Former All Blacks skipper John Graham passes away

John Graham played 22 times for New Zealand
John Graham played 22 times for New Zealand

Former New Zealand skipper Sir John Graham has passed away on Thursday aged 82 due to short illness.

Graham featured in 22 Tests for New Zealand between 1958 and 1964 and captained the side 10 times. Following his playing career, he was a headmaster in Auckland Grammar School between 1973 and 1993, manager of New Zealand Cricket Team from 1997 and 1999.

He was also the University of Auckland Chancellor for five years from 1999 and was the elected president of New Zealand Rugby in 2005.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew paid tributes to Graham in a statement released by the board.

"'DJ' (Graham) was a great all round New Zealander. From his exploits on the rugby field to those in the classroom he was simply exceptional," NZR chief executive Steve Tew said of the former school headmaster in a statement on Thursday.

"His commitment to all aspects of the game and New Zealand society is legendary. He was a player, coach and administrator of rugby and also managed the New Zealand cricket team.

"Equal to his sporting achievements was his academic contribution driven by a lifelong commitment to the transformative power of education."

Graham was also a mentor to various teachers and coaches including the 2011 World Cup winning New Zealand coach Graham Henry.

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