Jonah Lomu has died at the age of 40 and this blog is struggling to process the news because superheroes are meant to be immortal. The exact cause of death remains unclear but our money is on kryptonite.
The word legend will be used and already some are rightly making the point that like Muhammad Ali or Pele, he transcended the world beyond his sport, indeed beyond the world of sport itself. But for rugby fans we didn’t need such things, Lomu as a rugby player was enough for us.
Imagine for a second that you owned a Back To The Future Delorean and used it to go back to 1743, grabbed some people off the street and came back and left them on the pavement in downtown Manhattan on New Year’s Eve. The look on their faces as they gazed upon the technological wonders and mass of humanity around them would perhaps come close to seeing Lomu for the first time – wonder, amazement, horror.
He was amazing to all, wonderful if he was on your side and truly horrific if you or your team were facing him; an athlete for the modern age that was primeval in strength, power and speed. Off the field he appeared humble, decent and kind and it is cruel that such a man should be taken from us all who love the game and moreover love humanity.
But like all superheroes he will never really die. Someone should make a comic book about him. We would all buy it.
What are your favourite memories of Jonah? We like when Xavier Garbajosa literally ran backwards away from him rather than tackle him near the line in 1999. Put yours in the comments..