As the All Whites captain, and one of his country’s biggest footballing exports, Clarets striker Chris Wood admits he was knocked sideways by the mosque shootings in Christchurch last month.
Thousands of miles from home, Wood watched with horror as the news came in, with 50 people killed and another 50 injured by an alt-right white supremacist.
But Auckland-born Wood takes pride in the way his country came together behind the victims, and said: “It’s a horrible tragedy, the whole of the county is behind everybody that was affected, and it’s nice to see the country and the world come together in those sort of circumstances.
“It just shows it happens everywhere in the world, it’s not not nice, but we all grow stronger from it.”
Wood didn’t know anyone directly involved, and added: “It would have been harder if it was people I knew, there were people connected with New Zealand football, which isn’t great, but it doesn’t matter who it was, or who they are, it’s still the New Zealand community, and they are still New Zealand residents - they’re supposed to be safe in our country, and we failed to live up to that.
“That will get us together again as a nation, rebuilding.
“My family - my sister, my grandparents, auntie and uncles live up and down the country, and I know a lot of people in Christchurch, so I’ve spoken to them, sent my love and condolences and hope everybody comes back stronger.
“I’m sure it happens all round the world when this type of thing happens, everyone gets stronger, they all band together, that’s the best part about humanity, they all come together.”