The Dynamite Kid Passes Away On His 60th Birthday, WWE Issues Statement

Dynamite Kid

Tom Billington, also known as The Dynamite Kid, has passed away.

Billington died Wednesday on his 60th birthday. His death was announced by retired wrestler Marty Jones via Facebook.

Billington’s cause of death has yet to be reported. He had a long history of health problems and had been confined to a wheelchair since 1997.

Billington is considered one of the most influential in-ring wrestlers of all time, performing in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and Japan. His famous series of matches with Tiger Mask in Japan helped revolutionize the junior heavyweight style, and he was a one-time WWF World Tag Team Champion with Davey Boy Smith (known as The British Bulldogs). They won the titles from Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Brutus Beefcake at WrestleMania II.

WWE issued this statement on his passing:

Dynamite Kid passes away

WWE is saddened to learn that Thomas Billington, known to his fans as Dynamite Kid, has passed away at age 60.

Born in Golborne, Lancashire, England, Billington pursued sports-entertainment as a means to avoid a life as a coal miner. Although somewhat undersized, he possessed a ferocity and determination that earned him the nickname The Dynamite Kid.

As a singles competitor, he made his mark in WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, developing a style that was both technically brilliant and wildly aggressive. It was in Japan, however, where Dynamite Kid set a new standard for junior heavyweight competition in a legendary series of matches against Tiger Mask, which would influence an entire generation of competitors, and help set the stage for brands like WWE’s 205 Live.

Dynamite Kid joined WWE in 1984 with his cousin, Davey Boy Smith, forming one of the most popular tag teams of their era, The British Bulldogs. Alongside their mascot, an English bulldog named Matilda, the duo battled it out in classic matches against Bret “Hit Man” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart of The Hart Foundation, and defeated Greg “The Hammer” Valentine & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake to win the World Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania 2.

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

Davey Boy Smith Jr. tweeted the following on Billington’s death: