Andy Haden



  • Reports that Haden has been sent home from hospital for palliative care

    Was a huge on field presence in my early rugby watching days. Probably one of the biggest names in his era.



  • @Crucial sad to hear



  • He was a different sort of character.

    Sad to hear.



  • Horrible news. What a guy.

    "Don't get mad, get even."



  • We need a downvote button for these threads.



  • Reading an article about him today, and there wasn't any mention of the Cavaliers tour. Haden was one of the main players behind the tour.



  • RIP Andy Haden.

    All Blacks great Andy Haden died in Auckland on Wednesday after a long illness. He was 69.
    
    A spokesperson for Haden’s family said the former lock died at around 7am on Wednesday at his home surrounded by his family.
    
    His funeral will be at 1.30pm on Monday at Eden Park, where he played so many memorable matches for Auckland and the All Blacks.
    
    Haden played 117 matches, including 41 tests, for the All Blacks in a long and distinguished international rugby career from 1972 to 1985.
    


  • RIP Andy Haden. Sad news.





  • RIP Andy Haden. Often loathed abroad for "that" lineout and loathed domestically as part of an Auckland team everyone loved to hate. But absolutely a giant of the game and a forward-thinking mover and shaker off it.



  • My Dad met him on the Cavaliers tour in SA

    Said he was a gent.

    My old man was out there on a Male Voice Choir Tour singing to White Only Audiences, Black Only Audiences, and Mixed Audiences. Was on the UN Blacklist (how ironic is that) for years.

    Called themselves the Jones Boys Choir to mitigate the backlash.



  • @raznomore said in Andy Haden:

    RIP Andy Haden. Often loathed abroad for "that" lineout and loathed domestically as part of an Auckland team everyone loved to hate. But absolutely a giant of the game and a forward-thinking mover and shaker off it.

    Actually, at the time the most loathed person seemed to be Quittenton the ref that gave the penalty. There are many reasons to loathe Quittenton but that really shouldn't have been one of them.



  • When I think of Him, I get an image of him and frank Oliver Locking together ,

    Not sure how many they played together , but that’s how I remember them both watching during my early years of high school,

    Good player , interesting character,

    RIP



  • @Catogrande said in Andy Haden:

    @raznomore said in Andy Haden:

    RIP Andy Haden. Often loathed abroad for "that" lineout and loathed domestically as part of an Auckland team everyone loved to hate. But absolutely a giant of the game and a forward-thinking mover and shaker off it.

    Actually, at the time the most loathed person seemed to be Quittenton the ref that gave the penalty. There are many reasons to loathe Quittenton but that really shouldn't have been one of them.

    The shorts?



  • @booboo Primary reason. Backed up by an overly authoritarian refereeing style and an arrogant demeanour. Also just not a very good ref.



  • @Catogrande said in Andy Haden:

    @booboo Primary reason. Backed up by an overly authoritarian refereeing style and an arrogant demeanour. Also just not a very good ref.

    Got that call right though



  • Really sad to read this.

    Along with Frank Oliver, one of my favourite players of that era.



  • Back in the eighties I was coaching a team of 14 year olds at the Kelston division of the Ponsonby club. One week we were invited to the city clubs indoor training 'Tan' were we were told a couple of the senior team would train with the boys. The senior players who ran our training that night were Beegee Williams, Maurice Trapp and Andy Haden. Trapp was brilliant making technicalities and set piece seem exciting to the boys (mostly PI boys who would rather wait in the backs for a run than scrum and ruck) and Andy taught them a few dark arts like how to encourage a player to let the ball go in a maul using elbows to the ribs and showed the props how to subtly stand on the oppositions locks foot to disrupt his jump. They turned our forward pack into a machine that night and we went on to win the comp. Andy made a point of watching us play a couple of times after that and was always approachable, supportive and made time to talk to the boys. A giant figure in the history of our club in many ways. Intelligent, demanding of standards and ruthless on the field.



  • @booboo said in Andy Haden:

    @Catogrande said in Andy Haden:

    @booboo Primary reason. Backed up by an overly authoritarian refereeing style and an arrogant demeanour. Also just not a very good ref.

    Got that call right though

    But did he? He maintained at the time he penalised another incident.



