Dick Beyer, better known in Western New York as “The Destroyer” passed away today at the age of 88. Dick had an outstanding football career at Syracuse University and then was also an amateur wrestler before turning professional. Beyer had over 8,000 professional bouts before retiring in 1993 in Japan. In fact, Dick Beyer was a huge star in Japan and one of his championship matches against the late Rikidozan held the record for the biggest television audience in that country’s history.

Dick Beyer’s son Kurt issued this statement on Facebook as his father’s passing:” It is with a very heavy heart to let you know that Dad — aka The Destroyer, aka Doctor X, aka Dick Beyer, aka Coach — passed away shortly past Noon today. He was in bed at home, and was surrounded by all of his children and wife as he slipped peacefully away. I will have more to share later, but wanted you to hear this sad news from me first. Thoughts and prayers are most welcome at this time. Peace.”

Dick Beyer was a high school wrestling and swim coach for a time and a founding member of the Ilio DiPaolo Scholarship Fund, named after his close friend.

One of the annual scholarships given at the DiPaolo Scholarship dinner is named “The Destroyer Award” after Beyer and is given to best pure wrestler in the field.

Dick Beyer is a member of multiple wrestling Halls of Fame and the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2018 the Japanese government presented Beyer with the Order of the Rising Sun under the Gold and Silver Rays class, which is the second-highest level. Beyer received the honor for his commitment to helping his fellow man and promoting goodwill and bi-cultural exchanges between Japan and the United States.

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