Max Brito, the player paralyzed during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, has died

Max Brito, the player paralyzed during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, has died

MAX BRITO, who became a quadriplegic during the group match of the 1995 Rugby World Cup between Côte d’Ivoire and Tonga, has died at the age of 54, his family announced on Tuesday.

A dashing 27-year-old winger with dreadlocks, he arrived at the tournament in South Africa full of hope for himself and his team and secured his starting spot for the Tonga clash due to his brother’s injury.

But minutes into the game at Rustenburg, he collapsed under a stinging tackle from flanker Inoke Afeaki and was crushed under an avalanche of bodies. Two of his vertebrae were broken.

“The Brito family, their children Mike and Anthony, announce with sadness the death of Max Brito, on Monday December 19 at 6:30 p.m. (1730 GMT),” read the family statement on the website of French club Biscarrosse Olympique Rugby.

“Max made his last journey with dignity and without suffering.”

Brito, despite having undergone several operations following the incident, could only move his head and upper body and had limited movement in his arms.

His wife left him and he was increasingly embittered because although some came to his aid financially – New Zealand legend Jonah Lomu auctioned off his 1995 World Cup All Black shirt – many didn’t.

“I have been in this condition for 12 years now. I have come to the end of my nerves,” Brito told Le Monde newspaper in 2007.

“If one day I fall seriously ill, and if I have the strength and the courage to kill myself, then I will.

“This damn handicap. It’s my curse. It kills me and I will never accept it. I can’t live with this and it’s going to be with me for the rest of my life.

Rugby Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella’s exclusive analysis on URC interpros and Champions Cup clashes in December

Become a member

However, over time, Brito came to terms with his fate.

“I would say there were 13 or 14 years of fog where I didn’t know where I was,” he told British newspaper i in 2020.

“The accident was very violent. But after that, I had a spiritual enlightenment and I understood that I had to accept my handicap.

“And from then on, all doors were open.”

– ©AFP 2022

#Max #Brito #player #paralyzed #Rugby #World #Cup #died

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.