Famed professional wrestler “Killer” Tim Brooks worked hard to keep Ellis County a wrestling hotbed by teaching it to scores of students while he still performed and for years after he retired.

But Brooks, who is now 72, finds himself in the biggest fight of his life — and many of his former students are coming back to assist him as he battles cancer.

“I’m hanging in there,” Brooks said. “My cancer’s not curable, but we have managed to slow it down. So to me, it’s good.”

As many as 40 wrestlers who have learned from Brooks at his North American Wrestling Allegiance (NAWA) school will come together on Saturday, Feb. 8 for a fundraising wrestling event at Chautauqua Auditorium at Waxahachie’s Getzendaner Park.

“His persona was always the big, mean, nasty bad guy, but all of us that were trained by him consider him our father in this business,” said Nathan “Doberman” Downs, a former student of Brooks who will compete in the main event. Downs is organizing the fundraiser along with John Allen, the current owner of NAWA.

The doors will open for VIPs at 5:30 p.m. and for general admission at 6 p.m., with first bell at 7 p.m. General admission is still available tor $10, with kids 10 and under $5.

General admission tickets are on sale (cash only) in advance at the Waxahachie Daily Light at 200 W. Marvin Ave., and also at the door as long as supplies last. All proceeds will go toward Brooks’ mounting medical bills.

“It’s really heartwarming and touching and moving for so many people to show that they care and want to help me,” Brooks said. “Reserve tickets are selling real quick, and I’m positive it’s going to be a real large turnout.”

Brooks thanked many of his longtime sponsors for their support over the years, including Compton’s Carpet Cleaning; Sonic Drive-In; the Daily Light; KBEC Radio; the Waxahachie Boys and Girls Club; and the Salvation Army.

Brooks retired from full-time wrestling more than 20 years ago but still held monthly shows until 2014. In May, Brooks will be inducted into the Texas Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Wichita Falls.

“Next to marrying my wife and having my kids, (the induction) is the best thing in my life,” Brooks said.

The February fundraiser will include a double main event: a Texas Heavyweight title match featuring “Doberman” Downs vs. “Cowboy” Adam Pryor; and Big Daddy Yum Yum vs. Dirty Andy Dalton. In the semi-main event, Johnny Maylay will face Joey Garcia. Also on the undercard is Zach Allen vs. Black Bart Jr. as well as numerous bouts featuring former NAWA students.

“Probably 95 percent of the students on the show were actually trained by him at the academy in Waxahachie,” Downs said.

Almost all of Brooks’ former students are from Ellis County and surrounding counties and many of them have become well-known pro wrestlers in their own right.

Garcia is from Ellis County, as well as Pryor, who will take on Downs in the main event. Reggie Lincoln, another former wrestling student, and Clayton Brooks, Killer’s son, are both residents of Waxahachie as well.

From about 2004 to 2014, Killer Brooks held a monthly wrestling show in a building on his property in Waxahachie that became known as the “Killertorium.” His shows were a major draw, with as many as 500 fans attending at times by his estimate.

“I want to thank those fans who supported us for 10 years,” Brooks said. “I’d like to see each and every one of them. Waxahachie is a beautiful city to live in and there’s a lot of good people there. I want to thank them all for their prayers and for this fundraiser.”