All Black Grahame Thorne suffers second family tragedy
Thu, 24 Dec 2009 4:49p.m.
By Jeff Hampton
Former All Black Grahame Thorne has suffered a second family tragedy just on the eve of Christmas.
His son Bruce, a former star rugby player, has been killed in a car accident at Kroonstad - about 200km south of Johannesburg.
Grahame has already had to deal with another son who was severely injured after a rugby tackle went wrong three years ago.
Grahame played 10 tough tests and 29 matches for the All Blacks, and says he is still struggling to deal with the news.
Grahame and his family have already had serious health problems with another son David, he is unable to speak or function properly after suffering a stroke.
David’s condition was brought on when he was tackled awkwardly in a rugby match.
“His mates have been fantastic, they've come from everywhere,” he said at the time of the accident.
“It is just the worry of every parent to see their son crashed.”
Bruce lived most of his life in South Africa with his mother but toured in New Zealand with the Transvaal rugby team 12 years ago.
He was a big man, two metres tall and held a law degree. He became a junior Springbok but he has always said rugby did not rule his life.
“Rugby's not very important to me it's great to play and to tour but there's much more important things in life,” he said while trialling for the Transvaal team.
Grahame is an ex-parliamentarian as well as an ex All Black and says one of the highlights of his life was playing in the parliamentary rugby team along with his son.
Grahame now lives in Queenstown and does a variety of jobs including hosting a television cooking show.
He is a man who has tasted the highs and lows of life, he and one of his daughter’s are planning to fly to South Africa to farewell Bruce.
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14/07/2012 10:17:04 p.m.
Dries Dippenaar wrote:
Who was the NZ born Thorne who played senter for the Blue Bulls, and is if I have it correct married a miss South Africa. I think his son also played rugby for Transvaal.
19/01/2010 8:15:19 p.m.
Brenda Carlyle. wrote:
Dear Grahame and family, very sad I am indeed, so proud you are and I send you my very heartfelt love. Brenda.
29/12/2009 11:54:57 a.m.
Judy Blyth wrote:
Amazing Grahame when I read the comments list, I saw Gerald Burger, say hello, havent seen him since looking after them during the Rotorua SPOK tour when he did his reporting from my place just up the road from the stadium. This is very sad, I know you will come back with another strength and thinking of you and your family.
26/12/2009 7:47:33 p.m.
Gerhard Burger wrote:
We cannot begin to understand. And we have no way to help you carry this load. But we know you'll receive the strength from elsewhere. Thinking of you and your family every day.
25/12/2009 4:12:30 a.m.
david wakefield wrote:
As a farther my heart and prayers go to you and your family god bless
24/12/2009 11:22:33 p.m.
O'Byrne family, Ireland wrote:
We feel privileged to have known a man of such warmth, spirituality and kindness. With all that, a man of such wit and charm. (He wasn't a bad rugby player either!) With broken hearts and prayers for Brucie, Siobhan and Benjamin; Thorney and family; Jenny-Lynn and family; Bernstein family and all of Brucie's many friends. We shall not look upon his like again...
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before the echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.
24/12/2009 9:28:01 p.m.
Our sincere condolances. Bruce was a man in a million and a wonderful husband to my niece,Shiobon, and a great dad to baby Benjamin. May you rest in peace Big Boy. You will be sadly missed.
24/12/2009 9:25:54 p.m.
Thorney, we are thinking of you at this sad time, be strong. Kind Regards Jason
24/12/2009 9:19:23 p.m.
Ty Williams wrote:
Deepest sympathy's Grahame to you and your family.
24/12/2009 7:29:47 p.m.
Herman le Roux wrote:
Sad news, Thorney. Sad news. I am speechless. Be strong my friend. Best wishes,Herman
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