Tributes are continuing to flow for former All Black skipper Sir Wilson Whineray, a man so popular even with his opponents 50,000 Welshmen sang "For he's a jolly good fellow" as he was carried from the field.
Whineray died in Auckland Hospital on Monday, aged 77.
Remembered as one of New Zealand rugby's greatest leaders and a gentleman, he played 77 times for the All Blacks between 1957 and 1965, captaining them in 30 of his 32 Tests.
He was also a captain of industry, chairing the boards of Carter Holt Harvey and the National Bank.
New Zealand's greatest rugby player, Sir Colin Meads, who played alongside Whineray for most of his All Black career, agreed with his description in the title of his biography, A Perfect Gentleman.
"He was the perfect gentleman, in all walks of life. Whether we were at Buckingham Palace, or whether on our way home after a game, a dinner, a bit of a booze up, an argument with some Welshman, he was the perfect gentleman," he told Radio New Zealand.
Whineray captained the All Blacks on their 36-match tour of the Northern Hemisphere in 1963-64.
During the final match, against the Barbarians at Cardiff, the prop most famously sold a deft centre-like dummy to score a popular try.
After the match he was carried shoulder-high from the field at Cardiff while some 50,000 broke into For He's a Jolly Good Fellow.
Rugby writer Terry McLean, describing his captaincy during that tour as "highly intelligent, mature beyond his years... a firm but calm leader who commanded unqualified admiration."
"I would unhesitatingly acclaim him as New Zealand's greatest captain."
However, Whineray played down his captaincy, saying during a radio interview a baboon could have captained the side they were so good.
All Black coach Steve Hansen, who is attending his own father's funeral on Tuesday, said Whineray was a legend in the New Zealand game and "a hell of a good person too". "The few times I met him, he was a true gentleman and a lovely man.
"The All Blacks' condolences and our own family condolences to the Whinerays because clearly we know what they're all going through at the moment."
Knighted in 1998 for services to sport and business management, Whineray is survived by his wife Lady Elisabeth, three children and five grandchildren.
They said his death would leave a large gap in their lives.
"Our father led a rich life filled to the brim with family, sport, business and the community we are blessed with many wonderful memories of him," they said in a statement.
"We will always remember his energy and passion for everything he did and we remember one of his favourite comments was that he didn't regret a single day in his life."Arrangements for his funeral are yet to be announced.
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