Tribute to Ken Going

ken going 1Ken Going pass away at his home in Maromaku on Wed, 6 Aug 2008, surrounded by family, after losing his battle with cancer.

Since I grew up in Maromaku and knew Ken since I was kid I thought I would do a tribute to him. I have gone though what I could find on the net and have put together a summary of what is out there. He will be missed very much by the Maromaku, Mid-Northern, Northland and Rugby communities.


Ken Going, who passed away during the week after a long illness, was a tremendous fullback for Northland and New Zealand Maori. Ken wore an All Blacks jersey on the 1974 tour to Ireland although he never played a test. With hindsight, he and his bothers Sid and Brian, could have been as magnificent internationally as they were at provincial level.

Together the Goings had more than 30 named moves from set play, all of them dazzling, intricate and successful.

Their sleight of hand, and Houdini box of tricks, including a triple scissors, was developed on the front lawn at the family farm in Maromaku. Eventually their mother stopping planting shrubs there, although Sid recalls she was never quite got used to the odd window being broken.

With Northland, the Goings sometimes fed off scraps of possession. It would have been a brave coach to pick all three, but Ken, Brian and Sid behind a powerful All Blacks pack could have revolutionised test rugby.

Peters Pays Tribute To Ken Going on

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says he is saddened at the passing of former All Black and New Zealand Maori player Ken Going.
“Ken was well known, and highly respected, by all those who follow rugby; not just in Northland, but throughout New Zealand,” said Mr Peters.

“There are a few former players around the world who will also remember Ken; quite likely with a wince in memory of a tackle that stopped them in their tracks.

“From the early 60s through to the mid 70s, Ken epitomised what Northland rugby was all about. He was fast, exciting, skilful, and direct.

“There was plenty of Kauri in Ken too. He could be rugged on defence, and able to look after himself when the ref wasn’t any help.
“Ken was one of the provincial greats of New Zealand rugby. He personified the approach that has made our brand of game famous and feared throughout the world.

“Ken will be missed and my thoughts are with his family as they mourn his passing.”

Northern Advocate Article by Lindy Laird

Going’s oldest son Darrell spoke of the privilege and thrills of having the father he had. The church rocked with laughter as Mr Going described the time his father told his then two small sons – “weighing about 60 kilos between us” – to slam a gate shut on a charging, full grown steer. The boys ended up with the gate on top of them and their father had time to give them a “filthy” look before chasing the bolting animal and crash tackling it.

“He was the stuff of legends,” Mr Going said. “We had a great upbringing and dad was always in the middle of the action with us kids.”

His younger brother Brian also had the audience laughing as he told of Ken’s infamous ability to always be late, to have the most untidy fishing tackle box, his rattly, fume-filled old Datsun, his stubbornness – and his supportiveness, strength, dedication, determination, decency.

Brian sent a message to the Mid Northern premier players who were at the funeral before playing the Joe Morgan Memorial Trophy final at Okara Park that afternoon.

“KT was a rugby nutter,” he said. “He would have loved to see you play today.”

The last of the tributes came from Ken Going himself, in words he penned before he died, read by his widow Patricia.

He thanked Patricia for their years of happiness and undying love. KT wrote that this time he had the ball again and, as he was always able to in life, his loved ones were there to carry him across that line and help him put the ball down.

Gracious and humble, Ken Going was a true gentleman to the end, and his last words were not so much a farewell as a thank you.

Comments are closed.