler Adrian “Lionheart” McCallum after his death at the age of 36.
McCallum was Glasgow-based Insane Championship Wrestling’s (ICW) heavyweight champion.
The company announced the popular star’s death on social media, saying: “We are heartbroken to learn of the tragic death of ICW World Heavyweight Champion, Adrian ‘Lionheart’ McCallum.
“Adrian was a mainstay of ICW and British professional wrestling. Most importantly, he was our friend. His passing leaves a huge hole in the lives of those who knew him.”
Love you playa. Forever our champion x pic.twitter.com/ReUsjvQVcl
— Mark Dallas (@RealMarkDallas) June 19, 2019
Tributes have been paid from a number of stars who have shared the ring with him.
On Facebook, Grado wrote: “RIP my brother Lionheart – thank you for everything you done for the British wrestling scene, but more importantly for being our pal. Forever the champ x”
Wrestling legend Matt Hardy wrote on Twitter: “He always kind & treated me great whenever we worked together on the events. Was legitimately blown away when I read the horrendous news today.”
Kid Fite tweeted: “Adrian was a friend, a colleague and a truly talented individual. We had some fantastic times mate. I will miss you.”
Very sad to hear of the passing of Adrian “Lionheart” McCallum. A lovely lad whenever I met him. Condolences to his family, friends and fans.
— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) June 19, 2019
WWE NXT UK star Pete Dunne said: “I always looked up to Lionheart’s professional approach to wrestling when it was far from that at the time.
“People like him were pivotal in the growth of a scene that has lead to so many people being able to do this for a living. Thoughts are with those close to him.”
Burnistoun star and wrestling fan Robert Florence said: “Lionheart was a central figure in the golden generation of Scottish wrestlers who put British wrestling back on the map.
“He was such a lovely big guy to me. Please respect the privacy of his family and his many friends going forward. This is a hard one. We’ll miss you, Hearto.”
I’ll never forget hugging Adrian for a good long time at the Fear and Loathing afterparty in December, and I’m so glad that the last time I saw him I had the chance to call him “champ”. Because he was.#RIPLionheart
— THE PYRAMID (@robertflorence) June 19, 2019
Still Game’s Greg Hemphill added: “Heartbroken for the whole wrestling family tonight. What a talent and what a lovely guy. He will be sorely missed.”
McCallum became ICW champion at the company’s Fear & Loathing show at The SSE Hydro in December.
He defeated long-time rival Jackie Polo in the show’s main event.
McCallum featured for numerous wrestling promotions across the world in a long career.
He bounced back from an injury that came close to ending his career in 2014, breaking his neck in a match with now-WWE star AJ Styles.
He made appearances in WWE and TNA, and was also a part of ITV’s relaunched World of Sport Wrestling.
Most recently, he featured on BBC Scotland series Rogue to Wrestler.
He took part in an ICW event on Sunday, beating Alexander Dean to retain his title and also win the UEWA Heavyweight Championship.
His cause of death is as yet unknown.
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