Shock as club player dies

Wed, 24 Jul 2013 08:49
Willie-halaifonua Rugby-ball Rugby-ball-_-post

The family of Takapuna club player Willie Halaifonua, who died in Auckland hospital, as a result of a head injury on Tuesday, have expressed their sadness at their loss.

The 27-year-old father of two was named player of the day just moments before he collapsed at the end of a match last Saturday.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Tony Fraser, says it's been a "shattering" few days for the family, who have lost a husband, father, son and committed family man.

He says despite their best prayers and the best medical support available, Halaifonua was simply unable to pull through.

Tributes are also pouring in for Halaifonua.

APNZ reports a North Harbour Rugby Union spokesman has confirmed Halaifonua died surrounded by family.

It is believed 'Big Willy' died as a result of bleeding on the brain.

Warriors and netball stars are amongst those paying tribute to Halaifonua.

Silver Fern Maria Tutaia was among the first to express her sadness at Halaifonua's passing.

"Condolences to the Halaifonua family, his partner and kids. May god give u all the strength in the world to get u thru this tough time," she posted on Twitter.

Warriors hooker Pita Goodinet also tweeted: "Please don't tell me it's true??... ! C'mon "Big Willy".

He later posted: "Gone but never Forgotten!! You will surely be missed by all your love 1s!! The man Dox.

"He has a plan for each and every1 of us!! Some get called early to party in Paradise before others.."

Fellow Warriors Sione Lousi also joined in: "Sad to hear the doko Willie has passed overnight. Rest easy dox condolences to his wife n kids n the Halaifonua fams. [sic]"

The humble father reportedly clashed heads with a Massey player about a minute before the game ended, and collapsed just a few minutes later, and his condition deteriorated further yesterday.

Source: Newstalk ZB