BREAKING: Former All Black takes his own life

Publish Date
Wednesday, 3 May 2017, 7:56AM
Photo / Getty Images

Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand mourns the loss of another All Black, who, unfortunately, took his own life just before Anzac day.

Sandy McNicol, at 107kg a full 30kg lighter than Charlie Faumuina, played five matches in the famous black jersey.

He was the sixth prop called up to the 1972-73 tour of Great Britain and France after original tourists Keith Murdoch (sent home after punching a security guard) and Jeff Matheson (ribs) left the squad. He played five-midweek fixtures, including a 12-3 win over a South West selection in the Pyrenean city of Tarbes.

He must have liked the climate and the people. He'd soon return to play a long stint for the local club, who were French champions in 1973.

McNicol was a rugby man, had a military background and played for Wanganui, whose mainly rural citizenry would have been overwhelmingly pro-tour.

McNicol was also an educator, a teacher with the sort of moral fibre he liked to impart on his students.

A Facebook tribute this week from Cath Handley, a former student who later became a friend and "relative-in-law" summed up his gift: "He was one of those rare teachers who didn't just feed one's thirst for knowledge but fed one's thirst for life - witty, irreverent, adventurous and compassionate."

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Samaritans 0800 726 666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.