Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Rising Kiwi football star drowns while saving young er brother...
Rising Kiwi football star drowns while saving younger brother in tidal rip...
2009 was the year that 20 year old Sonny Fai of the NZ Warriors NRL franchise rugby league team in Auckland was going to make it to the bigtime after 15 occasional games for the First grade. They all said this was HIS year!
Last Sunday the strapping backrow forward had his first pre-season hitout with a thirty man squad at Bethells Beach on Auckland's west coast, a stretch of coast well known for its rough water and tidal rips.
After the training run Sonny Fai, his younger brother and other members of his family went swimming at the beach. The younger brother got into difficulties and older brother,Sonny, went to his rescue. He helped him into the shorebreak, told him to let go of his hand and to swim to shore. Sonny said he would get ashore on his own.He was caught by another rip and taken further out to sea. Bystanders said the sea was like a washing machine. Sonny was never seen again!
The entire NZ Warriors squad searched for him for hours, and the management hired a helicopter for a wider search. He may have been washed into a sea cave.
Sonny Fai, undoubtably now the late Sonny Fai, was one of the most promising players signed up to the NZ Warriors club since the former great Kiwis captain, Stacy Jones. It is a tragic loss to the club, to professional rugby league, and New Zealand sport in general. One could go one step further and say a loss to world sport because such a talented young man would have become a world figure, even in a fairly restricted sport as rugby league. As we say down here in New Zealand: the cream always rises to the top!