The sports star passed away on Monday night (27Apr15) in Minnesota after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Wrestling veteran Hulk Hogan was among the first to pay tribute, writing in a post on, "RIP Verne Gagne, Verne said stay down and sell until u (sic) hear the crowd rumbling then start shaking and Hulk up and don't sell anymore thx (thanks) HH."

Gagne was named World Heavyweight Champion 16 times and he founded the American Wrestling Association (AWA), winning the organisation's World Heavyweight title 10 times. He also worked with stars including Hogan through his association with the AWA.

Gagne was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Fame in 2006, while he also has the same honour from three more organisations - World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame.

As well as his sporting achievements, he also starred in and produced 1974 film The Wrestler.