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Thread: Tributes flow in from around the Rugby world as a measure of the man, Shawn Mackay.

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    Tributes flow in from around the Rugby world as a measure of the man, Shawn Mackay.

    There will no doubt be many of these articles so may as well keep them together.
    Just a small sample to get started from SMH.

    CLUB

    Mackay name will live on at Randwick

    Rupert Guinness | April 7, 2009

    SHAWN MACKAY has been lost to the club he loved so much - Randwick. But in his younger brother, Matt, the proud Galloping Greens will have a living legacy on their side.

    A devastated Matt Mackay, a member of the Randwick Colts team, was yesterday at home being supported by his close mates after learning of Shawn's tragic death in Durban.

    On Saturday, Matt played for Randwick Colts in the No.7 strip against Warringah. He did so at his own volition to honour his brother, who was in hospital in Durban and had just come out of an induced coma.

    Mackay broke his hand in the game and would have been sidelined for this week's match. But Randwick general manager Chris Heath believes he will proudly pull on the myrtle green jersey again. "I would imagine that Matt will play on through the season for his brother," he said.

    If he does, spectators will be reminded of Shawn, so similar are the two brothers in their physique and mindsets.

    "He is very much like Shawn. There is not much difference in looks, build - everything," Heath said. "In the gym, both are super-fit guys. It's just all about rugby as far as those boys are concerned. They live for the game."

    Yesterday, the priority for Randwick officials and members was to offer Mackay support while he awaits the return of his parents John and Leonie from Durban, where they were by his older brother's side, as was Shawn's partner Trish

    "We have to get him through it now … There is not a lot more we can offer until we find out when his parents are coming home," Heath said. "But at least he knows that we are here for him."

    Randwick president Ian North last night paid tribute to Mackay, saying in a statement: "Shawn was a very popular figure at Randwick."

    Adding to the sorrow for the Randwick club is that Mackay's passing was the third death of a clubmate in eight months. In August, fourth-grader Tom Carr-Boyd was killed in an avalanche while on a ski trip with his brother. On December 27, Adam Allcroft was killed in a cycling accident.

    WOMEN'S SEVENS

    'He wasn't only our coach … he was one of the girls'

    Greg Growden Chief Rugby Correspondent | April 7, 2009

    SHAWN MACKAY recently told his beloved Australian women's Sevens team that if Sevens football became an Olympic sport, he wanted to be their coach.

    Mackay had a special bond with the team, having coached them last year on their way to the Oceania title, a win that qualified them for the IRB World Cup Sevens tournament. The Australian women went on to win the inaugural IRB title in Dubai several weeks ago.

    Cheryl Soon, the side's captain, last night told the Herald it would take the team a long time to get over his death.

    "Shawn had such a huge impact on not just myself but all of the players in our team," Soon said.

    "We are all in absolute shock at the moment. We had a special bond, a special friendship with him.

    "He instilled confidence, self-belief, and he made us think that we could achieve anything. He wasn't only our coach, he was part of our team. He was one of the girls."

    Soon said that shortly before his accident in Durban, Mackay had telephoned the team last weekend in Hong Kong, where they were competing in the famous Sevens tournament.

    "He told us that he was really proud of us, and he even said to other members of the Brumbies how he was so proud of his girls," Soon said. "Even when he went to the Brumbies, we spoke to him on a regular basis, and he contacted us all after Dubai to congratulate us on our success. One thing he said to me was that if Sevens became an Olympic sport, he would definitely love to come back and coach us. So this is very, very sad.

    "He meant so much to us. He was such a beautiful person. He got on with everyone, and all the girls, every single one of them, absolutely loved him. He had a bond which I have never, ever had with a coach before. He is a huge, huge loss."

    SCHOOLDAYS

    Then there were four … tragedy tears hole in a very tight five

    Rupert Guinness | April 7, 2009

    STEPHEN HOILES has been officially and proudly noted in the rugby record books as Shawn Mackay's captain at both the Brumbies and at the Randwick club in Sydney.

    But when Hoiles spoke yesterday of Mackay, only hours after learning of his teammate's death in Durban, he spoke not as his leader, but more deeply as one of his best mates.

    "For a guy who worked so hard to get where he was, I just don't know what to say … it's just so sad," Hoiles told the Herald from Canberra as he waited for his Brumbies teammates to return from the tour of South Africa, which he missed because of injury.

    As he spoke, Hoiles recalled the bond he had with Mackay since his days as a cheeky six-year-old tacker growing up in Clovelly and the environs of the Randwick club at Coogee. At primary school and then Waverley College, Hoiles, Mackay and fellow Randwick club mates Adam Freier, Morgan Turinui and Patrick Phibbs formed a soon-to-be "famous five".

    They played first XV together. They shared classes together. Then, as all kids do in tightly knit communities such as Randwick, as soon as school was out they would run riot in the hilly back streets and lanes that led to the club that would become "home".