  • @Daffy-Jaffy said in Andy Haden:

    Back in the eighties I was coaching a team of 14 year olds at the Kelston division of the Ponsonby club. One week we were invited to the city clubs indoor training 'Tan' were we were told a couple of the senior team would train with the boys. The senior players who ran our training that night were Beegee Williams, Maurice Trapp and Andy Haden. Trapp was brilliant making technicalities and set piece seem exciting to the boys (mostly PI boys who would rather wait in the backs for a run than scrum and ruck) and Andy taught them a few dark arts like how to encourage a player to let the ball go in a maul using elbows to the ribs and showed the props how to subtly stand on the oppositions locks foot to disrupt his jump. They turned our forward pack into a machine that night and we went on to win the comp. Andy made a point of watching us play a coupe of times after that and was always approachable, supportive and made time to talk to the boys. A giant figure in the history of our club in many ways. Intelligent, demanding of standards and ruthless on the field.

    At one point Ponies could field Haden and Pole. Not many international teams could deal with that lineout!



  • @pakman plus with Maurice Trapp at Number 8 that was a hell of a club level lineout.



  • @Catogrande said in Andy Haden:

    @booboo said in Andy Haden:

    @Catogrande said in Andy Haden:

    @booboo Primary reason. Backed up by an overly authoritarian refereeing style and an arrogant demeanour. Also just not a very good ref.

    Got that call right though

    But did he? He maintained at the time he penalised another incident.

    As I say. Made the right call: Geoff Wheel jumping off Frank Oliver's shoulder. Right call.



  • @booboo said in Andy Haden:

    @Catogrande said in Andy Haden:

    @booboo said in Andy Haden:

    @Catogrande said in Andy Haden:

    @booboo Primary reason. Backed up by an overly authoritarian refereeing style and an arrogant demeanour. Also just not a very good ref.

    Got that call right though

    But did he? He maintained at the time he penalised another incident.

    As I say. Made the right call: Geoff Wheel jumping off Frank Oliver's shoulder. Right call.

    Yep. Funny how they keep going on about Haden. He wasn't even involved.

    Met him many times when I was a kid, he seemed huge, both physically and in demeanour. RIP Andy.



  • @booboo said in Andy Haden:

    @Catogrande said in Andy Haden:

    @booboo said in Andy Haden:

    @Catogrande said in Andy Haden:

    @booboo Primary reason. Backed up by an overly authoritarian refereeing style and an arrogant demeanour. Also just not a very good ref.

    Got that call right though

    But did he? He maintained at the time he penalised another incident.

    As I say. Made the right call: Geoff Wheel jumping off Frank Oliver's shoulder. Right call.

    Not in Wales he didn’t. Just ask. 😤



  • I think Haden was the first " back seat of the bus" All Black that I became aware of.
    In the 70s and 80s the ABs actually changed personnel quite a bit, or maybe the dearth of tests created that impression, yet Haden seemed to have his name inked in. Perhaps it was that the forward selection contention always revolved around who would partner Haden.

    He always was the cornerstone of our lineout and the tight forwards. Oliver, Higginson and Whetton(?) came and went but not Haden. (can anyone remember his other locking partners?)

    Just so dependable and important to our team in an era when forward play dominated games and tactics.

    He was portrayed in the media as quite controversial and cottoned on that to receive money for his book about rugby, amateur status of rugby players was religiously upheld in those days, he stated his occupation as an author. This drama played out in frontpage headlines and first tv news story for seemingly months. Immediately after that he was embroiled in more front-page stories because of a " sponsorship " with Laser boots.

    He was the subject of much idle daily conversation between blokes for ages during this time. Courts and Rugby Union meetings dominated the media.

    Then he managed Rachel Hunter and immediately became a dead set, immortal legend!

    A forerunner for a rugby player earning a quid from the game.

    RIP the source of our lineout pill for a decade.



  • @Siam There was a story that his passport had "Rugby player" as his occupation. Dunno if it was true. Great player and one I always looked forward to being unavailable when England played NZ.



  • @Catogrande said in Andy Haden:

    @Siam There was a story that his passport had "Rugby player" as his occupation. Dunno if it was true. Great player and one I always looked forward to being unavailable when England played NZ.

    Think the amateur-days NZRFU used to get a bit pissed off with him as he was paid for writing about rugby. He simply told them he was a journalist by profession and used to wind-up the NZRFU a fair bit IIRC.



  • @Victor-Meldrew Yeah, he was certainly a character alright.



  • This Tribute from the Ponsonby club website -
    The Ponsonby District Rugby Club sadly acknowledges the passing of one of the great All Blacks, Andy Haden, who died aged 69 on 29 July 2020 at Auckland. Haden had been in failing health for some time due to his battle with cancer.

