Salvatore Bellomo dead aged 67: WWE legend tragically passes away after battle with cancer

The Belgian-born wrestler became a fan favourite during the 1980s after joining the organisation, despite frequently losing.

In a statement, the WWE said: "WWE is saddened to learn that Salvatore Bellomo has passed away at age 67.

"Bellomo competed in WWE in the 1980s, sharing the ring with everyone from Bob Backlund to Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.

"WWE extends its condolences to Bellomo’s family, friends and fans."

Former ECW champ Tommy Dreamer led the tributes, as he tweeted: "I heard the news of Salvatore Bellomo passing.

"He was my age in #ECW when I met him, always very nice.

"He would throw stuffed animals to the fans & they would throw them back at him. He couldn't believe it."

Bellomo joined WWF in the early 1980s and left in 1987 as he returned back to Europe, before later competing in Tod Gordon’s NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling, which would become ECW.

He stayed with ECW until 1994, before wrestling for smaller independent promotions, where he would win the WXW championship in September 2000.

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Markus Beyer dead aged 47: Ex-WBC super middleweight champion suffers 'short' and 'serious' illness in hospital

The German was best known for beating England's Richie Woodhall to the title in 1999.

Beyer passed away in a Berlin hospital following a "short, severe" illness.

His former coach Ulli Wegner said: "I cannot describe my feelings with words.

"Everybody knows that he was my favourite athlete and had, above all, a human component.

"Markus Beyer was a thoroughly fine human being.

"At the moment I feel like someone hit me in the gut. I have to process all that first."

Beyer last fought in 2008 and since 2015 had worked as a pundit on German television channel MDR.

The channel's programme director Wolf-Dieter Jacobi said: "We are dismayed and mourn the loss of a great athlete and wonderful colleague.

"He has shaped his boxing expertise as a member of MDR's 'Sports in the East' over the past few years.

"We are thinking of his family."

Beyer held the WBC super middleweight belt on three occasions between 1999 and 2006, when he lost to Mikkel Kessler.

Beyer leaves behind wife Daniela, who found fame with Nineties dance group Mr President.

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