Max Brito dead at 54: The Ivory Coast rugby star dies 27 years after being paralyzed in a World Cup horror injury

Former Ivory Coast rugby star Max Brito has died aged 54, 27 years after becoming paralyzed in a World Cup match.

The ex-winger was paralyzed from the neck down after injuring himself in the third minute of Ivory Coast’s pool game against Tonga in South Africa on 3 June 1995.

Max Brito spent the last 27 years of his life paralyzed from the neck down

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Max Brito spent the last 27 years of his life paralyzed from the neck downPhoto credit: Times Newspapers Ltd

It was only the third World Cup game of his career, having played against Scotland and France in the same tournament.

A statement from World Rugby said: “World Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of former Ivory Coast international Max Brito.

“Our sincere thoughts and condolences, along with those of the global rugby brotherhood, are with his family, friends, ex-team-mates and colleagues.

“Born on April 8, 1968 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Brito was five years old when he and his family moved to Biscarrosse, France.

“He was playing as a winger for Club Biscarrosse Olympique when he was selected to represent Ivory Coast at the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa.

“Unfortunately, during their third pool game against Tonga, he suffered a life-changing injury.

“Marcel Martin, Bernard Lapasset and the Federation Francaise de Rugby, among many others, have worked hard to support Brito since 1995 and he has been a key figure at Rugby World Cups ever since.

“Brito remained committed to the sport he loved and his legacy and passion for rugby continues through the Max Brito Academy, established by the Federation Ivoirienne de Rugby to train and inspire youth for the game of rugby in Ivory Coast .”

Brito’s family also released a statement published on Biscarrosse Olympique’s website.

It read: “The Brito family, their children Mike and Anthony, are saddened to inform you of the death of Max Brito which took place at 6:30pm on Monday 19 December.

“Max was accompanied on his last journey with dignity and without suffering.

“The family is deeply grateful to Club Biscarrosse Olympique, which has always been present throughout these years, as well as to all the people who have always shown their affection and support, from near or far.”

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6956795/max-brito-dies-paralysed-world-cup-injury/ Max Brito dead at 54: The Ivory Coast rugby star dies 27 years after being paralyzed in a World Cup horror injury

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