They crammed into Wellington’s Old St Paul’s Church yesterday, because a pillar in the New Zealand community, Jock Hobbs, left the the world far-too-early. At just 52-years-old, the former All Blacks captain lost his biggest battle, succumbing to the most unrelenting of foes; leukemia. Jock Hobbs played for the New Zealand national rugby union as flanker during the 1980s. He also served as the chairman from 2002 until 2012, when he had to step down because of the cancer. Those accomplishments alone were en0ugh for dignitaries like Prime Minister John Key, Coach Graham Henry, captain Richie McCaw and All Blacks like Grant Fox and Colin Meads to pay their respects to Jock and Jock’s wife and children, yet Mr. Hobbs’ contributions were even greater: Jock Hobbs was labeled “The man who saved rugby.” In 1995, a new league put the All Blacks and their future in jeopardy, but Hobbs got the signatures of players to remain with the national team. You may leave condolences for the family by clicking this.
Joe Paterno: Former Penn State Coach (December 21, 1926 – January 22, 2012)
Joe Paterno, or better know as “Joe Pa” passed away shortly after being forced to resign in the midst of the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State University. Sandusky, who has been accused of various count of sexual harassment to teenage boys while being on the Penn State campus, was part of Paterno’s staff until 1999. Once Paterno lost his job in November of 2011, he sadly lost his will to live and shortly passed away in January after a fight against lung cancer. Aside from all of the negativity towards the end of Paterno’s career, he is know as one of the best football coaches – if not coaches in all of sports – ever. Paterno has 409 wins all-time, the most by any Division I coach, 24 Bowl wins (most ever), 2 National Championships, and 3 Big Ten Championships. Aside from the wins and records alone, Paterno had been part of the Penn State program since 1950, dedicating his life to the program. This man deserves to be remembered for what he has done, not for what ended his career.
Joe Frazier: Heavyweight Boxer (January 12, 1944 – November 7, 2011)
Smokin’ Joe may best be known for Howard Cosell’s famous “Down goes Frazier!” during his fight with Muhammad Ali, but should be known for much, much more. Believe it or not, in Frazier and Ali’s three fights, Frazier actually won the first fight in a unanimous decision. In Frazier’s 37 fights he recorded 32 wins, four loses, and a draw. During Frazier’s time in boxing he also recorded a Gold medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Not only was Frazier an Olympic Champion, but a World Heavywieght Champion as well. Sadly after being diagnosed with liver cancer in September, Frazier passed away only two months later in November.