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WWE legend Leon White remembered

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WWE legend Vadar has died, aged 63, after undergoing heart surgery earlier this year.

Leon White, better known by his ring name of Big Van Vader, passed away on Monday after being diagnosed with a severe case of pneumonia, The Sun reports.

The WWE superstar revealed in May that he had successfully undergone heart surgery for the second time in two months.

It was understood that he was making good progress, but his son broke the news to social media on Thursday.

Alongside a picture of the icon, it read: “It is with a heavy heart to inform everyone that my father, Leon White, passed away on Monday night at approximately 7.25pm.”

Another photo then followed, which had the caption: “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.”

Vader became a huge star with WWE in the early 1990s after becoming a major household name with WCW.

The legend battled with fellow icons such as The Undertaker, Sting, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels.

His career in the ring began after a successful NFL career that ended prematurely because of injury.

After establishing himself as one of the biggest names in WWE, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in November 2016 and told he had two years left to live.

The WWE posted a tribute to the American star on their website, it read: “WWE is saddened to learn that Leon White, better known to WWE audiences as Vader, passed away Monday night at the age of 63.

“White began his sports-entertainment career in the mid-1980s after retiring from the NFL due to injury.

“He rose to national prominence in Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling Association before joining New Japan Pro Wrestling as the masked Big Van Vader.

“He went on to become one of the promotion’s biggest stars and most feared competitors. Vader then transitioned to World Championship Wrestling, where he would make the biggest mark of his career.

“He engaged in memorable rivalries with the likes of Sting and Ron Simmons, becoming a dominant, three-time WCW World Champion in the process.

“In 1996, Vader joined the WWE roster, where he squared off against Superstars such as Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker.

“He also found success on the small screen with a recurring guest role on the popular 1990s television program, “Boy Meets World.”

“WWE extends its condolences to White’s family, friends and fans.”

Tributes flooded in from around the world, from the likes of D-von Dudley, Bubba Ray Dudley, Samoa Joe and Ric Flair.

— this story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk

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