Greek rugby is in mourning following the death in a motorcycle accident at the weekend of Rhodes Colossi forward Ivan Kirov.
According to the club, the 34-year-old swerved to avoid a cat and hit a tree. He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries.
Kirov was a Bulgarian who moved to Rhodes in 2009. A former footballer for top Bulgarian club Vidima Rakofsk, he turned to rugby joining the Colossi as a hooker and flanker.
“He is a great loss. It is a terrible shock to us all although our first thoughts are with his family,” said club representative Anesti Karageorgiou.
“He came to our club in 2009. He was a very good lad, had a heart as big as Phar Lap’s. He would wade in injured or tired and give everything he had for the other players and the club.
“I was always very impressed by his attitude to sport, his fellow players, his club and to his fellow human beings.”
He is survived by a daughter and two sons. His brother is also resident in Rhodes.
©Barney Spender 2012