Dwayne Johnson pays tribute to father Rocky calling him his ‘hero’
Written by News on 19/01/2020
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has paid tribute to his father Rocky, thanking him for “tough love” and breaking barriers.
The death of the 75-year-old former wrestler was announced earlier this week.
In memory of his father, Johnson wrote on social media: “I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world.
“I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar.
“The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am.
“The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand.
“The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities.
“Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood.
“Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude.
“Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons.”
He posted a short video showing his dad in the heyday of his WWE career, and himself as teenager watching in the crowd.
Rocky Johnson, who was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, was a trailblazer in the ring and was the first African-American WWE tag team champion.
He began his wrestling career in 1964 in South Ontario, talking on the moniker “Soul Man”.
He went on to train his son, who took the nickname ‘The Rock’ from his father.
Johnson retired in 1991, with Dwayne continuing his wrestling legacy before becoming a major Hollywood star.
In his message, Johnson expressed regret at not having been able to say goodbye: “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 both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass.
“Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish.”
Johnson, who inducted his father into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008, went on to honour his father’s life.
“Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. 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.
“I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson”.
(c) Sky News 2020: Dwayne Johnson pays tribute to father Rocky calling him his ‘hero’