Goodbye to a Good Guy

Former All Black front rower John Drake has died at his home in Mt Maunganui aged 49. Drake was a tighthead prop in the World Cup-winning All Blacks team of 1987. In recent years he was a highly respected television commentator, wrote a weekly column for The New Zealand Herald, and also ran several businesses in the Bay of Plenty. One of Drake’s close friends, former All Black Gary Whetton said: “He was not only a successful sportsman but also a business and family man too. He valued friendships so we’ll miss him dearly.” Drake’s former coach at Auckland University John Hart said he was a cornerstone of the team that won the World Cup. “He had a tremendously dry sense of humour, a real fun person, and he had a great balance he enjoyed his life to the full,” Hart said. “He wasn’t a rugby buff: he went away to France early in his rugby career and I had to spend many times on the phone to get him come back to play for Auckland. He used to have me on about that. He was one of those guys although he was a great All Black, he didn’t have to have the game; he lived beyond it.”

John Drake: 22 January 1959 – 13 December 2008

Tags: All Blacks  Gary Whetton  John Drake  John Hart  Reuters  Rugby World Cup  

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