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20th Jun 2019

Tributes flood in for British wrestler Lionheart, who has died aged 36

Wil Jones


Tributes have flooded in for British independent wrestling star Adrian McCallum, known as Lionheart, who has died at the age of 36.

Born in Coventry, Lionheart was best known for his work in Scotland’s Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW), where he was their World Heavyweight Champion at the time of his death.

Lionheart was a well-loved fixture of the British wrestling scene, performing for many promotions across the country. He was a vital and important figure in the resurgence of wrestling in this country, which has seen the sport return to terrestrial TV and see WWE launch their own UK sub-brand.

McCallum competed in untelevised matches for WWE and TNA Impact, and in 2008 unsuccessfully challenged Nigel McGuiness for the Ring of Honor World title.

He also gained national attention when he appeared on ITV’s World of Sport revival in 2018.

In 2014, Lionheart broke his neck in a match against AJ Styles for Preston City Wrestling. Doctors were unsure if he would ever walk again, but he returned to in-ring action just a year later.

His death was announced on Wednesday by the ICW Twitter account.

News of passing has drawn tributes across the wrestling world. Matt Hardy said that he was “very shocked & saddened to hear this terrible news”. WWE NXT

UK’s Pete Dunne called Lionheart “pivotal in the growth of a scene that has lead to so many people being able to do this for a living,” with William Regal saying “A lovely lad whenever I met him. Condolences to his family, friends and fans.”

Lionheart won the ICW World Heavyweight Championship in December 2018, defeating Jackie Polo in a Career vs Title Match at Fear and Loathing XI, in front of 2,000 fans at the the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.