Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jock Hobbs' funeral details announced

Wednesday March 14, 2012 Source: ONE News 

The funeral service for former All Black captain and New Zealand Rugby Union Chairman Jock Hobbs will be held at Wellington's Old Saint Paul's on Sunday.
Hobbs died at Wellington Hospital yesterday surrounded by his family after a long battle with leukaemia.  He was 52.
The funeral service will begin at 1pm on Sunday.
The family have requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand. 
A donation box will be available at the service, or they can be sent to PO Box 99182, Newmarket, Auckland.
Hobbs played 21 Tests for the All Blacks at flanker between 1983 and 1986 and was a stalwart for Canterbury throughout the 1980s.
He was influential in bringing the 2011 Rugby World Cup to New Zealand in his role as NZRU chairman and was chairman of the organising committee for the tournament.
In 2010 he resigned from the NZRU to focus on his health, but was involved with the tournament, presenting All Blacks Richie McCaw and Mils Muliaina with their caps after playing their 100th Test matches.
He leaves behind his wife Nicky and four children - Michael, Penny, Isabella and Emily.
Tributes keep coming
Richie McCaw, who many have likened to a modern day Jock Hobbs, today paid his respects to him.
The current test skipper had a close relationship with Hobbs.
"He's just a good mate that's gone, which is pretty sad," said McCaw whose tight bond with Hobbs was linked though leadership and their position.
"When he was an All Black flanker, the loose forwards would have a port after every test. So the port bottle used to come out and we'd have a couple...pretty special memories," said McCaw.
New All Blacks coach Steve Hansen's friendship with Hobbs stretched back more than 30 years.
Hansen was captain of the Canterbury under 18s when Hobbs was the vice captain.
"There's been some great New Zealanders involved in the game, but he's probably been the greatest of them all," Hansen said.
Hobbs remembered for "saving the game"
Players from the 90s remember Hobbs' hard stance as an administrator, fending off the rebel World Rugby Corporation.
Former All Blacks coach John Hart said rugby "owes him a great deal".
He recalled how following the 1995 Rugby World Cup Hobbs negotiated successfully with New Zealand stars poised to sign lucrative offers from Kerry Packer's World Rugby Corporation.
"It was a time when rugby was really looking like it could collapse."
Commentator and sports writer Phil Gifford reiterated how Hobbs saved the game by keeping players on.
Gifford said Hobbs flew around the country and did not sleep for three weeks as he tried to negotiate with players to keep them on board.
"One of the things about Jock Hobbs that I feel that was great was that he was very straightforward, he didn't mince words and he had this phrase 'the dings on the table' (the money is on the table) and that was how he was persuading players to sign up," he said.
Gifford said Jeff Wilson and Josh Kronfield were the two breakthrough All Blacks who announced they were staying with the organisation and that negotiation was completed and signed at 4am.
"His reward was that he was sacked from the NZRU board because there were some members who believed that he had given a bit too much 'ding' to the players when he actual fact that really wasn't the case."
Rugby commentator Peter Fitzsimmons, who wrote a great book about the whole episode, said rather than sacking Hobbs they should have built a statue of him outside the NZRU headquarters.
Mary*L's note : You can pay your tributes on the messageboard below the original article ( ) You'll also find a video from OneNews on the original article

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