Davey Boy Smith – Heart Attack
1962-2002 (age 39)
Known as The British Bulldog and Davey Boy Smith in the ring, British wrestler David Smith made a name for himself as both an individual and tag team wrestler. He won the NWA Stampede International Tag Team Championship twice with Bruce Hart, the WWF European Championship twice, the WWF Hardcore Championship twice and many other titles over the course of his career. After his personal life spiraled out of control, the wrestler was forced into retirement.
Although he had hoped to stage a comeback, the Davey Boy Smith death would occur before he’d ever get the chance.
Drug Abuse Starts the Davey Boy Smith Death Story
Long before the actual events of the Davey Boy Smith death took place, David was already on the path to die at an early age. In order to add bulk to his 256-pound, 5-foot, 11-inch frame, the wrestler relied on anabolic steroids, which increased levels of testosterone in his body and likely placed a strain on his heart. In addition, he became addicted to painkillers in the late 90s. His addiction would end up costing him his marriage and forcing him to retire from the World Wrestling Federation to check himself into rehab in 2000.
10 years before his death: Bulldog takes on brother-in-law, Bret “Hitman” Hart for the Intercontinental Title. SummerSlam 1992, Wembley Stadium
The Death of Davey Boy Smith
The Davey Boy Smith death story is particularly sad because it seems that David Smith was able to get his life on track after rehab. While many other wrestlers who are addicted to drugs end up dying soon after they retire, David bounced back and reportedly had stopped using drugs. He began a relationship with Bruce Hart’s former wife Andrea Redding, and the two of them decided to take a vacation to Invermere in British Columbia, Canada, in May 2002.
Sadly, on May 18th, Andrea woke up in the morning to find David dead beside her in bed. Although paramedics were called, it was too late to revive him. The former wrestler was just 39 years old.
Questioning the Davey Boy Smith Death Story
Any time that a wrestler dies at a young age, the wrestling community is shocked, but fellow wrestlers and Davey’s family were particularly shocked at the Davey Boy Smith death news. Not only had the former wrestler managed to get off drugs, but he was also working hard to get in shape for a comeback with the WWF. As soon as news of his death broke, Davey’s father began calling for an autopsy, saying that his son was in good health and shouldn’t have died.
What the Autopsy Revealed
The coroner concluded that Davey Boy Smith suffered a major heart attack but found that he was not intoxicated with any substances at the time. The report did find evidence of past painkiller and anabolic steroid use, which led the coroner to conclude that prior drug use and stress played a role in his death.
Even a year after the coroner’s report was released, Davey’s father was certain that his son had been murdered. No proof of foul play has ever surfaced.
Davey Boy Smith was cremated. It’s not public knowledge who his ashes were given to.
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