Wrestling legend Thomas Billington, better known as The Dynamite Kid, has passed away today on his 60th birthday, according to both Marty Jones and Davey Boy Smith Jr. on Twitter. His passing has also been confirmed by The Sun in the U.K.
It's with great sadness I have to inform you all that THE "DYNAMITE KID" TOMMY BILLINGTON ON HIS BIRTHDAY HAS PASSED AWAY.. A TRUE BRITISH AMBASSADOR FOR WRESTLING WORLDWIDE RIP "KID' CONDOLENCES TO MARK & HIS FAMILY MARTY JONES pic.twitter.com/TRYbBTpTgf— Marty Jones (@martyleglockno1) December 5, 2018
Davey Boy Smith Jr. also posted the following on Twitter:
It deeply saddens me to announce the passing of Tom Billington the “Dynamite Kid.” 😭😢🙏I was really happy and glad I got to see Dynamite one last time last June in the UK. 🇬🇧 ❤️🙏. Dynamite was certainly an inspiration to myself and many others and really revolutionized pic.twitter.com/req7CWTdxm— Davey Boy Smith Jr. (@DBSmithjr) December 5, 2018
Professional Wrestling as we now it today. He flew high, and gave it his all every match. Thanks for everything and sad to have lost another family member. 😞 Rest In Peace Dyno. 🙏 🇬🇧 🐶 😢😢 pic.twitter.com/0p57E6dLwx— Davey Boy Smith Jr. (@DBSmithjr) December 5, 2018
Dynamite Kid is perhaps best remembered as one-half of The British Bulldogs along with the late Davey Boy Smith. They held the WWE World Tag Team Championships from April of 1986 until January of 1987. Dynamite was regarded as being of the best in-ring performers of all time during his heyday. He is considered to be a pioneer of the Junior Heavyweight style of wrestling, combining high-flying with pure technical wrestling ability. He was well-known in Canada for his time in Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling promotion, having inspired the likes of Bret "The Hitman" Hart, the late Chris Benoit, and many others as well.
Born in Golborne, England, The Dynamite Kid was a very well-traveled competitor. Aside from his success in North America, he also enjoyed considerable success in Japan, particularly for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW).
Dynamite was honored with several awards in his lifetime. In 1991, Tokyo Sports newspaper honored him with their Puroresu Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1996, he was inducted into The Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the SLAM! Sports Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame.
WNS extends our sincerest condolences to Thomas Billington's family and friends.