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Jerry’s jersey to help baby Ayla

By Seamus Boyer
[email protected]
When Hurricanes hard-man Jerry Collins was stretchered off Jade Stadium in 2007 with a neck injury, those close to him feared the worst.
“It was a really scary time as we thought he could be paralysed, and there was interest from media all around the world,” recalls former Hurricanes commercial manager Sam Rossiter-Stead.
“CEO Greg Peters and I spent the night with him taking calls from media all over the place and trying to keep Jerry’s spirits up.
“Luckily by the time morning came around he had regained feeling.”
When Collins left the Canes a year later, he gave Mr Rossiter-Stead a signed jersey that he had worn that season.
Now the Greytown man is auctioning it off for Collins’s daughter, Ayla.
The Trade Me auction will kick-off on Friday morning, with all money raised going into a trust fund for Ayla administered by Collins’s former manager Tim Castle.
Collins was killed alongside his wife Alana Madill in a car crash in the south of France in 2015.
The former All Black, who was in the rear of the car, is thought to have thrown himself across his daughter’s body to protect her from the impact of a bus which struck their car.
Ayla survived, but spent months in hospital with severe injuries.
“Ever since the accident I’ve been waiting for the right time to sell the jersey to raise as much money as possible for Ayla,” Mr Rossiter-Stead said.
“And this weekend is perfect with the Hurricanes playing the final.”
Mr Rossiter-Stead said he had worked with Collins on several projects, including a lot of work for the Make a Wish charity, which was close to Jerry’s heart.
“Jerry was larger than life on and off the field, but what many people didn’t see was that he was an incredibly generous and loyal person.
“Although it’s easy for me to say that, as I never had to play against him.”
He said “the guys at Trade Me” had been fantastic, waiving all listing and selling fees for the auction.
The auction will run for 10 days, with a $1 starting bid, and no reserve.

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