Monday, October 22, 2012

RIP Sir Wilson

One of the greats of New Zealand rugby has died; the Herald reports:

All Blacks legend Sir Wilson Whineray passed away peacefully in Auckland Hospital early today.
Sir Wilson was surrounded by his family at Auckland Hospital, where he had been for the past month.
He was aged 77.
New Zealand Rugby Union chairman Mike Eagle said it was a sad day for the country.
"We have lost one of New Zealand's great heroes and for the rugby community we have lost a much-loved patron and champion of rugby.
"Regarded as one of the great All Blacks legends, Sir Wilson also made significant contributions to the community through his work with sport, charities and business.
"We extend our condolences to Lady Elisabeth and to their family as they remember a much-loved husband, a father and a grandfather,'' Eagle said.
In 2003, he was named patron of the New Zealand Rugby Union and, four years later, he became just the fourth person to be inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.
Sir Wilson is survived by Lady Elisabeth, one son, two daughters and five grandchildren.

Sir Wilson Whineray's career was tapering off as our interest in rugby was developing. But we remember his captaincy of the All Blacks in 1965 against South Africa, a year in which he was voted New Zealand's Sportsman of the Year. We remember too the magnificent try he scored for the All Blacks against the Barbarians at Cardiff in 1964 where he threw an outrageous dummy as he dashed for the line.

Sir Wilson played 32 tests for New Zealand, and was captain in all but two of them. Many still regard him as the best All Black captain of all time. After rugby, he became a captain of industry, and a respected administrator, at one point chairman of the Hillary Commission, the forerunner to Sport and Recreation New Zealand.

Leaders of the calibre of Sir Wilson Whineray are rare, and his loss will be widely felt. We send our thoughts, prayers and aroha to his family and friends.

Rest peacefully Sir Wilson; a great New Zealander who will be greatly missed.


James McGehan said...

The thing that sticks in my mind is that as he walked bashfully back to half way the Welsh crowd rose and sang "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow".
I cannot bring to mind another sportsman who was held in such regard

Keeping Stock said...

Quite so James; it was a wonderful sporting moment; the good side of sport.

Lofty said...

Yes he was a great sportsman and an even better businessman, thousands of NZrs owe their livelihoods to him.