- Publish Date
- Sunday, 20 August 2017, 5:40PM
Sir Colin Meads has died after a battle with cancer and his family say they "will miss him terribly".
He passed away this morning.
He was 81. His loss will be mourned throughout the rugby-playing world.
Meads was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and he took a typically combative attitude towards it, vowing to "beat the bastard".
In 133 matches for the All Blacks between 1957 and 1971, the former King Country lock played 55 tests and became recognised throughout the world as the face of New Zealand rugby.
His family have just issued a statement through New Zealand Rugby.
NZR said his wife Verna, Lady Meads and the couple's five children wished "to express their sincere gratitude for the care and support the family has received in the past 12 months"since his diagnosis.
"Our heartfelt thanks to the staff at Te Kuiti Medical Centre, particularly doctors David McLean and Keith Buswell, and to the nursing staff at Te Kuiti Hospital for their superb care of Colin," the family said.
"To our friends, thank you for your love and care.
"The visits and phone calls were enjoyed by Colin and appreciated by us all.
"To those throughout the country who sent Colin best wishes, we thank you for your kindness."
Meads' youngest daughter Shelley Mitchell paid tribute.
"Dad led a full life," she said.
"He loved being an All Black and he loved his family dearly.
"We will miss him terribly."
- This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.