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Oldest All Black Eric Tindill Turns 99

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 17 NZPA - New Zealand's oldest living All Black, Eric Tindill, turns 99 on Friday and the New Zealand rugby community will join in the celebrations.

Tindill, a halfback and first five eighth who played for Wellington in the 1930s and 1940s, is believed to be the only sportsman to have played tests for New Zealand in both rugby and cricket.

New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew said Tindill's story was a remarkable and inspiring one and his achievements across two sports, as well as his contribution to those and other codes after his playing days, would probably never be equalled.

"We are privileged and honoured to be able to pay tribute to Eric and celebrate this incredible milestone with him," Tew said.

Tindill debuted for the All Blacks on September 21, 1935, against Yorkshire and Cumberland at Bradford in the north of England.

His first and only test appearance came later on that same tour on January 4, 1936, against England in London.

He made 14 of his 17 All Blacks appearances on that 1935-36 tour, adding three further appearances on the team's 1938 tour of Australia.

He was a full international in both rugby (1935-1936) and cricket (1937-1947) and after his playing career ended, he refereed test rugby and umpired test cricket.

He gave lengthy service to Wellington and New Zealand Cricket as an administrator.

Tindill was a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force during World War 2.

On Friday, NZRU president John Sturgeon and other rugby representatives will join wellwishers visiting Tindill at his home in Wellington and deliver birthday wishes on behalf of the New Zealand rugby community.

He will also deliver a birthday card and a special All Blacks cake.

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