Tributes pour in following death of famed commentator Willie Los'e
Colleagues, friends and fans around the world have paid tribute to former Test international Willie Los’e, who died suddenly in South Africa this week.
Los’e, known these days for his colourful commentary work with Sky Sports and on the Sevens circuit, was in Cape Town for the Sevens World Cup.
The 55-year-old played representative rugby for the New Zeland Under 21 side during his heyday and went on to represent Tonga at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
“The Los’e wh?nau would like to thank Karl Te Nana, Bailey Mackey and World Rugby boss Steve Jamieson for contacting us directly from South Africa this morning relating to the sudden passing of our brother Willie,” the family said in a statement.
“We ask that as a wh?nau, we be given time to process and work through our devastating loss and the logistics of repatriation of our brother, father, uncle, son home. We are awaiting details from Cape Town.
“Thanks to Steve Jamieson who has spoken to the New Zealand High Commission, who will be heading to Cape Town tomorrow to help with the repatriation of Willie’s body to bring him home to Aotearoa.
“We as a wh?nau are thankful to all Willie’s friends from around the world who have sent their condolences and support.
“Ng? mihi nui ki a koutou.”
Sky released a statement of their own paying tribute to Los’e: “We are very sorry to hear that Willie Los’e passed away last night in South Africa. Willie was a long-serving and highly-regarded member of the Sky Sport commentary team and the wider Sky family. Our thoughts and condolences are with Willie’s wh?nau at this time.”
Los’e had picked up many a fan through his work as a commentator and his death has unsurprisingly shocked the rugby world, with many taking to social media to pay tribute – including a number of past and present players, broadcasters and media personnel.
Manuia Lou Malaga Tokoua! Rest in love Uso ?????? pic.twitter.com/oN0mvxMm2Z
— Daniel Leo (@danleo82) September 8, 2022
Sad day for our Sky k?inga. Toka ? 'i he nonga moe fiem?lie a hotau Tamai Hevani Willie Lose. 'Ofa lahi atu ?? pic.twitter.com/gCJAi5D8Yq
— Taylah Johnson (@taylahtomokino) September 8, 2022
So sad to hear of this. What a great man Willie was. Always full of positivity. Should have been seeing him down in Capetown this weekend. May he RIP. https://t.co/avvscy4iEV
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) September 8, 2022
Rest in Peace Willie. An amazing man, warm hearted and loved by all. You will be missed. ?? https://t.co/iJkbrjTwYw
— Ben Ryan (@benjaminryan) September 8, 2022
— Tyla Nathan-Wong, OLY (@tylanathanwong) September 8, 2022
So sad to hear that our great mate Willie Los’e has passed away in Cape Town while preparing to call ?@WorldRugby7s?. So many great memories on the 7s commentary circuit. Another gone too soon. Thoughts are with his Family and many friends. RIP Willie
— Greg Clark (@greg_clarkie) September 8, 2022
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