Jonah Lomu dies - the end for an All Blacks legend, New Zealand hero



Jonah Lomu dies - the end for an All Blacks legend, New Zealand hero




The cause of All Blacks great Jonah Lomu's death remains uncertain, but was probably related to his kidney failure, his friend and former ABs doctor John Mayhew says.
Lomu, aged 40, died at his Auckland home overnight after returning from
Dubai on Tuesday, where he had been holidaying after being at the Rugby World Cup in Britain.
Lomu, who had battled kidney disorders since the end of 1995 when he was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome. He had a kidney transplant in 2004 and
suffered health setbacks during the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

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Mayhew described Lomu's death as "a bolt out of the blue".
Speaking outside the Lomu family's home, Mayhew said the former winger's death was "an incredible shock" because he had "been in pretty good shape" in the last few months.
Mayhew said Lomu's cause of death was still uncertain.

Legendary All Black Jonah Lomu has passed away aged 40.

"It most probably related to his renal [kidney] failure, but his renal failure has been controlled. We know that people who have renal failure have a higher instance of heart problems and lung problems."
Lomu had suffered health setbacks since the transplant and had been receiving dialysis treatments during his recent visit to Britain where he was involved in heavy promotional work for the Rugby World Cup.
"There are complications that come with that," Mayhew said. "In the last few years Jonah has been well managed by the renal team in Auckland, and when he was away in England recently he was managing his health really well with regular dialysis.


All Blacks wing Jonah Lomu crosses for his first of four tries against England in the 1995 Rugby World Cup semifinal in Cape Town.

"We do know from a risk point of view that life expectancy is shortened by dialysis and for people who suffer renal failure, but this certainly was a bolt out of the blue. Jonah was doing well. He arrived at Dubai last night and to suddenly collapse and die like this was certainly unexpected."
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Nadene Lomu issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon, posting on Facebook with a family photo: "It is with great sadness that I must announce my dear husband Jonah Lomu died last night. As you can imagine this is a devastating loss for our family and may I ask that our privacy, especially the privacy of our two very young boys, be respected as we take them through this traumatic time. "
Lomu and his wife have two young sons: Brayley, 6, and Dhyreille, 5.

Jonah Lomu has passed away at the age of 40. Who can forget the moment he bulldozed Mike Catt to score a try in the 1995 Rugby World Cup semifinal?

A neighbour of the family said she saw two ambulances and police at their home, in the Auckland suburb of Epsom, shortly after 11 on Wednesday morning.

All Black superstar Jonah Lomu passed away on Wednesday morning.

All Black superstar Jonah Lomu passed away on Wednesday morning.

Lomu's long-time manager Phil Kingsley Jones said today was "one of the saddest days of my life".
"Jonah was a big part of my family and we are all shattered by his passing," Kingsley Jones said.

"He gave the world so much pleasure. Most people think of him as a rugby superstar, but to me he was always that young man from Wesley College who was great company."
Auckland Council will liaise with the Lomu family, New Zealand Rugby and the Government to consider how the city can best celebrate Lomu's life and mourn his passing.

Mayor Len Brown said Lomu would be remembered as a New Zealander who achieved greatness but also faced great challenges.

"Jonah was one of Auckland's greatest sons," Brown said.



"He was an icon who New Zealanders from every walk of life respected both for his prowess on the rugby field and for the way that he dealt with his health issues.
"Our thoughts today are first and foremost with Jonah Lomu's family at their time of loss."
Former All Blacks including Michael Jones and Eroni Clark were seen arriving at the Lomu's home on Wednesday afternoon.
FAMILY MAN

In late August, the former All Black said he was living his life for his children.

"My goal is to make it to the boys' 21sts. There are no guarantees that will happen, but it's my focus. It's a milestone that every parent wants to get to. My dad died young and that makes you think. I want my boys to be healthy and if they get to 21, they should be fit and healthy and live a normal life," Lomu said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
He also spoke emotionally about his endless health battles.
"You have to try and stay up and be happy and positive about it. Because I will tell you one thing: It does get you down at times. It's difficult. Every dialysis patient is different but we have one commonality: We have no other choice. Your second choice isn't really a choice. It's just you giving up.
"When I look in the mirror, what I see is my two sons. They're my priority. The two boys were miracles. Medically, it wasn't supposed to happen because of my kidney stuff. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd be a dad.

