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WWE issues a statement on the passing of Del Wilkes, best known as The Patriot

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Photo Courtesy of wwe.com

WWE issued a statement on the passing of Del Wilkes, best known as The Patriot.  Wilkes passed away Thursday from a heart attack at the age of 59. 

You can read the full statement from WWE below:

Del Wilkes, known to WWE fans as The Patriot, passes away

WWE is saddened to learn that Del Wilkes, known to WWE fans as The Patriot, has passed away at the age of 59.

Before making a name for himself in the squared circle, Wilkes was a standout on the football field for the University of South Carolina, where he earned the distinction of being voted a consensus All-American. After making the switch to sports-entertainment, Wilkes competed all over the world before arriving in WWE in 1997 as The Patriot.

A Superstar quickly on the rise, The Patriot proudly donned the red, white and blue of America in the midst of a rivalry with The Hart Foundation, leading to a memorable match against Bret Hart for the WWE Championship at In Your House: Ground Zero just two months after his WWE debut.

WWE extends its condolences to Wilkes’ family and friends.