Home Australia Heartbreaking tributes are pouring in for the football star who died aged 25 due to a mysterious “medical event”, leaving behind his twin daughters.

Heartbreaking tributes are pouring in for the football star who died aged 25 due to a mysterious “medical event”, leaving behind his twin daughters.

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The rugby world is in mourning after the death of Maori All Black Connor Garden-Bachop following a 'medical event' in New Zealand

The rugby community has come together to pay tribute to Highlanders Super Rugby star and Māori All Blacks player Connor Garden-Bachop, who died on Monday aged 25.

Garden-Bachop, a father of twin girls, reportedly died from a medical problem at a relative’s home in Christchurch on Monday night.

The young footballer, an outside back, was part of the Highlanders’ Super Rugby squad for the 2024 season.

But the Highlanders announced last week that several players would not return to the team next year, including Garden-Bachop.

Just a few days ago, Garden-Bachop took to Instagram to thank the Highlanders for an “unforgettable five years” with the club.

The rugby world is in mourning after the death of Maori All Black Connor Garden-Bachop following a ‘medical event’ in New Zealand

Garden-Bachop played for the Māori All Blacks in 2022 and played for the Highlanders in Super Rugby Pacific

Garden-Bachop played for the Māori All Blacks in 2022 and played for the Highlanders in Super Rugby Pacific

‘Thank you @highlandersteam for five unforgettable years. Thanks to everyone in the south for making me feel at home, and thanks to the guys with whom I have had the honor of sharing the court, it has been a pleasure, I will miss you all. Until next time,” she wrote.

The New Zealand Māori Rugby Board, the Highlanders, Wellington Rugby and the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association issued a combined statement on Monday.

“On behalf of the entire rugby community, the Highlanders, Wellington Rugby, New Zealand Rugby, New Zealand Māori Rugby Board and the New Zealand Rugby Players Association we wish to extend our deepest thoughts and love to the Garden-Bachop family,” the statement said. read.

‘Connor passed away on Monday following a medical event, and rugby’s collective focus at this time is to support his family. All of rugby walks alongside the Garden-Bachop family at this time and we are collectively united in our grief.

‘Connor was a fantastic young player, an exciting New Zealand age representative and a proud Māori All Black. Wherever he played, he was a committed and popular teammate with infectious energy and someone who could light up the room.

‘Most importantly, he was a loving father to his twin daughters, a brother, a son and loved immensely by all who knew him.

“NZR, the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board, the Highlanders, Wellington Rugby and the Players’ Association are providing support and we ask that the Garden-Bachop family’s privacy be respected.”

The statement also included a song for the young player in both Maori and English.

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Football fans have also taken to social media to post tributes.

‘Indescribably, incredibly tragic. Thoughts and love for his two poor daughters, I can’t even begin to imagine,” one fan posted on X.

‘Heartbreaking news about Connor Garden-Bachop. Only 25. Two children. Life can be cruel sometimes. May he rest in peace and may his family find peace,” said another.

‘Rest in peace Connor Garden-Bachop. I loved watching that man run in the open space. Destroyed by his family. My thoughts are with all of them. “Everyone please avoid them,” another posted, a third posted.

‘It’s very sad to hear about Connor Garden-Bachop. Only 25 years old. My heart goes out to Stephen and the entire Garden-Bachop clan. Especially after Mom Sue passed away not too many years ago. He leaves behind a young family. “Her colleagues and teammates will also be devastated,” another posted.

He is the son of former All Black Stephen Bachop and former Black Fern Sue Garden-Bachop.

He is the son of former All Black Stephen Bachop and former Black Fern Sue Garden-Bachop.

The 25-year-old footballer recently took to Instagram to thank the Highlanders for some

The 25-year-old footballer recently took to Instagram to thank the Highlanders for an “unforgettable five years”.

Another “What a lovely boy. It’s incredibly sad to read about his passing and my thoughts are with his family and friends,” posted another.

Garden-Bachop played 35 games with the Highlanders after debuting in 2021.

He is the son of former All Black Stephen Bachop and former Black Fern Sue Garden-Bachop. Garden-Bachop is also the nephew of former All Black Graeme Bachop.

His brother Jackson Garden-Bachop is also a professional rugby player and has played for the Hurricanes.

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