"Now, when I wake up in the morning, instead of looking in the mirror and thinking, 'what am I going to do today?' I look in the mirror and think, 'I've got the two boys, now get yourself up and get yourself moving and try to be the best dad you can be'.
"It is a battle to try to get up every morning as a renal patient. That is one of my biggest struggles. I'm just fortunate that I have the adventure of being a father. That's what I see when I wake up in the morning, wash my face, look in the mirror and I see my two boys. And for me, that's excitement."
'EVERYBODY WANTED TO BE AROUND HIM'
Ian Jones met Lomu at Wesley College as a 16-year-old and said Lomu took rugby to places the sport had never been before - something that no previous rugby greats were able to do.
"Jonah had the ability to take the game to those places and make our sport seen all around the world," he told Newstalk ZB.
Wallabies legend George Gregan agreed and said rugby was just an infant in terms of a professional sport until Lomu came along, having a huge impact.
"He was an international superstar, he put rugby on the map."

Nadene Lomu posted this photo of herself and husband Jonah Lomu on November 15, from Dubai.
With his great footwork, good off-load, pure strength, speed and power, Gregan said it was "never pleasant playing Jonah" in rugby, let alone sevens.
"He was a real character, larger than life and everybody wanted to be around him," he told Newstalk ZB.
In regard to Lomu's kidney condition, Gregan said he dealt with it right throughout his career because he just wanted to play well and be a team player.
"Imagine if he was 100 per cent healthy for his whole career and didn't have to deal with all those things," he said.
A RUGBY LEGEND
Born of Tongan heritage and raised in Mangere, Lomu's playing weight was officially listed at 119-kilograms to go with his 1.96-metre frame.
Lomu was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007, and the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2011.
His World Rugby honour came as New Zealand hosted the Rugby World Cup. Lomu was a star of the opening ceremony at Eden Park, but fell seriously ill after that.
He played 63 tests for the All Blacks between 1994 and 2002, scoring 37 tries. He shot to worldwide stardom at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Lomu's rare combination of size, speed and power made him a game-changer when it came to the dynamics of the modern wing. While he drew criticism for some of his defensive work, his attacking game was unrivalled.

All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu is inducted into the New Zealand sports hall of fame alongside champion women's cyclist Sarah Ulmer
. Photo: PHIL WALTER/GETTY IMAGES
The highlight came in the 1995 World Cup semifinal against England in Cape Town when he ran in four tries, including his stunning effort where he literally ran over the top of English fullback Mike Catt. But he scored many memorable tries, some which no other wingers would have been capable of.
After an indifferent debut series against France in 1994 Lomu took the game by storm with the stunning World Cup campaign in South Africa in 1995.
He went on to play the 1999 World Cup as well and is the joint record try-scorer with South African wing Bryan Habana who was equalled his tally of 15 tries at this year's tournament.
The accolades flowed for Lomu this year when his try over the top of Catt was judged to be the best in World Cup history. He was also labelled the World Cup's "greatest player", described as "rugby's version of Muhammad Ali, a heavyweight with global reach".
A humble Habana said he didn't want to be rated alongside Lomu who had been his childhood idol.
"I don't think I can ever be compared to Jonah. The way he changed the game, you know he was a class act," Habana said.
Lomu attracted attention as a teenaged star at Wesley College and made his initial impact in sevens rugby. He continued dallying in sevens despite his growing prowess in the 15-man game and won a gold medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
Starting out with Counties-Manukau, Lomu went on to play provincial rugby for Wellington and North Harbour.
He later played for Cardiff and Marseille as he tried to battle back despite his ongoing health issues.
His Super Rugby career started at the Blues and took in the Chiefs and Hurricanes.
Lomu's legend was transferred to the big screen in 2013 when he was the subject of Anger Within, a biographic documentary. This year a movie titled Back To South Africa was released, reliving his 1995 World Cup deeds.
He also lent his name to video games Jonah Lomu Rugby and Rugby Challenge.
LOMU BY THE NUMBERS



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