Paul Van-Zandvliet tributes: Jonny Wilkinson and more send emotional messages after Falcons legend dies

The rugby community, especially Newcastle Falcons fans, are in mourning after news that title-winning prop Paul Van-Zandvliet died aged 50 after a long battle with an inoperable brain tumour. 

Having been diagnosed with his illness in early 2016, the prop who made 22 Premiership Rugby appearances for the club met his condition in typically uncompromising fashion and set about raising funds for charity and for the foundation set up to support his young daughter Hope-Elle.

Those efforts included a benefit game at Kingston Park Stadium last April, when former team-mates rallied behind the North Shields-born front rower to put on a star-studded game.

Here is how social media reacted:

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