Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco, British Wrestling Legend, Passes Away At 69

Mark Rollerball Rocco

Photo by Felix Man/Picture Post/Getty Images

Sad news this morning to report as British wrestling legend Mark “Rollerball” Rocco passed away at the age of 69.

The cause of his death is currently unclear, but All Star Wrestling made the announcement regarding the sad news and said that he has been suffering.

“It is with the greatest of sadness that we have to announce the passing of the one and only MARK ROLLERBALL ROCCO, after suffering for the past few months – our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this very sad time.”

It is with the greatest of sadness that we have to announce the passing of the one and only MARK ROLLERBALL ROCCO, after…

Posted by All Star Wrestling U.K. on Friday, July 31, 2020

Rocco also wrestled as the original Black Tiger in 1982 for NJPW and his wrestling style was groundbreaking for the time as he represented the Junior Heavyweights. William Regal, a long-time friend and colleague of Rocco’s was one of several stars to pay tribute to his legacy.

“I’ve woken to the terrible news that my friend and colleague Mark “ Rollerball” Rocco has passed away. Mark was so ahead of his time and whether as himself or the original “Black Tiger” in @njpwglobal, he, along with Marty Jones were the true originators of the fast paced, hard hitting Jr Heavyweight style we see today. In 1978 I saw a match of theirs and it took my Wrestling fandom to a different world. Becoming a friend and getting to Wrestle Mark at 18 a dream come true.

“Mark had an unbelievable work ethic in and out of the ring and my life was better for knowing him. There aren’t enough words for me to explain how much it means to me to be fortunate enough to have know him, wrestled him and explain how much he meant to the British and World wide wrestling scene and I just wished I could have one more of the hundreds of car rides I had with him “hold court” with his wonderful stories. My deepest condolences to all of Marks family.”

Chris Hero also shared his thoughts on Rollerball prompting today’s fans to fire up a match of his in honor of his passing.

“Whether you know him as the original Black Tiger, “Rollerball” or simply by his name, Mark Rocco left an indelible imprint on our industry. Whether it’s versus Sayama, Fujinami, Dynamite, Marty Jones- do yourself a favor & watch a match of his today. Rest In Peace.”

We here at WrestleZone would like to extend our condolences, prayers and thoughts to Rocco, his family, friends and fans at this time.