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All Black icon Buck Shelford continues to pull the crowds – almost 30 years after he last pulled on an international jersey.

Shelford was the guest speaker at the latest Club Otago lunch, a sell-out two months prior to his appearance on stage.

Currently in remission from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a blood cancer, Shelford outlined his diagnosis in 2007 and his subsequent treatment and recovery. Having also been involved in recent years as an advocate for New Zealand men to drop their staunch outlook to health and to see their GP regularly, Shelford’s message was simple and clear.

“Get to the doctor and forget about the macho attitude.”

On rugby matters, the unbeaten All Black captain opined the game today was faster but more physical with a resulting higher potential for head injuries. That is something about which he was extremely concerned.

The latest journalistic work on the infamous ‘Battle of Nantes’ in 1986, the game where Shelford’s legend as a tough as teak, uncompromising player with a pain threshold perhaps unmatched in the modern era was born, was also enjoyed by the appreciative and attentive gathering of 250-plus Club Otago members and guests.

Prof Sarah Young, head of Pathology and Deputy Dean of the Dunedin School of Medicine, also spoke at the lunch, outlining the value of medical research and the international quality of the investigation launched in Dunedin.

Prof Young has worked in both the UK and USA and enthusiastically pointed out that the calibre of research undertaken in Dunedin was as good as anywhere in the world.