    Little did any of them know then that in the years to come they they would go on to play with or against each other in Super 14, or for Australia at Test and Sevens levels.

    After Hoiles learned of Mackay's passing yesterday, one of the first things he did was to call those who were close to Mackay - foremost Mackay's brother Matt. He wanted them to know before they heard about it in the media. And not just those who played rugby, but anyone who shared their kindred spirit.

    "We are just all empty. Knowing 'Shawny' since before seniors; in primary school we knew each other. After spending that many years together, everyone is shattered," he said. "No one knows what to say at a time like this. I wanted to make sure some close friends knew before the news got out. I spoke to old school mates, called a few. I have [also] spoken to his brother [Matt] and he is not doing that well."

    Hoiles's thoughts were also for Mackay's parents, John and Leonie, and his partner, Trish. "His parents are probably battling more than anyone. I feel so sorry for them," he said.

    The South African tour ended with just one win from three games, the Brumbies beating the Cheetahs on Saturday after being heartened by the news that Mackay had come out of his coma and was communicating by blinking his eyes. As a captain, Hoiles's thoughts were also with his teammates, who learned of the tragedy only as they touched down in Sydney yesterday.

    "There is never a good way to tell guys, so long as they don't find out with a thousand camera crews in their face," Hoiles said. "I wouldn't imagine that they would be in a position to talk. But I can't imagine what they would be thinking. It's shocking news." Hoiles was last night with his Brumbies teammates in Canberra. But as darkness fell, much of him was still in Randwick and in Durban, where Mackay's family and partner were left in their sorrow, heartbroken.

    LEAGUE

    Roosters pause to remember a popular mate taken too soon

    April 7, 2009

    A SYDNEY Roosters weights session came to an abrupt halt yesterday as stunned players learnt of the death of former teammate Shawn Mackay.

    "Everyone was in shock, it just went all quiet for a while," said forward Lopini Paea, who played alongside Mackay in the Roosters' 2002 Jersey Flegg-winning team.

    Even those players who came to the club after the 26-year-old former back-rower switched codes to play rugby union for the Australian Sevens team, NSW Waratahs and finally the Brumbies, whom he made his Super 14s debut with just hours before being hit by a vehicle in South Africa last week.

    "It pretty much shattered everyone. Willie Mason never played with him but he knew Shawn socially and had a bit to do with him," said trainer Ron Palmer, who came to the club in 1987 when Mackay's father John was a player.

    Mackay's mother Leonie has also had a long involvement with the Roosters and works at Easts Leagues Club as the food and beverage manager.

    When Leonie phoned the club from Durban yesterday with the tragic news she was too upset to provide much detail.

    "I've known Lee and John for more than 20 years and they're just beautiful people," Palmer said. "They would be absolutely devastated. Shawn was just a delight, he was a really likeable kid and always won everything we did at training involving endurance. That's why I think he did so well at sevens because you've got to be fit."

    Paea said: "He was the fittest in the team and always won the beep tests. I've got a photo of the team that won the Jersey Flegg grand final and when I got home I got it out and looked at it. It's just so sad. We'd been talking about how he was going and we all thought things were sounding all right."

    The Roosters went into last Friday night's match buoyed by reports that Mackay had come out of a induced coma and had acknowledged that he recognised his parents sitting bedside with a series of blinks. Spinal surgery had also been declared successful but a blood virus he developed led to a heart attack.

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    he was obviously so loved by many and will be sorely lost and never forgotten

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    BOKKE
    “Let me put it this way, A Springbok team contains Afrikaners, Englishmen, coloureds and blacks. It has parochial foes in Bulls, Sharks, Stormers, Cheetahs and Lions. It is a recipe for war! Yet in all the years of John Smit’s captaincy, there has never been one unhappy customer, not one voice of rebellion against his leadership. He is the glue that holds the Springboks together. The man is a legend!”- Jake White

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    141 Club Award The Bronze Star of Faith
    I am not sure if all of you are aware (I know some of you are) there is a facebook group that was origianlly set up as a "get well soon" page, but since this tragedy has turned into a page for people to add their well wishes to MacKay's Family and Brumbies teammates. There has been a few familiar names on it as well

    I would put up a link but for some reason Facebook is not working for me so I can only access it via the mobile device

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    DURBAN

    Sad Passing of Shawn Mackay

    Sharks Rugby

    http://www.sharksrugby.co.za/default...62&des=article

    The Sharks would like to send their condolences to the family, partner and team of the Brumbies following the sad news of the passing of Shawn Mackay in the early hours of Monday morning.

    The Brumbies’ lock was knocked over by a car following the match against The Sharks last month and despite excellent medical care which included roles played by Sharks player Jannie du Plessis (a doctor) and Absa Currie Cup doctor for The Sharks in 2008, Craig Springate, a blood infection resulted in his untimely death.

