A jersey like no other is currently being auctioned on Trade Me raising funds to bring iconic Counties Manukau Steelers winger Joeli Vidiri’s body back to New Zealand for a proper farewell.
The two-test All Black, Blues and Steelers great passed away in the United States last week.
Friends, former teammates and family have rallied together to raise money with a famous jersey being the centrepiece of efforts.
The jersey has quite the back story. Fifteen years ago Vidiri donated a one-of-a-kind beautifully framed and in perfect condition All Blacks jersey to raise funds for Kidney Kids for which he was a patron.
It is signed by over 30 of the most recognisable names in New Zealand Rugby – Sir Michael Jones, Sir Colin Meads, Sonny Bill Williams and the late Inga Tuigamala as well as Vidiri himself. The latter two tragically passing in the past week.
A number of Counties Manukau heroes have signed the jersey as well.
The owner of the jersey, Auckland businessman Mark Darrow, has decided to gift the jersey back to Joeli’s friends and family to help raise money to bring his body home to New Zealand.
The jersey will be on display in the Auckland Art Gallery from 10am each day.
All proceeds will go towards bringing Joeli back for an appropriate farewell.
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