The wrestling community was left in shock this afternoon after Bret Hart revealed he was suffering from prostate cancer.
The Canadian is revered as one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time, and was inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame after winning the world title on five occasions during a glittering career which span three decades.
Today he spoke directly to his millions of fans via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and revealed his cancer battle whilst recalling the countless injuries he’s faced competing at the highest level in his sport.
In a lengthy post, Hart said: “It is with great remorse that I feel compelled to speak truthfully to my friends, family and my millions of fans around the world. In the past few years, I’ve spent more than enough time paying the price for all those years trying to be the best there ever was as a professional wrestler.
“I executed excellently and my proudest claim was that I never seriously hurt or injured another wrestler in my 23 year career. I’ve paid a price for all that “fake” wrestling … Mark Helprin wrote: ‘We are all perfect clocks that Divinity has set to ticking when, even before birth, the heart explodes into a lifelong dance.’
“I’ve had a great lifelong dance and I’m a survivor of many hard battles. I now face my toughest battle. With hesitation and fear, I openly declare myself in my fight against prostate cancer.
“In the next few days, I will undergo surgery with the hope of defeating this nemesis once and for all.
“My fans have always looked upon me as a hero and I’ve always done my best to live up to that in and out of the ring.
“I beat the odds when I suffered my stroke in 2002, but it is now yet again, that I … stand unafraid and face the tough road ahead of me, I will march toward this destiny with his spirit chanting in my ear.
“I make a solemn vow to all of those that once believed in me, the dead and the living, that I will wage my fearsome fight against cancer with one shield and one sword carrying my determination and my fury for life, emboldened by all the love that’s kept me going this long already.
“Love is my weapon and I’ve got much of it around me all the time, for which I’m truly blessed and eternally grateful. My children, grandchildren, and my loving wife Steph have been and will constantly be at my side.
“I refuse to lose, I will never give in or give up, and I will win this battle or die trying.
“Most important of all, I hope can take the fight to prostate cancer. To be a leader in awareness and to set the example for men everywhere who find themselves in my very same shoes, that prostate cancer can be beaten.”
Known as the “Excellence of Execution” during his career, Hart was forced to retire from wrestling due to a serious concussion and was left temporarily in a wheelchair following a stroke in 2002.
He was most famous for his stint in the WWF and WWE but also enjoyed mixed spells with rival company WCW, as well as touring on the independent circuit towards the latter stage of his career and in non-fighting roles during retirement.
Needless to say, the news left fans all over the world in shock, with former colleagues and current WWE stars extending their best wishes to Hart and his family…
BRET HART I LOVE YOU FOREVER
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) February 1, 2016
— Nattie (@NatbyNature) February 1, 2016
Sending love & good vibes to @BretHart at this tough time. If there's anyone who can win this battle, it's the Hitman.
— Marty Scurll (@MartyScurll) February 1, 2016
Love, Prayers, & Good Vibes to @BretHart. There lies a battle ahead but in knowing who's fighting it, I don't like the enemies chances.
— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) February 1, 2016
— Tatanka (@NativeTatanka) February 1, 2016
— Calgary Stampeders (@calstampeders) February 1, 2016
beat this thing, @BretHart
— Your Pal, TH (@tholzerman) February 1, 2016
Sending my best wishes to @BretHart
— James Stewart (@IAmJamesStewart) February 1, 2016
@BretHart If anyone can pin cancer, its you. Your fighting spirit is, was and always will be, inspirational.
— Chris Murphy TWN (@MurphTWN) February 1, 2016
Heard really bad news about WWE legend Bret Hart and his battle with prostate cancer. Hope you win your battle. 🙁
— Ace of Hearts Gaming (@AOfHeartsGaming) February 1, 2016