Jock Hobbs passes away

Yahoo! Sport New Zealand March 13, 2012, 5:45 pm
Jock Hobbs passes away

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Former All Black and NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs has died, aged 52.

Hobbs had been suffering from leukemia, and the NZRU confirmed the news on behalf of his family, who thanked everyone for the outpouring of support they have received.

NZRU chairman Mike Eagle lamented "the passing of an incredible New Zealander".

“Our hearts and love go out to Jock’s wife Nicky, his children Emily, Michael, Penny and Isabelle, as well as his wider family.

“New Zealand has lost an inspirational leader with an incredible passion for the game of rugby and the part it plays in our lives.

“I know many New Zealanders will join us in expressing their sorrow at his passing.”

NZRU Chief Executive Steve Tew added that, “Rugby has lost a great friend. We will all miss his integrity, dogged determination and incredible sense of justice.”

Tributes are flowing for Hobbs, with the ARU tweeting, "On behalf of Australian Rugby, we send our condolences to the family of Jock Hobbs following his passing this afternoon."

All Black winger Cory Jane tweeted, "RIP Jock Hobbs.. A Great man and legend for all he did for NZ rugby."

Prime Minister John Key has also offered his condolences.

“I have known Jock for a long time and have enjoyed his company on many an occasion. We have talked and laughed and discussed the country’s political and sporting problems. I will miss him very much.

"I know I join with Jock’s wife Nicky, his four children, and many friends in being very grateful for the time we had with him.

“I join with all of them in celebrating his life and knowing that ours will be the poorer without him.”

Hobbs played 39 games as a flanker for the All Blacks, including 21 tests, and captained the side in 16 of those games, until concussion problems forced his premature retirement at the age of 26.

After retirement Hobbs stayed heavily connected with rugby, and was involved with the NZRU for more than 15 years, of which almost ten of them were spent as chairman.

He is often credited with 'saving rugby' as it was his last-ditch negotiations that persuaded many top players to sign with the NZRU, and not the Kerry Packer-backed World Rugby Corporation in 1995.

He was instrumental in bringing the World Cup to our shores, when he headed to Dublin with then-prime minister Helen Clark and a negotiation team that included rugby greats Sir Colin Meads and Tana Umaga in 2005.

When New Zealand emerged from the IRB Council meeting with the 2011 World Cup hosting rights, the impression gained by those present was that Hobbs' negotiation skills had won the day.

It was around this time he was first diagnosed with leukemia, and in May 2010 he was diagnosed with a more severe form and was told he would need six months of chemotherapy.

In December 2010, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma which required more aggressive treatment over an extended period, and opted to resign from the NZRU and Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd boards to focus on his health.

His son Michael, a Super Rugby first five-eighth for the Blues, returned from their campaign in South Africa to be with the family.

Hobbs, a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM), is survived by his wife Nicki, a sister of former All Blacks fullback and Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, and children Michael, Emily, Penny and Isabella.

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101 Comments

  1. Gae Dunn08:45am Wednesday 14th March 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    My thoughts are with the family and to them I send my condolences. Rest peacefully Jock, you gave so much to New Zealand, not just in rugby as Talkback Radio reveals.

    Reply
  2. DN08:34am Wednesday 14th March 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    RIP Jock Our hearts go out to your family You will be sadly missed but your legecy will go on for ever You are an inspiration to everyone

    Reply
  3. 08:03am Wednesday 14th March 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    So Sad Condolences to Nikki and family RIP Jock

    Reply
  4. 11:49pm Tuesday 13th March 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    To the Elliott idiot. You disgust me. Get facts right before uttering hurtful rubbish. Jock Hobbs left Strategic years before it collapsed. You are scum and not worth a minor fraction of what this honest, passionate man did for the love of the game and other people. I am proud to have known him and will miss his humble sense of dignity. His memory should not be slurred by ignorant idiots who have no moral conscience.

    Reply
  5. Jason Huddy08:49pm Tuesday 13th March 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    rest in peace jock you will be miss

    Reply
  6. debbie07:38pm Tuesday 13th March 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    R I P jock so young

    Reply
  7. 07:26pm Tuesday 13th March 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    A great man with great resolve RIP All Black Legend

    Reply
  8. Betty Bear07:24pm Tuesday 13th March 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    To young SAD SAD SAD

    Reply
  9. Alyson07:22pm Tuesday 13th March 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    As a proud New Zealander, a small country with so many passions, when we lose one of our legends we all bleed. Jock Hobbs you have done more in your lifetime than most of us, because most of us just don't do it. You put 100% into Rugby and you put the same in to the community and even though I don'tknow your family I would imagine you did the same for them. You have left some huge footsteps to follow. We need them, thanks xxx

    Reply
  10. DebbieW07:21pm Tuesday 13th March 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    My sincere heartfelt sympathies goes to the Hobbs family. I know what pain they dealing with as I lost my grandfather to lung cancer, although you sad take comfort in knowing Jock's not in pain & suffering anymore and let him live in your hearts, all our prayers go to you all, take care

    Reply

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