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Sir Colin Meads

New Zealand is in mourning for Colin Meads, rugby icon, who passed away yesterday morning from pancreatic cancer at the age of 81.

His last public appearance was in June when he attended the unveiling of a larger-than-life statue of himself in the market square of Te Kuiti, his birthplace. The statue has him carrying the ball in one hand - his trademark. His ball carrying and running skills for such a big man were awesome. He was also the All Blacks "enforcer" one of the old school who took no prisoners.

His stature has grown over the years and his contribution to grass-roots rugby and his support for charities like IHC for over 40 years will never been forgotten. The Prime Minister is in touch with the Meads family about his funeral. A state funeral has been mentioned.

I remember the Lions tour of 1966 led by the huge and seemingly overweight Mike Campbell-Lamerton. After a successful tour of Australia they came to NZ and lost to the major unions like Canterbury, Otago and Wellington but were successful against minor sides in the midweek games. I wa determined to see a Lions win and we made the midweek trip to Wanganui to watch the Lions play a combined Wanganui-King Country game. It was a drizzly afternoon, heavy ground and the game was dominated by Colin Meads and his brother Stan. Needless to mention the Lions lost.

Colin Meads RIP

Comments

  • Sir C Meads .. NZ icon .. Tougher than tough, rougher than rough ((:>) .. I recall him touring Britain in the early 60s, a 'man mountain' amongst a very hard group of players .. nowadays he'd be an average sized centre or back rower ..
    in later years he was sent off against (I think) Scotland, dangerous play, kicking the ball from the scrum half's hands .. European referees never liked him .. as a boy I was in awe of him .. he was to NZ in that era what,much later, Martin Johnson was to England .. .. R I P
  • edited August 2017
    True legend of the game.

    Honours even in the personal duel with Willie John Mc Bride when the 1971 British Lions won in New Zealand.

    RIP Pinetree
  • Very true Len although Meads was at the end of his career - the 4th drawn test at Eden Park was Colin Mead's final Test match.

    By the way I so enjoyed that Lions tour and the magic of Gareth Edwards and Barry John. Watched them at Wellington where they clocked up nearly50 points and hearing the crowd round me scoffing about how they would be done over in the Tests. Not to be. Brilliant.
  • Thousands are flocking to Te Kuiti, King Country today for Sir Colin's funeral.

    Yesterday, the hearse - driven by his sons Kelvin and Glyn - was driven around Rugby Park and Meads paid one last visit to the Waitete Club rooms which the Meads brothers helped build. Colin had spent countless hours in their yarning with the locals.

    The local vicar had once asked "What would you do if Jesus visited King Country" to which came the reply "Play him at lock and put Pinetree on the side of the scrum"
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