Aaron Hopa





  • I can recall this day 20 years ago vividly, and know exactly where I was when I heard the tragic news.

    One of my favourite Waikato players at the time, and sometimes my rubbish collector. I was standing behind him in the queue at the local supermarket about a week before his death. He bought some vanilla ice cream amongst other items. It's funny the things you remember.

    In today's Waikato Times

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  • @mikedogz

    It’s weird reading on a phone because you can only see Blackadder in the photo. I’m guessing Hopa is on the other side and that that isn’t a fuck up?



  • @gt12 said in Aaron Hopa:

    @mikedogz

    It’s weird reading on a phone because you can only see Blackadder in the photo. I’m guessing Hopa is on the other side and that that isn’t a fuck up?

    Yep - both are in the photo.

    alt text

    That's a really well put together article and a great/sad read. Rhys Duggan sums it up well about there being many what if's. Hard to believe that it's been 20 years.

    There’s a world where Aaron Hopa plays World Cup rugby for the All Blacks, takes a contract in Japan and, one day, buys a house at the beach with his wife Tracey. Maybe he runs a fishing charter or speaks te reo, like Koro expected him to pick up, like some little mokopuna, too.

    “He’d be skinny with a big gut,” Rhys Duggan says, with a laugh. “Long legs. I don’t think you’d get the mullet off him, a few grey hairs. He’d still be a big man, that’s for sure. There’s a lot of what ifs, aye. What if he did this, or did that. What would his kids be like?”

    Muir and Blackadder both admit they would have played far less rep rugby if Hopa hadn’t died. “I think about that,” Muir says. “He would have been a legend of All Black rugby, don’t get me wrong. A great All Black.”

    Blackadder agrees. Like every other ex-teammate I spoke to, he still thinks of ‘Hops’ often; the man and the rugby player. “Their story is the ultimate New Zealand [story],” he says of Hopa and Frame.



  • @mikedogz Hoooo, boy, it sure is dusty in here.





  • @mokey said in Aaron Hopa:

    @mikedogz Hoooo, boy, it sure is dusty in here.

    So I wasn't the only one.

    Interesting to read about the ritual when friends/teammates go past Aaron's gravesite in Gordonton. My friends and I used to stop there occasionally if we were driving to a Waikato game in Auckland.



  • Him passing away pretty much launched Troy Flavells career if I remember rightly.



  • @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @mikedogz said in Aaron Hopa:

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/sports/08-12-2018/when-a-chief-dies-the-aaron-hopa-story/?fbclid=IwAR0G4ECktoxlHx_lDHom_b6fqiW8BH3bDZrjIf3b-ctiaDJFrz4FI8ktzNU

    That’s probably the best article to appear on the spinoff .

    I read it this morning. Gets a bit dusty towards the end. Very well written.



  • @mn5 said in Aaron Hopa:

    Him passing away pretty much launched Troy Flavells career if I remember rightly.

    I don't think that's correct, Flavell was around in 1997 but was caught up in the eye gouging incident which impacted on his early career - he first made the ABs in 2000?



  • That is a brilliantly written heartbreaking story.

    Have to look at a new vacuum cleaner, as the current one clearly isnt doing its bloody job!



  • @nepia said in Aaron Hopa:

    @mn5 said in Aaron Hopa:

    Him passing away pretty much launched Troy Flavells career if I remember rightly.

    I don't think that's correct, Flavell was around in 1997 but was caught up in the eye gouging incident which impacted on his early career - he first made the ABs in 2000?

    True. Eye gouged my old classmate Steve Skinnon



  • Man that is so sad on so many levels. The guy had the rugby world at his feet, could have impacted our push at RWC 99 and gone on to have a great life with the woman he loved. What a waste



  • @taniwharugby said in Aaron Hopa:

    That is a brilliantly written heartbreaking story.

    Have to look at a new vacuum cleaner, as the current one clearly isnt doing its bloody job!

    Considering all their other stories about rugby are mostly sneering it’s a surprise that one slipped through the cracks .

    There’s been a few Wellington players who were rubbish collectors over the years , back in the day when then collected it from your back door it would have been an awesome way to get fit .



  • @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @taniwharugby said in Aaron Hopa:

    That is a brilliantly written heartbreaking story.

    Have to look at a new vacuum cleaner, as the current one clearly isnt doing its bloody job!

    Considering all their other stories about rugby are mostly sneering it’s a surprise that one slipped through the cracks .

    There’s been a few Wellington players who were rubbish collectors over the years , back in the day when then collected it from your back door it would have been an awesome way to get fit .

    Greatest of them all being the late JC of course.



  • @mn5 said in Aaron Hopa:

    @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @taniwharugby said in Aaron Hopa:

    That is a brilliantly written heartbreaking story.

