Jarrod Cunningham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jarrod Cunningham
Date of birth (1968-09-07)7 September 1968
Place of birth Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Date of death 23 July 2007(2007-07-23) (aged 38)
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 89 kg (196 lb)
School Havelock North High School
Occupation(s) Professional Rugby Player
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fullback
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
London Wasps
London Irish
Central Vikings
Hawke's Bay[1][2]



Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
12 (14)

Jarrod Cunningham (7 September 1968 – 23 July 2007) was a New Zealand rugby union fullback, who died from Motor Neurone Disease.

Born in Hawke's Bay, Cunningham played for his home town rugby club from 1990 to 1997, during which time he was trialed for the All Blacks in 1993, but was kept out of the side by Andrew Mehrtens. He played Super 12 rugby for Auckland Blues in 1996, and then Wellington Hurricanes in the 1997/98 season.

In July 1998, he joined English Rugby Premiership side London Irish, playing 82 games and scoring 18 tries and 848 points. In the 2000/1 season he was the leagues leading points scorer, with 324.[3]

After tests at Charing Cross Hospital, Cunningham was diagnosed with suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease), a form of Motor Neurone Disease in June 2002.[4] He immediately retired from professional rugby, and started the Jarrod Cunningham SALSA Foundation in March 2003 with the aim of providing hope, education and inspiration for fellow sufferers of ALS.[5] In November 2004 he was awarded the IRB Spirit of Rugby award in recognition of his work in raising awareness of the disease. He returned home to New Zealand in December 2004.

He died at his home on 23 July 2007.[6]


  1. ^ "Jarrod Cunningham passes away". Magpie Rugby. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Hawkes Bay rugby union website - 50+ Appearances Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Fatal disease hits Cunningham". BBC News. 8 July 2002. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Rugby Special | Jarrod Cunningham 'joke book' fund". BBC News. 10 November 2002. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "London Irish | Exiles mourn death of Cunningham". BBC News. 23 July 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 

External links[edit]