Wrestling icon Virgil (Michael Jones) passes away at 61

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Wrestling icon Virgil (Michael Jones) passes away at 61.—WWE
Wrestling icon Virgil (Michael Jones) passes away at 61.—WWE

The wrestling community is in mourning as Michael Jones, belovedly known as Virgil, has passed away at the age of 61 as announced by wrestling referee Mark Charles III. 

Charles also known as 'The Count', shared the heartbreaking news on Facebook, marking the end of an era in sports entertainment.

In a poignant Facebook post, The Count conveyed the sorrowful news: "My dear friends, it is with great sorrow that I bring news from the Jones family of the passing of our beloved Michael Jones, whom we know and loved as Virgil, Vincent, Soul Train Jones, and more." He continued, "Virgil passed peacefully at the hospital this morning, and I ask that you pray for him and his family. May his memory be eternal!"

Jones faced health challenges in recent years, with two strokes and a dementia diagnosis in 2022. The wrestling veteran had disclosed his battle with stage II colon cancer earlier that year, prompting him to seek financial support through a GoFundMe campaign for minor expenses.

Born on June 13, 1962, in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, Jones began his wrestling journey in 1985 as Soul Train Jones under Jerry Jarrett's Continental Wrestling Association. 

His entry into WWE in 1986 marked the start of a prolific career. Initially named Lucius Brown, he underwent a significant transformation, becoming Ted Dibiase's manservant, Virgil, in 1987. 

This rebranding catapulted Jones into the wrestling spotlight and initiated a trend of naming him after prominent figures, such as the Virgil moniker in jest at Dusty Rhodes.