Former WWE star The Iron Sheik dies aged 81

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World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star The Iron Sheik, known for his on-stage rivalry with Hulk Hogan, has died at the age of 81.

The Iranian-born professional wrestler, real name Khosrow Vaziri, won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1983. He was described as a “devoted family man” having been married to his wife Caryl for 47 years.

No  details on the cause of death were given.

He rose to fame in the wrestling world, portraying a villainous character against Hogan, which helped to cement their names in wrestling history.

A statement posted to Twitter confirmed his death: “Today, we gather with heavy hearts to bid farewell to a true legend, a force of nature, and an iconic figure who left an incredible mark on the world of professional wrestling.

“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of The Iron Sheik, but we also take solace in knowing that he departed this world peacefully, leaving behind a legacy that will endure for generations to come.”

A file photo of professional wrestler Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri better know as the The Iron Sheik as he arrives at the 2009 ESPY Awards held at NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, California, USA, 15 July 2009. EPA/PAUL BUCK

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