Legendary Wigan Warriors coach’s heart stopped mid-speech but he carried on for half an hour

Sir Graham Lowe is a beloved figure on both sides of the planet.

The Kiwi however is best known for his success with Wigan in the 1980s.

Lowe took the reigns at Central Park in 1986 guiding the Cherry and Whites to the Championship in his first season prior to an epic World Club Challenge triumph over Manly in 1987.

He backed that up in 1988 with the Challenge Cup beginning the club’s eight reign as Challenge Cup holders which didn’t conclude until 1996 on the eve of Super League.

Lowe left the club in 1989 and is also known for coaching New Zealand and Queensland and he was knighted in 2019 for services to youth and education through his Lowie Foundation.

A man with a million stories to tell, one of which is quite astonishing.

Lowe was giving a speech and mid-way through his heart stopped and he collapsed. However, he got up and continued the rest of the presentation for another 20-30 minutes before being rushed to hospital in an ambulance where he required life saving surgery and a pacemaker.

‘I collapsed in front of about 250 people when I was talking at the Grant Millennium (Hotel) here in Auckland,’ he said on The Big Sports Breakfast radio program.

‘I was just feeling a little funny and the next thing, bang, I went straight down.

‘I found out since that my heart actually stopped. I finished the presentation, it went on for another 20 to 30 minutes, and then I went in an ambulance into hospital.

‘If I thought it had anything to do with my heart I would have stopped but I had no symptoms.

‘I had a few heart checks before and there were really no symptoms. I was under lights up on the stage and it got pretty hot.

‘I just started to feel a bit hot and the next minute, crash, and over I went. But anyhow, I’m here now, I’m home, am having a week’s rest and then get a new aortic valve, which is another marvellous procedure they can do.

‘Come next week, I will be right as rain.’

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