North Harbour rugby stalwart, Peter Thorburn has passed away in North Shore Hospital after a short illness.
Thorburn MNZM is one of the true legends of rugby in the North Harbour having coached the first team in the Union in 1985 until 1991 alongside various other stints in different roles at North Harbour.
He was made a Life Member of the North Harbour Union in 2005, the third person ever to be given this honour. In 2013 Thorburn received the Insignia of a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to rugby.
“Our thoughts go to the family and friends of Peter who was such an instrumental person in the formation of the Union, but also so respected for more than just his coaching by all rugby people, “said North Harbour Rugby Chairman Gerard van Tilborg.
“Peter was always an astute thinker around the game. He was inspirational to a huge number of players and coaches creating many original and creative plays which became a hallmark of North Harbour rugby with high entertainment and player flair. He will be well remembered fondly and missed by all who knew him.”
‘Thorb’s as he was commonly known was a former All Black selector, New Zealand Sevens coach and also had been an interim head coach at the USA Eagles during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. There was also a role as Director of Rugby at English club Bristol among a raft of other roles around the world.