Warriors star Shaun Johnson to dedicate game to girl who died suddenly - 'Be my privilege to have her with me'

Warriors star Shaun Johnson will be dedicating the team's first game in Brisbane to a 14-year-old fan who died suddenly.

Lisa Mapu's family, who live in the city, reached out to the NRL player on Facebook.

Her brother Ma'a Mapu said she passed away in October. "My sister was a rising star in touch football who had idolised you since you stepped foot in the NRL. She would always train and practice her step which she nicknamed the johnson skip. She always fantisied that one day she'll marry you LOL (which is a long shot cause she has 6 brothers)," he wrote.

He said "it may be far-fetched" but it was worth asking if he would dedicate the Warriors' first game in Brisbane to his sister. The game is at Suncorp Stadium against the Brisbane Broncos on March 11.

"I know its a long shot and that you might not even get to read this but I'm willing to take a punt in fulfilling my sisters dreams," he said.

"Thank you for your time and good luck and blessing for the new season."

Johnson saw the message and said: "Be my privilege to have her with me and dedicate my performance to her when we play in Brisbane. So sorry for your loss, awesome to see the photo of her in action doing her 'johnson skip' ha."

He said he would be in touch over the next couple days with a plan of what he and his club could do for the family, adding: "See you soon!"

The Samoan Observer reported last month that Lisa's family had set up the Lisa-Bridget Mapu Foundation in her memory. The foundation had donated computers, books, printers and stationary to Vaimauga College in Samoa.

Her older sister, Hannah Penina Mapu, told the newspaper: "Lisa had a heart for helping others less fortunate than herself which urged her to build her dream of helping Samoan students by providing the necessary resources for the bettering of their education," she said.

"Lisa had planned on donating resources and supplies to a school that she could see would use and need these, so that she would be able to make it an ongoing alliance to help and improve the education status for Samoa."

An NRL spokesman said Johnson was still in the process of planning a dedication to Lisa and it was too early to say what he would be doing.

"The game is still two weeks away," he said.

- NZ Herald

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