Jonah Lomu, who is known throughout Oceania and by rugby supporters across the globe, shockingly died after returning home from a short family vacation in Dubai. The man from Pukekohe, a small town near Auckland, had been battling Nephrotic syndrome, a rare kidney disease, since he was just 20 years old. By 2003, he was undergoing regular dialysis treatments, up to six times a week and in 2007, he was forced to quit the game.
The memory that many will attach to him, was the semi-final match of the 1995 World Cup, where he plowed through a pair of Englishmen on his way to scoring a massive try for New Zealand, one of his four of the game.
Lomu’s final tweet: a video of fountains in Dubai, uploaded just a couple days before his sudden passing.
“Just a larger than life person.“Certainly a magnet for a lot of attention, and was probably the game’s first superstar.”
- Steve Tew, CEO of New Zealand Rugby