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Tributes for former All Black and Taranaki centurion McEldowney

Rob Tucker

trfu.co.nz     19 Jun 2012     Rob Tucker

family, following the sudden passing of Taranaki Centurion and All
Black John McEldowney yesterday afternoon. He was 64 years of
age.

Taranaki Rugby Chairman and fellow Centurion Lindsay Thomson
paid tribute to Mr McEldowney and thanked him for his contribution to New Zealand rugby.

“John was a great Taranaki player, who wore the jersey with pride, and who achieved the ultimate goal of selection in the All Blacks. His 14 years playing for Taranaki were during a time when Taranaki had a forward pack which was feared throughout the country, and John was an integral part of that” said Thomson.

He continued his lifelong association with rugby after retiring, through his association with NPOB, and in recent years, as a TRFU Ambassador.

TenderLink Taranaki Head Coach and fellow Taranaki Centurion Colin Cooper recognised Mr McEldowney’s contribution to Taranaki Rugby.

“John’s passing is a great loss to his family and the Taranaki Rugby family. He was a highly regarded stoic front rower who contributed to Taranaki’s proud legacy of fearsome forwards. Our thoughts are with his family at
this very sad time” said Cooper.

John McEldowney attended New Plymouth Boys High School and played his senior club rugby as a Prop for Kaponga, Inglewood and New Plymouth Old Boys.

He made his debut for Taranaki in 1967 at just 19 years of age. The burly front rower played a total of 125 games in the amber and black jersey before retiring in 1980.

In 1976 Mr McEldowney was selected for the All Blacks. He made his debut on the 16th of October 1976 against Buenos Aries Selection at Buenos Aires, just 9 days shy of his 29th birthday. Mr McEldowney made 10 appearances for the All Blacks, two of which were test matches.