Former All Blacks captain Sir Wilson Whineray has died in Auckland, the New Zealand Rugby Union announced on Monday.
Whineray played 77 All Blacks matches including 32 Tests, and he captained the side 67 times - a massive number of appearances considering the All Blacks played only two or three Test matches a year.
Whineray passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at Auckland Hospital where he had been for the past month. He was 77.
"Today is a very sad day. We have lost one of New Zealand's great heroes and for the rugby community we have lost a much-loved patron and champion of rugby," said New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) Chairman Mike Eagle.
"Regarded as one of the great All Blacks legends, Sir Wilson also made significant contributions to the community through his work with sport, charities and business.
"We extend our condolences to Lady Elisabeth and to their family as they remember a much-loved husband, a father and a grandfather," Eagle said.
Whineray was 21 when he made his All Blacks Test debut in May 1957 against Australia in Sydney. He was quickly elevated to the All Blacks captaincy for the 1958 Series against Australia. He was just 23 and for a long time, he was the youngest All Blacks captain.
He received his Knighthood in 1994 when he was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to sport and business.
In 2003 he was named Patron of the New Zealand Rugby Union and four years later became just the fourth person to be inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.