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Jonah Lamu Dead At 40: David Beckham Remembers Legendary Rugby Star

Wed, November 18, 2015 8:37am EDT by Chloe Melas Add first Comment

One of the greatest men to ever play rugby, Jonah Lamu, has died at the age of 40, after a rare kidney disease he’s been battling for over 10 years. David Beckham and other athletes took to social media to remember this rugby legend.

Jonah Lamu, 40, spent the past decade fighting for his life but his fight sadly ended on Nov. 17. Jonah’s wife, Nadene, released an incredibly sad statement saying that they are “devastated” and hope everyone respects their privacy during this “traumatic time.” We can only imagine what she and her two sons are going through right now. David Beckham paid tribute to the New Zealand rugby star on his Instagram with a very heartfelt message.

David posted a picture of Jonah on his Instagram with this caption: “So sad to hear the news about this amazing giant of a man… A sporting hero and one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet.. A credit to his country, his family and to the sport that he passionately played… Jonah you will be missed…” Jonah’s wife also released a statement of her own which read: “It is with great sadness that I must announce my dear husband Jonah Lomu died. As you can imagine, this is a devastating loss for our family and may I ask that our privacy, especially the privacy of our two very young boys, be respected as we take them through this traumatic time.”

Jonah played for New Zealand from 1994 to 2002 and received a kidney transplant in 2004, but it reportedly stopped working in 2011. “Jonah was a legend of our game and loved by his many fans both here and around the world,” Steve Tew, the New England Rugby chief executive told BBC. “We’re lost for words and our heartfelt sympathies go out to Jonah’s family.”

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HollywoodLifers, our thoughts go out to Jonah’s family and friends.

— Chloe Melas