All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu passes away
All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu has passed away in Auckland, aged just 40.
Mr Lomu had been diagnosed with a serious kidney disease in 1995 and has been living with the condition since. He had a kidney transplant in 2004 but the organ stopped functioning in 2011.
Former All Blacks doctor John Mayhew confirmed the tragic news this morning, “On behalf of the Lomu family, I can confirm that Jonah Lomu died this morning, most probably about 8 or 9. The family are obviously devastated, as are friends and acquaintances.”
Mr Lomu has been in the United Kingdom, promoting the recent Rugby World Cup.
Mr Mayhew highlighted the sudden nature of the news, and request privacy for Mr Lomu’s family, “They are obviously going through a terrible time. It was totally unexpected. Jonah and his family arrived back from the United Kingdom last night and he suddenly died this morning.”
Tributes have flowed for the All Blacks star who made 63 test appearances for the All Blacks.
- New Zealand PM John Key said, “Deeply saddened to hear of Jonah Lomu’s unexpected passing this morning. The thoughts of the entire country are with his family.”
- New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew said, “We’re all shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden death of Jonah Lomu. 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.”
- Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said "I speak on behalf of the entire Australian Rugby community in expressing our deep sadness today after the passing of one of our game’s greatest ever players. There will never be another Jonah Lomu.”