Stu Hart 1915 - 2003

October 18, 2003

As most of you should know by now Stu Hart passed away, at the age of 88. Stu is best known for being the Father of both Bret and Owen Hart, but to the wrestling industry and the City of Calgary he was so much more than that. Being a part of both, I was struck pretty hard be the news of his death. Considering his age, I probably shouldn’t have been as shocked as I was, but there are certain things in life you just never consider. Stu Hart was one of those tough old veterans you just figured would always be there. Despite any of the medical problems he had in the past, he always just seemed too tough to ever die. Even in a wheel chair, as he was the last time I saw him, he had an iron clad hand shake that still made me think that this guy could kick my ass. Stu Hart was more than just a man, he was a tradition. A tradition, a part of the history of the wrestling industry and the city of Calgary, he will be sorely missed.

While I didn’t know Stu all that well, I did have the good fortune of meeting him on several occasions, and thanks to a fan, from this site, I even have a photograph of us together. Stu was indirectly a big part of why and how I got into this business, and I will always be grateful for that. His Stampede Wrestling Legacy was what turning me into a wrestling fan. Most of the guys I loved watching, honed their skills in Stampede Wrestling; it was one of the best independent organizations there ever was. The British Bulldogs, Bret and Owen Hart, Jim Niedhart, Brian Pillman, Bad News Allen, Chris Benoit, Gerry Morrow, Jushin Liger, and so many more. If you go back far enough almost every big name in this industry worked for Stu at one point in time or another. It was this Stampede Wrestling tradition of great workers that led me to Calgary to become a wrestler.

In the summer of 1990 I moved to Calgary and enrolled in the Hart Brother’s Pro-Wrestling Camp, where Stu continued his indirect involvement in my career. Stu was 75 at the time and wasn’t directly involved in the camp any more, but his son Keith was, and he helped trained me in that same Calgary tradition, the Harts are so famous (or rather infamous) for. I’m proud to say, “I was trained by the Harts”, and I like to think that you can actually see a piece of that Calgary Wrestling Tradition, in my work today.

We often speak of “The Hart Wrestling Family”, there was of course Stu, Helen, and their twelve children, but I think on a lot of levels there is so much more to it than that. There is a certain kin-ship among those of us who were lucky enough to both live and survive the Stampede Wrestling experience. We are all, in a way, an-extended member of the Hart Wrestling Family, and we all shared a very sad day with the passing of the head of the family, Stu Hart. He will be missed, but more importantly, remembered.

Lance Evers