Sir Peter Leitch, aka the Mad Butcher, is recovering in hospital after heart surgery last week.

Over the weekend, Leitch said on his Facebook page that he was recovering in hospital after "battling" for his life.

"I'm not gonna comment individually as I was not at the game ... but I've been [in] hospital battling for my life the last few days ...," he said in the comments section of a post.

"I'm just bloody grateful I woke up today."


His son-in-law and owner of the Mad Butcher stores Michael Morton told the Herald Leitch was now out of the intensive care unit and on the mend.

"He had heart surgery last Monday and had major complications with it, ended up having three surgeries," Morton said.

"Then he had some more complications that come with it. He come out of ICU a day ago but he's going all right.

"It's a stressful time for everybody but look, he's in very good care and everybody is pleased with how he is starting to progress."

Meanwhile, Warriors chief executive Cameron George said the club was wishing Warriors fanatic Leitch a speedy recovery.

"On behalf of our staff, players and fans we wish him a speedy recovery," he said.

"He is a massive part of our club and culture and we can't wait to have him back fighting fit again soon."

Sir Peter Leitch and Sir Grahan Henry attend the funeral for Sir Colin Meads in Te Kuiti in 2017. Photo / Dean Purcell
Sir Peter Leitch and Sir Grahan Henry attend the funeral for Sir Colin Meads in Te Kuiti in 2017. Photo / Dean Purcell

In 2010, Leitch announced he had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of bladder cancer. He was in remission in 2016.

In 2011, the diabetic was hospitalised with chest pains but he was discharged once doctors gave him the all clear.

"I just had a few days in there because I had a couple of chest pains, so I went in just to double-check that I'm okay. But it's all good," he told the Herald at the time.

"It's not pleasant, I can tell ya ... But the doctors said it's all sweet, so that's good."

He also underwent reconstructive knee surgery that year.

The Mad Butcher

• Peter Charles Leitch opened his first butchery in Mangere East in 1971.

• His nickname came about after an incident in a pub where he was called "that f***ing mad butcher" by a patron, and he decided to use it in a radio promotion advertising his shop.

• Leitch is an avid Warriors supporter, and has served as ambassador for Allergy New Zealand and the Prostate Foundation, and sponsored Middlemore Hospital's national burns unit.

• He was awarded the Queen's Service Medal in 1991, and was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2010.

• At age 65, he announced he was battling bladder cancer. He is now in remission.