    Have to look at a new vacuum cleaner, as the current one clearly isnt doing its bloody job!

    Considering all their other stories about rugby are mostly sneering it’s a surprise that one slipped through the cracks .

    There’s been a few Wellington players who were rubbish collectors over the years , back in the day when then collected it from your back door it would have been an awesome way to get fit .

    Greatest of them all being the late JC of course.

    Yeah , imagine doing the oriental bay run ? Carrying two cans down five flights of stairs and back again . Chris Tregaskis was a rubbishman too and I think Frank Bunce?



  • @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @mn5 said in Aaron Hopa:

    @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @taniwharugby said in Aaron Hopa:

    That is a brilliantly written heartbreaking story.

    Have to look at a new vacuum cleaner, as the current one clearly isnt doing its bloody job!

    Considering all their other stories about rugby are mostly sneering it’s a surprise that one slipped through the cracks .

    There’s been a few Wellington players who were rubbish collectors over the years , back in the day when then collected it from your back door it would have been an awesome way to get fit .

    Greatest of them all being the late JC of course.

    Yeah , imagine doing the oriental bay run ? Carrying two cans down five flights of stairs and back again . Chris Tregaskis was a rubbishman too and I think Frank Bunce?

    Chris Tregaskis was a builder I think and even in the amateur days an absolute monster.

    I prefer a more leisurely stroll on ori bay, you can do much more perving at walking pace.



  • @mn5 said in Aaron Hopa:

    @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @mn5 said in Aaron Hopa:

    @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @taniwharugby said in Aaron Hopa:

    That is a brilliantly written heartbreaking story.

    Have to look at a new vacuum cleaner, as the current one clearly isnt doing its bloody job!

    Considering all their other stories about rugby are mostly sneering it’s a surprise that one slipped through the cracks .

    There’s been a few Wellington players who were rubbish collectors over the years , back in the day when then collected it from your back door it would have been an awesome way to get fit .

    Greatest of them all being the late JC of course.

    Yeah , imagine doing the oriental bay run ? Carrying two cans down five flights of stairs and back again . Chris Tregaskis was a rubbishman too and I think Frank Bunce?

    Chris Tregaskis was a builder I think and even in the amateur days an absolute monster.

    I prefer a more leisurely stroll on ori bay, you can do much more perving at walking pace.

    I worked with him a couple of years ago, he’s a tiler now. His nickname trash because he worked on the bins for a while.



  • @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @mn5 said in Aaron Hopa:

    @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @mn5 said in Aaron Hopa:

    @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @taniwharugby said in Aaron Hopa:

    That is a brilliantly written heartbreaking story.

    Have to look at a new vacuum cleaner, as the current one clearly isnt doing its bloody job!

    Considering all their other stories about rugby are mostly sneering it’s a surprise that one slipped through the cracks .

    There’s been a few Wellington players who were rubbish collectors over the years , back in the day when then collected it from your back door it would have been an awesome way to get fit .

    Greatest of them all being the late JC of course.

    Yeah , imagine doing the oriental bay run ? Carrying two cans down five flights of stairs and back again . Chris Tregaskis was a rubbishman too and I think Frank Bunce?

    Chris Tregaskis was a builder I think and even in the amateur days an absolute monster.

    I prefer a more leisurely stroll on ori bay, you can do much more perving at walking pace.

    I worked with him a couple of years ago, he’s a tiler now. His nickname trash because he worked on the bins for a while.

    Not because kinda sounds like Tregaskis?



  • @booboo said in Aaron Hopa:

    @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @mn5 said in Aaron Hopa:

    @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @mn5 said in Aaron Hopa:

    @jegga said in Aaron Hopa:

    @taniwharugby said in Aaron Hopa:

    That is a brilliantly written heartbreaking story.

    Have to look at a new vacuum cleaner, as the current one clearly isnt doing its bloody job!

    Considering all their other stories about rugby are mostly sneering it’s a surprise that one slipped through the cracks .

    There’s been a few Wellington players who were rubbish collectors over the years , back in the day when then collected it from your back door it would have been an awesome way to get fit .

    Greatest of them all being the late JC of course.

    Yeah , imagine doing the oriental bay run ? Carrying two cans down five flights of stairs and back again . Chris Tregaskis was a rubbishman too and I think Frank Bunce?

    Chris Tregaskis was a builder I think and even in the amateur days an absolute monster.

    I prefer a more leisurely stroll on ori bay, you can do much more perving at walking pace.

    I worked with him a couple of years ago, he’s a tiler now. His nickname trash because he worked on the bins for a while.

    Not because kinda sounds like Tregaskis?

    double entendre?


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