Dwayne Johnson pays tribute to father after his death (Getty)
Dwayne Johnson pays tribute to father after his death (Getty)

Dwayne Johnson posts tribute to father after his death: 'I'll always be your proud and grateful son'

'I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side' 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Friday 17 January 2020 20:24

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has shared an emotional tribute to his father, Rocky, who died this week at the age of 75.

On Friday, the actor expressed his grief over his father’s passing on Instagram, writing: “Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side.

“But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. I’m in pain. But we know it’s just pain and it’ll pass.”

In the post, the Jumanji actor also reflected on his father’s legacy as a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) champion and thanked him for teaching him "life's invaluable lessons".

“You broke colour barriers, became a ring legend and trail-blazed your way through this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar,” Johnson wrote. “The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am.”

Johnson concluded the post expressing his hope that his father is “pain-free, regret-free, satisfied and at ease”.

“You lived a very full, very hard, barrier-breaking life and left it all in the ring,” the 47-year-old wrote. “I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son.”

Johnson’s post comes after WWE confirmed the news that Rocky had died.

“WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky ‘Soul Man’ Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, has passed away at age 75,” a statement on the WWE website reads.

Rocky began wrestling at the age of 16, before joining the WWE in 1983, where he made history when he became the first African-American WWE tag team champion - a title earned alongside his partner Tony Atlas.

During his career, he became known for speaking out against racism in wrestling.

“I was headstrong,” he said in 2017. “I kept myself in shape and the stuff they were doing in the south, I wouldn’t go for. They wanted to whip me on TV, like they used to do with the slaves and all that. I said, ‘No. I came in as an athlete, and I’ll leave as an athlete.’ And they respected me for that.”

Johnson earned his own nickname “The Rock” after following in his father’s footsteps and wrestling, before later becoming an actor.

Other notable figures have also paid their respects to Rocky, including Hulk Hogan, actor and retired wrestler Mick Foley and wrestler Matt Hardy.

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