Happy auction winners of the Blues limited edition playing jerseys collected their wares post-match from the players on Friday night at Eden Park.
The 1-22 playing jerseys had been auctioned off at an Inspiring Stories event to raise funds and awareness for Men’s Health Trust NZ (You) earlier in the week. The final part of the prize package was to venture behind the scenes post-match down to the tunnel and collect their jersey from the player who had just worn it.
“It was the icing on the cake to a great night for Blues fans at the park, but especially so for these people who had contributed to a good cause by buying these special jerseys,” said Grant McKenzie, Blues Marketing Manager.
With auction winners ranging from Sir Peter Leitch (the Mad Butcher) and past Auckland players – through to long-time Blues fans young and old, the room was buzzing, despite players handing over sweaty (and in the case of Luke Braid) bloody jerseys. However no one seemed to mind – one family who secured Brendon O’Connor’s jersey, tweeted out a picture the next day of a happy five-year-old in the household handwashing his jersey in the bathroom sink.
Even a few of the players admitted, after a five-tries-to-none victory over the Crusaders, that was one jersey they would have liked to hold on to.
However, the jerseys were all about helping to raise funds for MHTNZ and the players were thrilled to have contributed on and off the field to a great night at Eden Park.
At the Inspiring Stories event, Sir John Kirwan and Steve Devine shared with the guests a very personal insight into the life and times behind their very different stories.
The jersey auctions were a mixture of live and silent with that segment alone, raising $14661 for Men’s Health Trust NZ. Further proceeds from the Inspiring Stories evening and jersey sales will add to this total over the coming weeks.