    Brumbies Rugby CEO Andrew Fagan said while Mackay had shown positive signs of recovery from his injuries, the subsequent blood infection has claimed his life. He had been woken out of a coma-induced state late last week and had been communicating by blinking. His family and partner were flown out to Durban to be by his side.

    "This is devastating news for his family and for all of us in the Brumbies community,” said Andrew Fagan. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time."

    Sharks (Pty) Ltd CEO Brian van Zyl added that, “We were deeply saddened to hear the news of Shawn’s passing and our condolences are with his family and girlfriend. Our thoughts too go out to the Brumbies who will feel his loss keenly not only as a player but as a team-mate.

    “Sad news like this hits the rugby community hard and we mourn the loss of Shawn.”

    Rob McQuade, Brumbies team manager, has remained behind in South Africa to assist the family and addressed a media gathering at The Absa Stadium Durban, explaining that Shawn passed away at St Augustine’s Hospital at 3am this morning after showing encouraging signs of recovering from last week’s accident.

    “Unfortunately, he contracted an infection in his bloodstream, deteriorated rapidly and suffered a cardiac arrest from which he didn’t recover,” he explained.

    “This is devastating news for Shawn’s family and girlfriend, and for all of us in the Brumbies’ community.

    “Head Coach of the Brumbies, Mr Andy Friend was notified of Shawn’s passing in flight from South Africa and spoke to the players on arrival in Sydney. It is the worst possible news and it’s fair to say that they are all in shock and have taken the news very hard.

    “Shawn made an enormous contribution to Australian Rugby but most of all, he was an outstanding man of character.”

    Shawn was recruited to the Brumbies in the off-season as much for this character as for his excellent rugby skills McQuade pointed out, and added, “He will be dearly missed by all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.

    “The Mackay family would like to express their utmost gratitude to the doctors and staff of St Augustine’s Hospital whom have done all in their means to assist Shawn during his treatment.

    “We would also like to express our thanks for the many emails and messages of support received not only from home in Australia, but also here in Durban, throughout South Africa and indeed the worldwide rugby community.”

    Rest in Peace Shawn Mackay (31 May, 1982 – 6 April, 2009)

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    BOKKE
    “Let me put it this way, A Springbok team contains Afrikaners, Englishmen, coloureds and blacks. It has parochial foes in Bulls, Sharks, Stormers, Cheetahs and Lions. It is a recipe for war! Yet in all the years of John Smit’s captaincy, there has never been one unhappy customer, not one voice of rebellion against his leadership. He is the glue that holds the Springboks together. The man is a legend!”- Jake White

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    INTERNATIONAL

    Rugby mourns loss of Shawn MacKay

    (IRB.COM) Monday 6 April 2009

    Only hours after the conclusion of the Adelaide International Sevens, the rugby fraternity has been saddened by the tragic news that former Australia Sevens captain and women's coach Shawn MacKay has passed away in a South African hospital.

    MacKay suffered a cervical spinal fracture and dislocation, a broken leg and multiple facial fractures after being hit by a car in the early hours of last Sunday in Durban, where he had made his second Super 14 appearance for the Brumbies against the Sharks.

    The 26-year-old forward passed away in the early hours of Monday after his condition worsened due to a blood infection contracted as a result of the multiple injuries suffered in the accident.

    As well as leading his country's men's Sevens team for a number of years, MacKay also guided Australia's first ever women’s Sevens team to victory in the Oceania qualifier for the inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2009 – a tournament they went on to win in March.

    “Obviously the thoughts and prayers of everyone in the game go to Shawn’s family at this most difficult time,” said Australian Rugby Union Managing Director and CEO John O’Neill.

    An inspirational figure

    “Shawn was a wonderful young man, a credit to the game of Rugby, and much loved by all who knew him.

    “We were all hoping after the terrible events of last week that he would recover from what were horrific injuries.

    “He had a fighting spirit that inspired those around him.

    “As captain of the Australian Sevens team, his leadership qualities were evident to anyone who came into contact with that team.

    “Last year he also took on the coaching of the Australian Women’s Sevens team and guided them to the Oceania title which qualified the side for the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens.

    “The girls, after winning the World Cup in Dubai last month, paid tribute to the role Shawn played last year in assisting them on their quest.

    “This news today has shocked not only the Rugby world but the entire sporting fraternity given the friends Shawn had across the various codes.”

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    medical care which included roles played by Sharks player Jannie du Plessis (a doctor)
    ..

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    BOKKE
    “Let me put it this way, A Springbok team contains Afrikaners, Englishmen, coloureds and blacks. It has parochial foes in Bulls, Sharks, Stormers, Cheetahs and Lions. It is a recipe for war! Yet in all the years of John Smit’s captaincy, there has never been one unhappy customer, not one voice of rebellion against his leadership. He is the glue that holds the Springboks together. The man is a legend!”- Jake White

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