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Tribute to a fallen Hero

Mon 24 Feb 2014 In: True Stories View at Wayback View at NDHA

On Saturday Gav Hyde wore a black armband as he marched with the NZ Falcons rugby team in the Auckland Pride Parade. It was to remember one of his Heroes team mates, Hal Tainui, who he says was a stubborn, determined, bitchy and beautiful man: Hal Tainui “In 1998 We were not only battling the issue of gay men playing rugby, but internally we were dealing with playing contact sport with our mates that were HIV+ This was at a time when people were still dying from AIDS and sometimes dying quickly … It was not comfortable. Hal was a damn good rugby player and had played age grade for the Waikato Union. Hal was HIV+. He was very angry. For his own reasons in 1998 he found a rugby team to be a part of. He was not an easy person to get along with, being one of the most stubborn, determined and even bitchy people I have ever met. He was also a beautiful man. In late October 1998 we played the Krazy Knights in Wellington and in a close match we won. Hal converted a late try to win the match 17-15. I remember in November that year at an end of season BBQ Hal gave everyone a laminated A4 photocopy of the two articles covering the match: In an unspoken way he was asking us to never forget what I believe was the happiest time of his life. Within a short year or two he deteriorated and died. He was and always will be my rugby brother. At the end of this year I and some of the other Heroes will be putting up a trophy for the NZ Falcons in his honour.”You can follow the NZ Falcons as they prepare for the Bingham Cup in Sydney in August here The Falcons at the Pride Parade     Gav Hyde, with GayNZ.com - 24th February 2014

Credit: Gav Hyde, with GayNZ.com

First published: Monday, 24th February 2014 - 10:09am

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