Sir Fred Allen's funeral to be held at Eden Park

Sir Fred Allen at home in Auckland. Photo / Doug Sherring
Sir Fred Allen at home in Auckland. Photo / Doug Sherring

A funeral service will be held at Auckland's Eden Park for Sir Fred Allen, who died at the weekend.

The former All Blacks coach and captain died aged 92 at an Orewa nursing home after a battle with leukaemia.

A service will be held in the level 5 lounge of the ASB Stand at Eden Park at noon on Wednesday.

New Zealand rugby teams, including the Crusaders and the New Zealand Sevens team, who both played in Sydney last night, wore black armbands as a mark of respect.

The Chiefs-Hurricanes match at Waikato Stadium on Saturday observed a moment's silence in honour of the man known as `The Needle'.

All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen called Sir Fred's death very sad news.

"Sir Fred's achievements as a player and coach were legendary. In his later years he was a great guy to talk footy with and still took a keen interest in how the team was going.

"The thoughts of everyone in the All Blacks family go to his family.''

Nephew Alex Carpenter said Sir Fred died peacefully at the Maygrove Retirement Village Hospital, where he had spoken at a memorial service on Anzac Day.

Mr Carpenter said his uncle, who was made a Knight Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday honours in 2010 for services to rugby, had spent ``quality time'' with his family in the weeks leading up to his death.

During World War II, Sir Fred served as a lieutenant in 27 and 30 Battalions, settling in Auckland upon his return.

He played for Auckland and the All Blacks from 1946 to 1949, wearing the black jersey as captain in 21 games, including six tests.

But it is as an All Blacks coach that "The Needle'' will be most remembered, winning all 14 tests during his reign from 1966 to 1969.

Former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry said he had often discussed rugby with Sir Fred and enjoyed his passion for the game.

"It was influential when you were developing as a young coach and he was coaching the All Blacks,'' Sir Graham told One News.

- NZ Herald

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