A fundraiser for the children of Jonah Lomu is thought to have raised more than 100,000 pounds (NZ$177,600) in London overnight.

The trust set up to help raise funds for Lomu's two sons Brayley and Dhyreille, organised the fundraiser after not raising enough money in New Zealand since the All Black great's death last November.

Lomu died a year ago, aged 40, after years of health struggles with a kidney condition. It emerged after his death that he had almost no money, leading to friends and supporters - including two former All Blacks - setting up a legacy trust for the benefit of his children.

The rugby star-studded black-tie London event attracted some of the biggest names in world rugby with legendary internationals including Zinzan Brooke, Martin Johnson, Justin Marshall, Michael Lynagh and a number of the England squad along with coach Eddie Jones


Evening Standard rugby reporter Chris Jones was in attendance at the fundraiser and told the Martin Devlin on Radio Sport's The Devlin Radio Show that it was a huge success going by the auction sales.

"This was fantastic outpouring of love for the big man, 12 months on," Jones said.

"In the six items for the main auction alone raised 90,000 pounds. That's a hell of a hit and it's going to be an awesome lot more money because the room was full of 700 people in the city of London and there was a silent auction with many more lots that will bring in an awful lot of more money for the two boys."

Including the amount earned through sales of tickets for the dinner, which were selling up to $8300 for a table of 10 people, it's expected more than 100,000 pounds should have been raised.

One of the trustees, David Jones, told the Herald last month the dinner was an event hoped to establish a solid base of funds - which he called a "corpus" - for Lomu's sons. A corpus is a term to describe the base of a fund used to generate interest.

"There's not a lot there at the moment. We didn't raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in New Zealand."

"That's why we have the dinner in London. There's much more support for Jonah's legacy up there and people want to help.

"We have to use special events such as there to create the corpus that can carry them through to adulthood."

Promotional material for the dinner stated: "The Jonah Lomu Memorial Dinner will not only celebrate his life and outstanding career but will also raise funds for his two young sons, Brayley and Dhyreille, that he left behind."

Jones said there had been Lomu memorabilia gifted to the trust which was auctioned last night, including Lomu's 1995 Rugby World Cup squad cap and his 50th test jersey. There were also portraits contributed by a number of artists and a bronze bust of the player.

Nadene Lomu, the star's wife and mother of the boys, issued a press release last month to give "heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of those people who have supported our boys and myself since Jonah's death a year ago".

"There have been many of you who have helped us through the toughest year of our lives.

"The boys (Brayley and Dhyreille, seven and six) are doing as well as you could expect but they miss their daddy hugely and we talk of him every day.

- Additional reporting by David Fisher