Glynn Meads is backing a Gut Cancer Foundation fundraising campaign in a moving tribute to his rugby hero father.

Sir Colin Meads lost his brave battle with pancreatic cancer in mid-2017; one of about 500 people who died that year due to the disease.

Next month Meads will take part in Gut Cancer Foundation's LoveYerGuts fundraising push, with participants completing 14 gut crunches every day to raise $100,000 for clinical research and trials to help improve the outcomes for the 14 Kiwis who are diagnosed with gastro-intestinal cancer every day.

Meads was approached by the foundation's executive officer Ruth Davy to take part after his and his father's former rugby club Waitete raised $4000 for the organisation last year.


"I had a little think about it and decided to do it for dad," he told the Herald on Sunday.

"He used to do a lot of charitable things and I felt like I should be doing it. I think he would be proud [of my involvement], even though he probably wouldn't tell me . . . he would keep it to himself."

Sir Colin – dubbed "Pinetree" by rugby fans around the world – played 133 games, including 55 tests, for the All Blacks between 1957-71.

His son – who was nicknamed "Pinecone" - was also an accomplished rugby player, playing more than 100 games for the King Country province, appearing in two All Black trials in the 1980s, and also playing for the New Zealand Heartland XV and New Zealand Emerging Players teams.

Meads said he was most likely to complete his 14 daily gut crunches at night, adding "after years of farming and playing rugby the back is a bit sore in some certain places but I think I will be OK".

Being involved was a no-brainer after his father's cancer battle.

Glynn Meads is backing a Gut Cancer Foundation fundraising campaign in a moving tribute to his rugby hero father. Photo / NZME
Glynn Meads is backing a Gut Cancer Foundation fundraising campaign in a moving tribute to his rugby hero father. Photo / NZME

He also said it was personally rewarding to him to be able to raise money for an important cause; something which his father had done for many charities – including IHC New Zealand.

"It [charity work] meant a lot to him," Meads said.


"It all stems from what he thought being an All Black was. You are in the public domain and public property. It [his charity work] was another domain of that.

"He did enjoy catching up with people, meeting people and talking to them. It fitted in with who he was."

Meads had set an initial goal of raising $1500 for the charity; a figure he was closing in on topping at the end of the week.

Meads also wanted to raise awareness of gastro-intestinal cancer, as well as funds for those battling it, during the LoveYerGuts campaign.

That included encouraging Kiwis to get regular medical check-ups, know about symptoms to be on alert for and also promote discussion about healthy eating.

Davy said it was great to have someone of Meads' profile involved in the fundraising campaign.

To date, he has raised the most in pre-event pledges.

"He is racing ahead [in terms of donations and pledges]," Davy said.

The individual and team who raise the most money in LoveYerGuts month will receive prize packages valued at $4500 and the Sir Colin Meads LoveYerGuts Award which is sponsored by the Meads family.

August 20 marks the second anniversary of Sir Colin's death.

Meads said the family would forever be proud of his legacy, stressing their precious memories of the former All Black captain were definitely not dominated by his heroics on the rugby field.

"Most of them were just as a dad," Meads said.

"The rugby, the social activities and fundraising he did we found out about slowly as we got older and got aware of what he was doing.

"Even leading up to his funeral, we were finding out more about the things he did and his involvement with the public that he had. It was quite amazing and made us all quite proud."