But the great mans reign as AB captain has come to an end.
Seeing him on TV One news after the team announcement he was as gracious as ever. A true team man. I will never forget his words after the S12 win in 1998 vs the Blues. Humble and gracious, as opposed to the whiney, whinging bunch of Aucklanders that where interviewed post-match.
When Toddy says he wishes the AB team and Anton Oliver well, you know he means it, because NZ rugby's well-being is his first concern.
I think history will show Todd Blackadder played an important role for an AB team in transition. Seven wins out of ten will also look good in the record books. However he himself will admit that the captain must first be good enough to make the starting fifteen. Last season he most definitely was (and shame on Andy Hayden trying to undermine AB rugby for his own pretentious agendas. All the stats and results proved last year that Todd was one of the best locks in the country). This season he was not.
The fact that a whole bunch of younger locks really put their hands up to be picked this year can only be good for NZ rugby. Also with Mark Cooksley, an old fella rejuvenuating his career.
Toddy started his Canterbury career in the "bad old days" of Canterbury rugby (you know how we all felt then now don't you Auckland fans?). Canterbury weren't winning and the fans weren't happy. Even oldtimers in the Canterbury squad where pissed off. Grizzly Andy Earl was used to success in the red 'n black jersey. He once called his team-mates in public a bunch of "...gutless pr*cks...apart from Todd Blackadder...". Earl recognised the big heart a young Toddy had.
Then with the arrival of Mike Brewer and Richard Loe, Canty started its resurgence. Toddy learnt from two of the real hard men of NZ rugby, players who knew what it takes to win at the top level.
By the time Toddy took over the Canty captaincy, Canty rugby was primed for success. Being a reluctant captain at first, he soon revelled in the position. He brought pride back into the Canty jersey. Three S12 titles in a row, an NPC win, and being an influential figure in what is now two ranfurly shield tenures. These are monuments to the leadership qualities of a man who will go down in the memories of all Cantabs as a true, deadset, legend!
But the passage of time effects everyone (except BT!), and now Toddy is no longer AB captain. I'm sure his hometown of Rangiora will still be proud to call itself "Blackadderville" however!
Take a bow Toddy! You are a legend!