Jonah Lomu: New Zealand Rugby Legend Dies At Age 40

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(Last Updated On: November 18, 2015)

Lomu, who scored 43 tries in 73 matches for New Zealand between 1994 and 2002, had been diagnosed with a rare and serious kidney condition in 1997.

It forced him to quit the game and he had a kidney transplant in 2004, but the organ stopped functioning in 2011. New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said;

“Jonah was a legend of our game and loved by his many fans both here and around the world. We’re lost for words and our heartfelt sympathies go out to Jonah’s family.”

Family spokesman John Mayhew told New Zealand television that Lomu’s death was “totally unexpected” and that he had only arrived back from the UK on Tuesday, after spending time there for the Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said: “The thoughts of the entire country are with his family.”

New Zealand Sports Minister Jonathan Coleman said Lomu “was the first global rugby superstar”.

He was a “huge inspiration to Polynesian men and actually in later years with his battles against kidney disease, very inspirational to people suffering from chronic diseases as well”, he said.

Lomu is survived by his wife Nadene and two sons.

Courtesy of BBC.

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