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  Sat, May 25, 2002

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I'll miss you, Davey

By BRET HART -- For SLAM! Wrestling


The tragedy of life is not that we die but what dies inside a man while he lives.

Davey Boy Smith had his share of demons and there are so many things that need to be said about how and why he died. Now is not the time.

Another dead brother.

I'm so angry. Yet I'm more sad than anything else.

I took Davey in to live with me when he first arrived here from England. I doted over him like a son, as did my girlfriend, Julie, who I later married.

Back then, Davey was just a skinny, 17-year-old kid with sparkling eyes and a dimpled smile. He was always naive and innocent but that was more of a good quality.

He had a gentle side and yet there was an unstoppable determination about him. He was a fierce fighter -- and I know from the countless times when we were younger and had to fight back to back. I can tell you how great it was to have him on my side.

He was a strong and quick with amazing balance. I can remember him playing touch football at my dad's house with the Hart brothers. Nobody could take him off his feet. He was such a sweet kid then. Diana snared him fast and it was no surprise to any of us Harts that he was destined to join the family.

So many memories.

I remember being in Vancouver with Davey in a bar where he kept asking me with that innocence if I smelled something funny. I sniffed and said, 'Something stinks ....' A few minutes later, he pulled this soft marble out of one of the many pockets in his painter pants. Together, we squinted at it in the dimply lit bar ... until we saw it squinting back!

Jim Neidhart had stuffed fish eyes in all of Davey's pockets.

Needless to say, Davey got even later that night when he took Jim's toilet bag and crammed it full of fish heads. Poor Jim was off for a few weeks and you can only imagine what it was like when he opened it. I can picture Jim's twisted-up face and Davey's big smile.

I remember convincing a young Davey that Calgary had a cat pound -- that there was a cat detective van just down the street that had all sorts of aerials on it. I'd be fighting to hold back laughter as Davey would climb up the big tree in my back yard and haul my annoyed cat down and bring him inside the house.

I remember a time in Kuwait, in 1997, when Davey, Owen and I all went fishing on a big boat. Only Davey got a bite, fiercely fighting it for over 90 minutes, with Owen and me jumping around and everyone, even the Arab fisherman, trying to help him bring it in. I remember Davey with a big smile on his face, posing with the two-ft. long yellow tiger shark. The shark had such fight that Davey had them toss it back in. He didn't have the heart to hurt such a noble adversary.

I remember wrestling Davey in my Stampede Wrestling days, in particular in Regina, where we had a babyface match. We wrestled for an hour with fans all standing, leaning on the apron, pounding their hands on the mat, in what was one of the greatest matches we ever had. This led to my idea of wrestling Davey at SummerSlam '92 for the WWF. When Vince McMahon asked me if I was sure we could carry the responsibility of being the last match in front of 83,000 people, I guaranteed him nobody would top us. Nobody did.

It's my favourite match of all time. I remember it like it was yesterday.

The English fans with that soccer chant, "Bull - dog! Bull- dog!" Lennox Lewis waving the Union Jack. Thirty-seven minutes later in a match that Ric Flair and Randy Savage told me was the greatest match of all time, Davey won the Intercontinental Championship -- and nobody was more proud of him than me!

Ah, so many matches. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid) and the Hart Foundation (me and Jim Neidhart) back in the late '80s. Never before or after has there been so much heart in the ring at the same time.

I once said of Owen, Davey, Pillman and Neidhart that I'd trust them to breathe for me. To pump my blood with their hearts.

Dynamite, home in England, confined to a wheelchair, broken and bitter. Brian Pillman. Owen. Now Davey. All gone.

Jim and I started out as the original Hart Foundation and now we're the only ones left. It's too sad for me to put into words.

I loved Davey like a brother. I loved them all. And I miss them every day.

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