Billy Guyton: Shock as former Blues scrum-half dies, aged 33

Adam Kyriacou
Billy Guyton

Billy Guyton in action for the Blues in a Super Rugby match against the Brumbies.

The game was left in shock on Monday when it was confirmed by the Tasman Rugby Union that former Blues scrum-half Billy Guyton had sadly died.

Guyton, who also played for the Crusaders and Hurricanes in Super Rugby as well as Tasman, North Otago and the Maori All Blacks, was 33 years of age.

He retired from playing in 2018 due to concussion symptoms, after making the majority of his Super Rugby appearances at the Blues during 2016 and 2017.

Much-loved member of Tasman

Guyton began his provincial career at North Otago in 2010 before turning out 52 times for Tasman from 2013 to 2017 in the then-named ITM Cup (NPC).

“It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of Billy Guyton (a 52 game player, and recent coach of our FPC Mako team),” read Tasman’s statement.

“Billy was a much-loved member of our whole Tasman Rugby Union team and had a positive impact on those he played alongside and coached.

“Billy has been a major contributor to the development of women’s rugby across our Tasman region.

“Our condolences and aroha are extended to Billy’s whanau, friends and colleagues during this sad time.”

Other teams he represented offered their own words of condolence on Monday, with the Blues putting out a statement on their website and social pages.

“We are shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Billy Guyton… we cannot imagine the heartache his family and friends must be feeling at this difficult time,” it read.

“To everyone who knew Billy, we send them our sincere sympathy.”

The Crusaders wrote: “The whole Crusaders whanau is saddened to hear of the passing of Billy Guyton.

“Billy was Crusader #187 and also played Super Rugby for the Blues and Hurricanes.

“He appeared in more than 50 games for Tasman Makos, was named in the Maori All Blacks for their 2016 international tour and more recently coached with the Tasman Mako’s FPC team.

“Our condolences are with Billy’s whanau, friends and colleagues at this sad time. Once a Crusader, always a Crusader.”

All of Guyton’s former teams who posted messages ended by adding hotlines for counsellors for people who need to talk.

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