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Blwe_torch

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Jonah Lomu, All Blacks legend, dies aged 40
« on: November 18, 2015, 05:06:39 PM »

Jonah Lomu, All Blacks legend, dies aged 40

Former All Blacks doctor confirms news on Wednesday morning
‘We’re all shocked and deeply saddened’, says New Zealand Rugby CEO


One of the finest rugby union players to have graced the game and a favourite son of New Zealand, Jonah Lomu, died unexpectedly overnight at the age of 40.

He had arrived back in Auckland from overseas on Tuesday.

The former All Blacks winger, whose imposing physique and often brutal running game provoked in opponents equal amounts of admiration and fear, had suffered from health problems since calling time on his playing career in 2002 due to a rare kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome. He underwent a kidney transplant in 2004 and had been on dialysis treatment for the past 10 years.

Details of the exact cause of his death remain unclear.

“The family are obviously devastated, as are friends and acquaintances,” John Mayhew, the former All Blacks doctor, said. “The family have requested privacy at this stage, they are obviously going through a terrible time. It was totally unexpected.”

Lomu had been at the recent Rugby World Cup in the UK where he had undertaken some promotional work for a tournament sponsor. He and his family holidayed in Dubai on their way back to New Zealand.

“We’re all shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden death of Jonah Lomu,” New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said. “Jonah was a legend of our game and loved by his many fans both here and around the world. We’re lost for words and our heartfelt sympathies go out to Jonah’s family.”

Lomu, who was born in Auckland but spent his early years in Tonga, was not just one of the best sportsmen New Zealand has produced. The gentle giant’s tough upbringing in South Auckland nearly led him down a different path, but his determination to eschew a life of street violence made him a role model and inspiration to many young boys and girls of Pacific Island heritage who faced similar challenges at an early age.

In 2011 he travelled back to Tonga to promote the game before the Rugby World Cup. Tonga’s sports minister Fe’ao Vakata said of his impact there: “Certainly if other countries were proud of Jonah Lomu, then firstly Tonga would be much prouder.”


He had also been an ambassador for Unicef New Zealand since 2011, and a patron of the charity Kidney Kids NZ.

Reaction to his sudden death was overwhelming. New Zealand’s prime minister John Key was among those to express his condolences. “Deeply saddened to hear of Jonah Lomu’s unexpected passing this morning. The thoughts of the entire country are with his family,” he said.

Sir Graham Henry, who guided the All Blacks to World Cup success in 2011, said: “It’s just so sad, I saw him at the World Cup and he looked so well. It’s just a hell of a shock.”

Lomu played in 63 Tests for New Zealand after making his debut in 1994. He scored 37 tries, including one that arguably defined his career – a bullocking rampage through, not past, several England players at the 1995 World Cup. His effort was this year voted the greatest in World Cup history.

That edition of the World Cup propelled him into the international spotlight and his match-winning performances on the pitch in South Africa and humility off it were widely credited with bringing about the advent of the game’s professionalism a year later.

Lomu made his All Blacks debut at the age of 19 years and 45 days, against France in Christchurch in 1994, breaking a record that had stood for 90 years to become New Zealand’s youngest Test player.

He was taken to the World Cup a year later as something of a wildcard pick by coach Laurie Mains, a decision he would not regret.

Lomu scored seven tries in total – four during that semi-final win over England – as the All Blacks reached the final, where they eventually succumbed to the host nation.

Lomu’s rise to international prominence in South Africa not only made him a star of the game, but also helped take rugby union to a global audience it had previously been unable to reach.

“What it meant for rugby, that World Cup changed everything,” Lomu told the Guardian in August. “When I look at it now I understand my impact more. When they show clips of me on the TV, my sons turn and look at me.”


Jonah Lomu: the All Black who made rugby a star attraction – in pictures
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“They have grown up as the sons of Jonah and it’s a daunting task trying to explain to them what I achieved.

“I don’t have any regrets. Everything that I achieved in rugby I cherished. I was in a World Cup final in South Africa against South Africa when a country became one. As Francois Pienaar [the Springboks captain] said: ‘It was not 80,000 in the stadium, it was 44 million.’”

