Topic: Jonah Lomu

Rugby legend Jonah Lomu remembered one year on

By Online News - Rereātea
  • Auckland

Today marks one year since the passing of New Zealand rugby legend Jonah Lomu.

Lomu, who passed away following a cardiac arrest, at age 40, brought the world to a stop when the news broke of his passing on November 18, 2015.

Lomu's wife, Nadene Lomu, released a statement expressing her heartfelt thanks to those who have supported the family since his death.

"There have been many of you who have helped us through the toughest year of our lives. At this especially difficult time we want to keep a low profile and not make any public appearances, which I am sure people can understand.

While every day is a challenge without Jonah, this first anniversary is particularly poignant for us all.

The boys (Brayley and Dhyreille, seven and six) are doing as well as you could expect but they miss their daddy hugely and we talk of him every day," she says. 

A memorial service at his former school, South Auckland's Wesley College, will take place on Saturday 19 November at 10am. Following this will be a rugby match between Wesley old Boys and St Stephens, held in his memory. 

In 1995, Lomu was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome.  In 2004, he received a kidney from Grant Kereama, a ZM radio host, following a long period of dialysis.  At the time of the 2011 Fight For Life event, it was reported that the future of Lomu's transplanted kidney "appeared bleak".

His death came shortly after the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup against the Wallabies in London. 

In support of his wife Nadene, and two sons, the New Zealand Rugby Players Association established the Jonah Lomu Legacy Trust just one month after his death. 

The Trust was set up to provide financial support for Lomu's whānau.

Lomu was one of New Zealand's most renowned rugby icons. He was the youngest ever All Black who played his first international match at the age of 19, in 1994.

This weekend, the All Blacks will play in his memory as they take on Ireland in Dublin.