    While Andy Haden was many things to different people, he is proudly remembered by his one and only Auckland club as a great contributor over a prolonged period, and a staunch Ponsonby advocate. He was, after all, the man whose response to an inaccurate story that he was transferring to East Coast Bays was: ‘There are two types of rugby player in Auckland – those who play for Ponsonby and those who wish they did.’

    Haden was one of those who did. His club career lasted 16 years, from 1971 to 1986, and in that time he was instrumental in the first Gallaher Shield win for 22 years, in 1976, and then six more in the following decade. He was the first player to win seven Gallaher Shields – the trophy was first awarded in 1922 - and the first to win seven championships since Bubs Tyler of City in the Edwardian era. George Nicholson, a contemporary of Tyler’s, won eight championships with City and Ponsonby. By the time Haden had finished, he was one of a small, elite group to have played 100 matches for his club (the figure is around 200), for his province (157) and for his country (117). In a fluky coincidence, Haden was just one week older than his great friend who achieved exactly the same treble with almost identical numbers, Sir Bryan Williams.

    When Rugby News carried a story in early 1971 that Alistair Haddon, a promising young lock, was transferring from Manawatu to Auckland, a few clubs began sniffing the wind. Haddon never turned up, but Ponsonby was glad that Haden did. His arrival at the club has been recounted many times: how his car was broken into, and the spare tyre, jack and radio removed as he attended his first training run. He mentioned it at the club on his second night, and suggested the neighbourhood was perhaps a little rough for his taste and he may look elsewhere.

    ‘Don’t be too hasty,’ he was told. ‘See what happens.’

    What happened was that he returned to his car that evening to find the missing items magically back in their usual places. Ever the pragmatist, Haden didn’t bother to lock his car again.

    His on-field introduction was similar. In his first trial he found himself being obstructed at every lineout. It took a while before he realised the obstructionist was Roly Rowlatt – his locking partner! Roly’s brother, John, was in the opposition and Roly figured neither would have their chances hurt if this whipper-snapper didn’t look good. Owen Donaldson took all four locks aside before the second trial, gave each the same lecture on fighting and team play, and let them get on with it. Haden won the berth alongside Peter Whiting, who was just about to make his test debut and had not been asked to front at the trials.

    In 1972 Haden won selection for the New Zealand Juniors tour of Australia, dominated the lineouts in Auckland’s successful Ranfurly Shield challenge at Whangarei, and was chosen as one of many young players for the 1972-73 All Black tour of Great Britain. While never threatening a test place, he learned a lot on that tour which stood him in good stead later. In late 1974, disillusioned by the attitude he found in Auckland officialdom, he took a sabbatical in Europe. As part of his preparation for this sojourn, he and Trecha brought their wedding forward and the couple left for what proved to be 18 months away.

    By 1976, when he returned to try and win a place in the All Black team for South Africa, he was a different proposition to the slightly callow youth of 1974. Now harder, physically and mentally, he was the outstanding lock at the trials (after coming into the early match as a replacement) but wasn’t chosen for the tour. If it was a punishment for his time away, the All Blacks suffered. Whiting suffered more than anyone, and would have loved his clubmate beside him as he took on the South African big men.

    Haden showed just what the All Blacks were missing with a dominant domestic season in 1976, was a shoo-in to be named Player of the Year, and was equally certain to be chosen for the tour of Argentina undertaken by a new group of players – none of the South African tourists were eligible for selection. He became one of the most influential players and, with Whiting retiring, was the obvious choice for test selection in 1977.

    That marked the start of Haden’s years of dominance. To beat the All Blacks in the next eight years, one had to beat Haden first – easy to say but very hard to do. He scarcely missed a test and sometimes hardly missed a tour game. His lineout technique, developed over time to combat obstruction, was almost impossible for opponents to nullify as he started outside the line, then leapt toward the centre line and forward, thus getting a clean jump in front of his marker almost every time. If the marker presumed anything, a delayed or lobbed throw was certain ball.

    He demanded a lot of his throwers, reckoning that having the best lineout forwards in the world was useless without the feeders hitting their targets, and New Zealand was seldom matched, let alone bettered, during his era. For Auckland and Ponsonby, he applied the same skills with the same dedication and contributed hugely to the success enjoyed by both teams.