In total, Lomu scored 15 World Cup tries – a benchmark equalled by South Africa’s Bryan Habana at this year’s tournament – although 1995 was the closest he came to lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.
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vincent

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Re: Jonah Lomu, All Blacks legend, dies aged 40
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2015, 06:30:42 PM »

I still remember seeing him play in 1995 world cup games. That was the first time I saw Rugby for more than a minute. I watched the whole game and enjoyed to see how he was running like Eusain Bolt today and nobody could stop him. It is a pity that his carrier was cut short soon later.



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Blwe_torch

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Re: Jonah Lomu, All Blacks legend, dies aged 40
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2015, 07:13:46 AM »

i felt he was the Ruud Gullit of Rugby.... very similar approach
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vincent

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Re: Jonah Lomu, All Blacks legend, dies aged 40
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2015, 09:46:36 AM »

i felt he was the Ruud Gullit of Rugby.... very similar approach

I think he was more like Johan Cruyff, fast,nimble and unstoppable.

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Blwe_torch

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Re: Jonah Lomu, All Blacks legend, dies aged 40
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2015, 11:22:20 AM »

i felt he was the Ruud Gullit of Rugby.... very similar approach

I think he was more like Johan Cruyff, fast,nimble and unstoppable.

but the physical presence itself was intimidating
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Blwe_torch

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Re: Jonah Lomu, All Blacks legend, dies aged 40
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2015, 10:28:02 AM »

Lomu was penniless at the time of death

Jonathan Pearlman

Sydney: New Zealand's rugby players have started a trust fund to support the two sons of Jonah Lomu, one of the sport's greatest champions, after it emerged that he was almost penniless when he died last month.

Rob Nichol, from the New Zealand Rugby Players Association, said Lomu's "generosity" towards his family and those close to him had left him with little money. "There's not going to be any great windfall," Nichol told The New Zealand Herald.

"There's not great savings there. There's certainly nothing that's going to sustain any ongoing financial benefit for the family."

Lomu, 40, a spectacularly fast and powerful winger who played 63 Tests for New Zealand, died last month in Auckland after suffering from kidney problems for 20 years.

As the state of his finances emerged, fellow players set up the Jonah Lomu Legacy Trust to support his boys Dhyreille, 6, and Brayley, 5, but the fund will reportedly exclude Nadene, the boys' mother and Lomu's third wife.

Nichol said Lomu may have struggled to control his finances because he became a star very young and may have felt he had to build "a facade, a wall".

He was reportedly earning as much as £400,000 a year at the peak of his career.

But Lomu's continuing health problems limited his ability to work, Nichol said, even though the public "assumed he was still on a pretty good wicket".

"We all assumed he was continuing to work and do this stuff, but when we look at it now I don't think that was the case," he said. "The Rugby World Cup [in England] presented a good opportunity but, man, that took its toll in the worst and saddest way possible.

"When you look at where he's got to financially and why he's got there, his generosity was obviously a massive part of it. He has definitely taken on obligations of others - whether it's family or others close to him, whether it's financial or other kinds of obligations - at the expense of himself, Nadene and the boys."

Lomu reportedly took on considerable debt in recent years, including loans to buy Mercedes-Benz cars with the registration plates "Nades1" and "J0nah".

He also bought an apartment from Nadene's father Mervyn Quirk for £710,000 in 2008, even though this was £314,000 more than Mr Quirk, a former bankrupt, paid for it 10 months earlier, according to a report in The New Zealand Herald.

Nichol said: "We know people are going to have a lot of questions around what has happened and what's gone on in the past. We just don't know."

Lomu's death prompted tributes from across the world and he has been remembered at numerous memorials in New Zealand.

His fearsome display as a virtually unstoppable 20-year-old at the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa stunned the world, though his health problems cut short his career.

The Daily Telegraph

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1151216/jsp/sports/story_58757.jsp#.VnE7c9J97Gg
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