Rugby fans all over the world are reeling tonight after news broke that All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu has passed away suddenly at the age of 40.
New Zealand is mourning one of its greatest sporting heroes after it was announced in the early hours of Wednesday morning that Lomu had died unexpectedly in Auckland.
Lomu battled kidney disorders since the end of 1995 when he was diagnosed with nephritic syndrome and underwent a kidney transplant in 2004.
Lomu had health setbacks since then and had been reported to be receiving dialysis treatments during his recent visit to Britain where he was involved in heavy promotional work during the Rugby World Cup for beer company Heineken.
Unquestionably one of the greatest players in the sport’s history, Lomu played in 73 Tests for New Zealand after making his debut in 1994.
To say fans, friends, colleagues and admirers were in shock at the news would be an understatement, with many unable to comprehend the sad news…
A mountain of a man has left us #Lomu – he even got me watching Rugby. So sad
— Graeme Bandeira (@GraemeBandeira) November 18, 2015
The one and only Jonah Lomu R.I.P.
— Zane Lowe (@zanelowe) November 18, 2015
Such sad new to hear that #Jonah Lomu has died. He changed the game of rugby. Amazing player on the field & true gent off it. RIP big man.
— Craig Chalmers (@Chick_Chalmers) November 18, 2015
— Aaron Smith (@A_Smith09) November 18, 2015
So shocked and sad Jonah Lomu has died.Did a MasterCard event together just a few weeks ago and he was in great spirits.An inspiration #RIP
— Brett Gosper (@brettgosper) November 18, 2015
My thoughts and love are with the family of Jonah Lomu . Spent some time with him during the RWC. True gent and great man. #RIPJonah
— Scott Quinnell (@ScottQuinnell) November 18, 2015
With the death of Jonah Lomu, rugby has lost a man who transformed the game and the world has lost a wonderful person. A true gentle giant.
— Simon Thomas (@simonrug) November 18, 2015
— Daniel Sankey (@Daniel_Sankey) November 18, 2015
Truly shocking news about Jonah Lomu. A giant who transformed and transcended his sport.
— Owen Gibson (@owen_g) November 18, 2015
Very sad news about Jonah Lomu passing away. He was a giant in sports, a giant in real life and such a lovely guy. A gentle giant.
— Jemaine Clement (@AJemaineClement) November 18, 2015
Jonah Lomu has died!Unbelievable. At the age of 40! Incredibly sad to hear.
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) November 18, 2015
I saw Lomu play against Scotland at Murrayfield in the 1999 Rugby World Cup. He was a phenomenal talent. Just 40, jeez.
— Wings Over Scotland (@WingsScotland) November 18, 2015
Just heard that Jonah Lomu has died. Only 40 years old. An awesome human being. RIP
— Ian Stone (@iandstone) November 18, 2015
Thoughts and Prayers going out to the Lomu Family ???
— keven_mealamu (@kevenmealamu) November 18, 2015