Jonah Lomu, The Man Behind The Best Sports Game Of All Time, Has Passed Away

The news has broken earlier this morning that Jonah Lomu, perhaps the greatest rugby union player in New Zealand's history and one of union's most iconic figures to date, has passed away at the age of 40.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The former doctor of the All Blacks, John Mayhew, told 3 News that Lomu passed away unexpectedly this morning having only just returned from a trip to the United Kingdom with his family.

A specific cause has not been listed for his death, although many news reports have referenced his ongoing battles with a rare kidney disease that forced the player into retirement. The same disease was responsible for a scare in 2011 where Lomu's kidney began to fail only hours after playing a starring role in the opening ceremony of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

In gaming, Lomu is also remembered for being the face of what many consider to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, sports game of all time: Jonah Lomu Rugby, which was released in 1997 for the Sega Saturn, DOS and PlayStation by Codemasters and Rage Software.

The official Wikipedia entry says Lomu was impossible to tackle in the video game "not unlike real life". The game was so highly revered that someone earlier this month dubbed the audio from the PS1 game over this year's World Cup final.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key earlier today said "the thoughts of the entire country are with [Lomu's] family", while New Zealand Rugby's chief executive Steve Tew described Lomu as a "legend of our game" loved around the world.

[3 News]


Comments

    RIP Jonah - Too soon. You were an inspiration to millions and changed the game of Rugby and how wingers play for good! Thoughts go out to his kids and wife - It's a tragedy to lose someone so soon and unexpected

    The first person disrespectful enough to start jabbering on about how this is a gaming site is going to get it.

    Have some respect

      Agreed. Far too young and a wonderful ambassador for sport and union especially.

        Jaw dropped when i saw it on the news - He was on the coverage and broadcast for the world cup and only just yesterday flew back into Auckland with a bunch of luggage looking like he'd been shopping for the family.

        He has had some serious kidney issues over the past decade and i dont like to speculate but we are seeing more and more kidney/liver issues in professional athletes and I cant help but start seeing links with performance enhancement, supplements and other such garbage that teams have athletes pumping into their bodies for an edge. I am in no way suggesting Lomu would have been a cheat but in all professional sports they always encourage supplements and other such stuff to get that edge whilst staying within the law.

        Besides the speculation and having two young boys myself it's heartbreaking for the family. Just like reading about a 27 year old who went to sleep with his misses and didnt wake up - Way too close to home in my opinion.

        Hold your loved ones, laugh, smile and dont take it all too seriously :) You wont be here forever.

          I don't think they ever specifically named a cause for his kidney issues but apparently he was suffering from the condition way back when he first started playing. He was apparently bedridden between games at the '95 World Cup and that was back when he was only 19, so I strongly doubt it was supplements or anything in his case. Probably just unfortunate genetics.

            No i know - It has been around a long time and I'm being dumb speculating - made that pretty clear ;)

    Poor bloke. Good sportsman, and a bloody good kiwi. Will be missed.

    Very sad and shocked to hear this. A brilliant player in his prime, sucks this illness ended his career early and his life :( You dont expect someone like Lomu dying at 40, he was a beast at the sport!
    I have plenty of fond memories playing Jonah Lomu Rugby on playstation as well haha. Good times, i still remember the commentary "GREGAN! HE'S AWAY!" and ofcourse "there's a weeee bit of argy bargy going on in there" :p

    RIP mate
    The game they play in Heaven just got another star

    "I hope not Bill, that's a maternity ward!". Great line from a great game about a great player.

      Tehehe so many memories with that commentary. So many hours in that game.

      The comments pretty much say it all about the great man.

      On the game topic, every Union/league/cricket game has been a horror ever since. To me, this game represented how something as simple as an eloquent rock/paper/scissor button system could be so comeptitively awesome in a sports game (with a bit of love mixed in) :-D I'd do with out the bells and whistles to get my players off the rails the current gen games put out... so many great memories, RIP big fella!

      hahahaha that was a classic line from it! Losing my shit, too funny!

    Oh No!

    I'm did is bro!!!!

    Last edited 18/11/15 6:11 pm

    Great sportsman, it was amazing to watch him just run over the top of people. Sad for his family to lose him so young, only 7 years older than me :/

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