The world of boxing was stunned on Tuesday when news emerged that Billy 'Gypsy Boy' Smith had killed himself.
He was 35.
Smith, born in Kidderminster but based in Llanelli for many years, has played a huge role in British boxing. The journeyman light middleweight travelled the country for years, and fighting Billy was seen as an almost inevitable step for boxers making their way through the ranks with everyone from Gavin Rees to Ricky Burns taking him on.
Being a key rung on the ladder for aspiring fighters to climb meant that he took part in a huge number of fights, and he was set to box in his 161st professional bout this weekend. He lost almost all of those fights: in his 13-year professional career he won just 13 times, losing 145 fights and earning two draws.
Yet those figures do him a great disservice: Billy was a hard-working and honest fighter who was unafraid of facing anyone, often accepting bouts with next to no notice. He had talent, too: he was twice crowned Midlands champion, and incredibly, in all those defeats, he was only knocked out eight times.
That should really have been seven times: he admitted after the last of those knockouts (at the hands of Curtis Woodhouse) that he could have got back to his feet, but that he was worried about taking too much punishment just two days before his wedding!
That was two years ago in 2011, the same year that Billy's son Billy Jr was born. It appeared to mark a major upturn in fortune for Billy after he had suffered an unspeakable tragedy the year before.
Billy's twin brother Ernie, also a prolific boxer, killed himself in January 2010 after losing his licence. He was 31, and had taken part in 161 fights in 12 years.
Billy was utterly distraught at his brother's death, and apparently blamed himself for not doing more to prevent the tragedy.
He appeared to have moved into a happier phase of his life with his young family, but sadly that proved not to be the case. Billy went missing on Monday, and on Tuesday he was found dead.
He may be gone, but he will not be forgotten - as much for his matchless honour, respect and dignity. As Michael Jones of LiveFight.com put it, "In terms of records, Billy was every bit the journeyman. In terms of guts and dignity, Billy was one of the very best in the sport."