In 2008, World Rugby Icon; Jonah Lomu came to the town of Aberavon. He held a master-class training session and on the 21'st of November that year, he played in an exhibition rugby match, helping to raise thousands of pounds for a local charity.
Jonah did not command any appearance fees for this gesture and gave his time freely, for a very worthy cause.
on November the 18'th 2015, just weeks after witnessing his beloved All Blacks win back-to-back Rugby World Cups, Jonah suffered a fatal heart attack. Brought about by a life-long battle against kidney failure, he tragically lost his life at the age of just 40 years. He is survived by his wife Nadene and their 2 sons; Brayley & Dhyreille.
Before that year was out, the New Zealand Professional Rugby Players Association founded the Jonah Lomu Legacy Trust. Headed by ex All Black & Team Mate of Jonah's; Michael Jones - the Trust is entirely for the financial benefit of Jonah's 2 sons.
With the backing of the Jonah Lomu Legacy Trust, the people of Aberavon aim to repay Jonah the immense kindness and generosity that he showed us in 2008. To mark the 10 year anniversary of his visit, what we are proposing is to play an exhibition rugby match on Friday the 16th of November, 2018 at Harlequin Road.
The game will be played on the eve of Wales .v. Tonga at Principality stadium - with Tonga being the island from where Jonah's family originated. There will be pre-match entertainment in the form of a Welsh Male Voice Choir, Traditional Maori War Dancers, a Brass Band & a Fireworks Display, followed by a rugby match including players from all the clubs of the town & surrounding areas. After the game there will be a charity auction held inside the club house and all proceeds raised at the game & auction will be counted and donated (in full) to the Jonah Lomu Legacy Trust.
We have attracted a strong media attention from Sky Sports New Zealand & BBC Wales and will be aiming to raise as much funds for the Trust as we possibly can - As a mark of respect for a man that changed the sport of Rugby Union forever - but will also be remembered as being a kind & humble person, with a heart as huge as his talent.
In order to realise this dream there will be certain costs incurred to cover the following expenses;
2 X 23 Full Match Kit = £2300
400 X Commemorative Matchday Program = £650
1 X Club House Buffet = £ 550
And for that we have decided to set-up this Crowd Funder Project.
A full paper trail of receipts will be published for this event and any excess monies raised via the CF project will be donated along with all other proceeds to the Jonah Lomu Legacy Trust.