Signed T-shirt raises money for motor neurone disease charity walk

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Pictured from left are Talya Christy, Milton Cunningham, Jane Cunningham and Oneill Raukawa - with a shirt to be auctioned tomorrow. Photo/Duncan Brown
Pictured from left are Talya Christy, Milton Cunningham, Jane Cunningham and Oneill Raukawa - with a shirt to be auctioned tomorrow. Photo/Duncan Brown

A T-shirt signed by former All Blacks and Hawke's Bay Magpies at a benefit game in 2003 for Jarrod Cunningham will be auctioned at the Magpies Legends dinner at McLean Park tomorrow.

Money raised will go towards Sunday's fundraiser Walk 2 d'feet for motor neurone disease at the Regional Sports Park in Hastings.

Jarrod, who died in 2007 from MND, hosted a charity dinner and rugby game in 2003 which raised $80,000 and featured All Blacks Zinzan Brooke, Inga Tuigamala, Bull Allen, Norm Hewitt, Matt Cooper, Lee Stensness and Stephen Bachop.

At the time Jarrod's sister Jane Cunningham sold T-shirts which showcased Jarrod's playing record across club, provincial, super rugby and international teams. She also got several of the T-Shirts signed by all the players for auction items.

Thirteen years later, Jane found one of the last remaining signed T-shirts and it's now been framed and ready to auction at the large hospitality event on Saturday.

"I was getting T-Shirts made for this weekend walk and I was looking for some inspiration based on the ones I did in 2003. I found the signed one and thought it would be great to auction it for MND.

"In 2003 we packed the park with over 10,000 people and we hope many people can join our family on the walk on Sunday.

The T-Shirt highlights Jarrod's playing career record. He scored 3030 points from 245 games for Havelock North, Hawke's Bay, Auckland Blues, New Zealand Maori and the Hurricanes.

A trust in his honour -The Jarrod Cunningham Youth Sport Trust - has had the T-shirt framed and ready for Saturday's auction and trust co-chairman Damon Harvey expects it to be in demand.

"This is a rare piece of memorabilia that will be hotly sought after. It continues Jarrod's legacy, as he gave $750,000 to his trust to support Hawke's Bay youth participating in sport.

"Every year the trust gives out over $50,000 to youth sport such as the Paora Winitana & Paul Henare Basketball Academy, Hawke's Bay junior rugby and a sports academy in his name at Havelock North High School," Mr Harvey said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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