Harley Race, one of the all-time wrestling greats, has died aged 76.
Race’s passing was confirmed on Thursday evening by Dusin Rhodes on Twitter .
He wrote: “RIP to one of the greatest performers there ever was. He was a friend. You will be missed.”
Race is survived by three children and five grandchildren.
The eight-time NWA World Heavyweight champion made his debut in the ring in 1960, working for the American Wrestling Alliance (AWA) and Northern Wrestling Alliance (NWA) among others.
He joined the WWE, then known as the WWF, in 1986 and competed for four years before moving to WCW.
Race became an icon because of his feuds with fellow legends such as Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes, which remain some of sports entertainments greatest rivalries to this day
He held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship for a combined 1,799 days over his eight reigns.
Following his retirement from in-ring action, Race opened his own wrestling academy, which is currently based in Troy, Missouri.
Race is one of only six men to be inducted into all the WWE, NWA, Professional Wrestling and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Halls of Fame.
His friend Jim Ross paid a touching tribute, saying on Twitter: “I’ve never respected any wrestler more than Harley Race.
“He was unequaled in the ring and as physically & mentally tough as anyone I’ve ever met.
“For pool players in Heaven, when Harley’s gravely voice says, “I’ve got next” he means it! RIP Friend.”