    While the lineout he left unaided to finish in an untidy heap on the Cardiff Arms turf will be replayed ad nauseum, it was actually an insignificant moment in the game – the referee, Roger Quittendon, never even saw his dive. If anyone thought that was some concocted excuse, All Black halfback Dave Loveridge never saw it either; his focus was on where he expected the ball to be delivered from, and he didn’t realise Haden almost landed on his right foot. The TV cameras and about a zillion Welshmen did see it and some have managed to let it go, but not many. Haden’s contribution to the 1978 Grand Slam was far greater than that one incident, but the good stuff tends to be forgotten in the aftermath of the media beat-up

    Haden and Frank Oliver, his locking mate on the day and the guy who was actually pushed in that infamous lineout, reminded the Welsh of the incident two years later by rearranging the ornate cake prepared for the 1980 Centenary dinner. The cake, decorated as a rugby field and with a lineout between teams in red and black, was spotted by the pair – who gently tipped numbers two and four on the All Black side onto the grass. Nothing like that had happened on the big day, much to everyone’s relief, and the humour wasn’t missed.

    In the dying stages of the 1981 test against South Africa at Eden Park, as Allan Hewson was lining up that decisive kick, Stu Wilson was standing next to Haden. ‘You don’t have to chase this one, big boy,’ Wilson said, knowing what his Wellington team-mate was capable of. Haden wanted to believe him but chased anyway, because that was the way he played. Assume nothing, never stop working.

    If Haden’s dive in 1978 had no effect on the outcome of the Welsh match, his storming recovery of Hewson’s opening kickoff in fourth Lions test of 1983 basically ended the contest then and there. The Lions, 0-3 down in the series, waved the white flag after perhaps ten seconds of play, and crashed to a record 6-38 thrashing. Fittingly, Haden scored one of the six tries in what was an overpowering individual display.

    For all his on-field skills, and few in the world could match him, Andy Haden probably made his greatest contribution – certainly to the All Blacks - off the paddock. Fluent in French from his time there in the mid-70s, he acted as team interpreter on two tours and smoothed over a lot of potentially disruptive situations. He became Minister of Lurks and Perks, proving a tough negotiator on behalf of the team. He believed in a fair reward for a player’s effort, something administrators certainly didn’t agree with, and did a great deal to ensure he and his team-mates got it.

    Despite being portrayed as such, Haden was never a Me-first guy. On the contrary, he was the perfect shop steward, wanting a fair deal for the players to distribute equally. He never took more than his share, be it one-fifteenth or one-thirtieth, even if he was the guy earning the money. He held those who did reward senior players more generously than newcomers in contempt.

    He was one of the first to storm the bastion of amateurism and make some headway. Before Haden, dissidents could simply be ignored. Haden was too big for that; as his reaction to the car break-in all those years before showed, he felt barriers needed breaking down, not erecting. If someone tried to close a door on him, he shoved a size 13 in the gap and then kicked it open again. He was, at all times, a team man and those who earned his greatest respect were similar individuals. Guy Smith and Peter Fatialofa, two Ponsonby team-mates, were among his favourite players for their total dedication to the cause and effort given at all times. Fatialofa and Robert Scanlan, among many, repaid that loyalty, chairing Haden off Eden Park following the 1983 Gallaher Shield win.

    His career ended just before the first World Cup was played; it was a tournament he had been a vocal proponent of and he was delighted to see it finally coming to fruition. Professionalism, which he knew was inevitable 20 years before it happened, was also too late to directly benefit the man who once listed his occupation as ‘Itinerant Rugby Player’, and ambition as ‘Becoming rugby’s first millionaire’. Players of today, however, should spare Haden a thought or two each time they ink another contract, because he did much to make professional rugby a certainty.

    In retirement he occasionally made ill-considered comments that angered people, but even if there were consequences to be faced Haden was never repentant. He’d said it, he’d deal with it, life moved on. At other times he was a very perceptive critic; some of the passages in his first book, Boots’n’All, are as relevant now as when they were written in the mid-1980s. As he once said when Ponsonby was in disagreement with the Auckland Union – not that rare an occurrence – ‘A salmon that doesn’t swim upstream never spawns.’ Haden was happy to swim upstream.

    Andrew Maxwell Haden, born at Wanganui on 26 September 1950, was a terrific rugby player, one of the giants of his generation. He was also a dedicated rugby man who gave great value to the game. He respected, and was respected by, his rivals. Administrators may have held dissenting opinions, but that didn’t matter. One thing Haden never forgot was that the game was all about the players.

    His last public rugby appearance was as MC of Ponsonby’s luncheon late in 2019, to celebrate the club’s 50th Premier title. He was funny, caustic at times, witty and very much a part of the whole event. He was, in short, exactly what Ponsonby people remembered him to be.

    The Ponsonby District Rugby Club wishes to acknowledge one of its greats and extends its condolences to Andy’s family: Trecha, their son Christopher and daughter Laura, at this difficult time.


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