Rugby great Ken MacMillan passes away

Rugby great Ken MacMillan passes away

Former Counties Manukau Rugby representative and Junior All Black Ken MacMillan passed away on Monday at the age of 79.

The tough and uncompromising loose forward represented Onewhero, Papakura and Patumahoe during his playing days and was Steelers player number 120, making his debut in 1964 and captaining the side for a number of years.

He was also selected to the Junior All Blacks, New Zealand Colts and represented Manawatu briefly, while attending Massey University.

He began a long association with the Onewhero club during the 1960s when he purchased a sheep and beef farm at Wairamama.

MacMillan was named in the top 5 Counties players in the decade 1961-70 and was a truly gifted all-round sportsman, also representing Counties in cricket.

Once his playing days were done, he famously coached Onewhero first in the 1970s and again from 1989-94.

He would later represent the club on the committee and was president for a period, was always at working bees and was made a life member of the Onewhero club.

“Mac was a great coach and an even better bloke,” said friend and long-time Onewhero stalwart Brad Devlin.

“He didn’t take nonsense from anyone and had that very dry farming sense of humour that we loved up on the hill.

“Mac coached all of us young guys and then we all became great mates with Mac. The club and all the guys he coached are much better off for having the great man in our lives.”

MacMillan is survived by his wife Debra and his three children Lee, Angela and Susan, that he shared with his late wife Lyn.

His funeral will be held at Graham’s Funeral Home in Tuakau next Wednesday July 19 at 1pm.