At just 22 years old, Manning Smith had his whole life ahead of him.

But his sudden death has left his family, friends and wider community shattered; as they now rally to support each other and his newborn daughter.

Family members of the young man have described his death as unexpected and a tragic loss, after he died suddenly last Saturday.
A Givealittle page set up by his loved ones to help pay for his funeral services has brought in more than $43,400 as of 10am today.

"Manning was not meant to leave the earth so young," a statement on the page says.

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"It is truly a tragedy for our family and for anyone whose heart was touched by him."

Smith had recently become a father to a little girl named Ryan. She is only 8 weeks old.

Club Announcement It is with great sadness that the club learned this morning of the passing of former player Manning...

Posted by Scarborough Rugby Union Football Club on Sunday, 1 December 2019

"He was an outgoing, charismatic and caring person. He always did his best to make everyone happy - especially his newly born eight-week-old daughter, Ryan, who is such a Daddy's girl.

"We are all heartbroken from this devastating news."

His family said they were reaching out to the Givealittle community at this tough time for any koha that could help go towards their son and brother's funeral services.

"Any remaining donations will go towards a trust fund for his baby girl's future."

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It is understood Smith lived in Auckland and had come up through the ranks as a promising rugby player in the North Harbour district.

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He played at representative level for the North Harbour Under 19s team at one point and also spent some time overseas, in the United Kingdom, where he continued to play rugby.

He spent some time at the Scarborough Rugby Union Football Club before moving back before his daughter was born.

"It is with great sadness that the club learned this morning of the passing of former player Manning Smith," the club said in a statement on Monday.

"The thoughts of all the players, volunteers and club officials are with Manning's family and loved ones at this time.

"He was a genuinely warm, caring and funny person and he will be sorely missed."

Smith's funeral will be held on Friday at the Eventfinda Stadium, North Shore, at 2.30pm.

In a funeral notice published in the Herald, the family thanked all who had been there for them since the news.

"On behalf of both the Smith and Wong families, we are so incredibly grateful for all of the love and support we have received over these tough past few days and appreciate everyone that has reached out to us.

"We look forward to giving our baby boy the send-off he deserves."

To donate to the family, visit: Givealittle Manning's Celebration of Life.

WHERE TO GET HELP:

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call Police immediately on 111.

OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:

LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 or 09 5222 999 within Auckland (available 24/7)

• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)

YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 ,free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat.

NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)

KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)

WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)

• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757

SAMARITANS – 0800 726 666.