A true great of rugby, a sporting icon, Jonah Lomu the New Zealand legend, has died at the age of 40.
Words: Jack Everitt
Lomu had been in the UK just a few weeks ago for the Rugby World Cup. Another man who was there, ITV commentator Nick Mullins, spoke exclusively to VOL sport about his memories of the big man.
Lomu had a rare kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome. He retired from Rugby in 2002 due to health concerns and underwent a kidney transplant in 2004. As yet the exact cause of his death is unknown.
An imposing figure on and off the Rugby pitch, Lomu did more than most to bring the game forward. When you think of football you think Ronaldo or Beckham. When you think of Rugby it’s Jonah Lomu.
He transcended the sport, with advertisements and even the 1997 game ‘Jonah Lomu Rugby’. Suddenly the sport was in the spotlight.
After a tough upbringing in south Auckland, Lomu was a gentle giant off the pitch and an inspiration to so many less fortunate young people. Opening the doors to a sport that had previously been reserved for those at the top end of society.