Obituary

Des White Obituary-Death; Kiwis Rugby League Legend Passes Away At

The renowned rugby league fullback and goal-kicker Des White passed yesterday at the age of 96.

White played a pivotal role in the 1952–1953 New Zealand team that defeated Australia four times in a row. He was selected as a fullback on the New Zealand Rugby League’s team of the century in 2007 and inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

In 1952, White scored a record 11 goals in a 49-25 triumph over a Clive Churchill-led Kangaroos team against Australia.

In 2016, he told the Herald, “I didn’t celebrate very much, I went to bed early because I had one eye partly-closed and a cracked nose”.

After rupturing his spleen while playing for Auckland in a tour match against Great Britain in 1954, his career has come to an end. “Instead of being placed on a stretcher, I attempted to leave.” When I arrived to the dressing room, I went into shock. Then, in 2016, he said, “I ended up going to the hospital and staying there for five weeks.”

In 61 games for New Zealand, he scored a record 467 points (seven tries and 223 goals), including 132 (two tries and 63 goals) in his 21 test matches. White was named the 1961 season’s Kiwis coach.

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