George Steele: I came close to killing myself

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WWE Hall of Famer George Steele has admitted that he came close to taking his own life.

The 76-year old was battling Crohn's disease and considered suicide. Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that could affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from you mouth to your anus. The disease has no cure but can be brought into remission.

'The animal' admitted he struggled to deal with the disease and considered taking his own life.

"On the morning I was ready to bow out, I had pain in every possible joint in my body; even my cheeks and my face was hurting." He said in an interview with WildTalkRadio.com. "I was in totally pain and I thought, if I’m going to be like this for the rest of my life, I just don’t need it.

"So, I went out ready to do the thing; at the last minute I had sleeping pills and had the car all set up and was ready to go; just drifting off to sleep, I was listening to country music and I hit the steering wheel and said "Bullcrap! I’m tougher than this!" And I’m not sure if that’s me again or I think it was God reaching out giving me another shot. But, it was pretty close." Steele added.

In 1998, doctors told Steele that his disease that gone into remission and that he no longer suffered from any of the disease's symptoms.

Steele's career lasted from 1967 until 1989, although he made occasional wrestling appearances in the 1990s and 2000s. When he first started his professional wrestling career he used a mask to protect his privacy using the name 'The Student.' 

The fighter was most famous for his trademark move the 'Flying Hammerlock' where he would lift the opponent off the mat with a hammerlocked arm. He was also known for sticking out his green tongue before he competed.

Steele's career was epitomised by his rivalry with Bruno Sammartino. The pair wrestled for an hour-long draw at Madison Square Gardens before Sammartino won the rematch. He retired in 1989 due to the disease without any WWF championships but he remained a fan favourite.

Steele has an upcoming autobiography coming out called 'Animal' that will tell the story of his battle with Crohn's disease.


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