WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Former All Blacks captain John Graham, a respected sports administrator and mentor to World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry, has died at the age of 82, New Zealand Rugby said yesterday.
Graham played 22 tests in his 53 games for the All Blacks from 1958-64 and captained the side 10 times.
“’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.
“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, having toured South Africa with the All Blacks in 1960, spoke out against apartheid.
“I said that if we had any conscience and feeling for humanity, we should not have been touring South Africa,” he said upon his return.