John Loveday Obituary, Death – The news of the demise of Manawat Representative No. 1044 John Loveday has left the Manawat Rugby Union in a state of deep sadness. John, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 74, was a member of the Manawat team that won the illustrious Ranfurly Shield in 1976 and played 65 games for the club between 1969 and 1979. One of just three players who participated in each and every Shield defense while wearing green and white, he was one of those players. Legends such as Sam Strahan, Frank Oliver, and John Callesen were regular teammates of his on the second row, where he played.
Loveday was always a well-liked member of the pack due to the fact that he had a knack for gaining possession of the ball and was known for his relentless rucking. The Palmerston North Boys’ High School alum made his debut in 1969 before moving to the United States to attend chiropractic school there. In 1973, he went back to his hometown and was greeted by an immediate recall to the sales force. He was constantly in the center of the action, and he paid the price in 1977 when he fractured two vertebrae during a match against the British and Irish Lions.
He paid the price because he was usually in the thick of the action. At that moment, he announced that his playing days were over, but less than two months later, he was back out there competing. 1976 was the year that John was asked to try out for the All Blacks for the first time, but it wasn’t until 1978 that he was asked to join the team for their trip to the United Kingdom. During the tour, he donned the black jersey for sevens games, which led to his being named All Black 787.