Tuesday, December 18, 2007

McCaw pays homage to NZ sporting icon

Tuesday December 18, 10:27 AM
by Neil Reid

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has described Eric Tindill as a "legend"
- stating it is the efforts of the likes of the oldest living All Black who helped pave the way for modern-day players.

The double All Black today turns 97 - celebrating the achievement with family and friends in Wellington.

He is also the oldest living former test cricketer.

McCaw - who has played 59 tests since making his debut in 2001 - said there was no doubting that the current crop of All Blacks respected the achievements and sacrifices of the players who had gone before them.

And he said himself and his team-mates would be among the many of New Zealand sporting fans wishing the remarkable Tindill all the best for his 97th birthday.

"He is a legend. It is a great achievement," McCaw told Yahoo!Xtra.

"I think I would be speaking on behalf of all the All Blacks, former and current especially, in wishing him a happy birthday. I will definitely be wishing him all the best. He is the oldest living one. He is certainly a bit of a legend in our eyes. And he's a dual international."

McCaw said it was a stunning achievement to play for the All Blacks, let alone also play test cricket for New Zealand and then referee rugby internationals and become a test cricket umpire.

He added the side's past was something that wasn't lost on the modern-day All Black team.

Neither was the importance of the jersey, he said.

"There have only been 1000-odd All Blacks - it is a special club to be involved in," he said. Meeting guys like Fred Allen and guys like that, they are legends. They are All Black legends. In those days they travelled halfway around the world (on a boat) to play. And I have been lucky to cross paths with a lot of these guys. They are hell of good blokes."

Mister Tindill in 1937 -during the Tour in England & in 2005 when celebrating his 95th birthday. Pictures found on Google.

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