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Jonah Lomu could be given state funeral





  • John Key has raised the possibility due to support shown for All Black 
  • Fundraising page set up for Jonah Lomu crashed due to high demand
  • Rugby legend's wife set up page on Thursday to bring his 'dreams to life'
  • Lomu died unexpectedly from heart attack in New Zealand on Wednesday

By Emily Crane and Freya Noble and Corey Charlton for MailOnline

Published: 21:00 EST, 18 November 2015 | Updated: 04:07 EST, 19 November 2015

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New Zealand is considering a state funeral for Jonah Lomu after a ‘massive outpouring of support and love and grief’ for the late rugby superstar.

John Key, the prime minister, said a public service was an option, while a state funeral was ‘not impossible’, although other options are available depending on the wishes of the Lomu family.

Lomu, who burst on to the international scene at the 1995 World Cup as a rampaging winger, died unexpectedly on Wednesday from a heart attack thought to be linked to a kidney disease he battled for much of his adult life.

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A fundraising page set up by the late Jonah Lomu's wife to honour the rugby legend's legacy after he died on Wednesday has crashed the crowd funding organisation's website due to high demand 

A fundraising page set up by the late Jonah Lomu's wife to honour the rugby legend's legacy after he died on Wednesday has crashed the crowd funding organisation's website due to high demand 

Nadene Lomu started the fundraising page on New Zealand's Givealittle website on Thursday following his shock death from a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 40

Nadene Lomu started the fundraising page on New Zealand's Givealittle website on Thursday following his shock death from a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 40

‘There’s a massive outpouring of support and love and grief for Jonah and for the family’, Mr Key said. ‘That’s to be expected given the man he was, so I think there would definitely be a desire from the public to show that in some formal way.

‘Official memorials work well in that regard, but really it is a matter for the family to decide.’

Auckland Council has offered the Lomu family some form of public service although details have not yet been confirmed.

‘He was an icon who New Zealanders from every walk of life respected both for his prowess on the rugby field and for the way that he dealt with his health issues,’ Mayor Len Brown said.

Were he to be awarded a state funeral, it would be the first since 2008, when Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mount Everest, died. 

The news came as a fundraising page set up by Lomu’s wife to honour his legacy crashed the crowdfunding website due to the high demand.

The mother of two posted a link to the fundraising page on the official Jonah Lomu Facebook page detailing her plans to bring his 'dreams and visions to life'. Nadine Lomu started the fundraising page on New Zealand's Givealittle website on Thursday following his shock death from a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 40.

Givealittle said the website being down and Mrs Lomu publishing the page were linked, stuff.co.nz reports.

'Jonah and I had big plans to make a difference in the world with all that he learnt... as a team together we were going to build a lasting legacy,' the fundraising page reads.

'Jonah has left this earth too soon leaving us all empty hearted. 

'It is with the saddest times, while my heart aches I share with you all a vision which Jonah and I had set out to do together... through your support and most of all in support of our two sons, please help me and our sons bring Daddy Jonah Lomu's dreams and visions to life,' she wrote on Facebook.

'I promise my dear husband, all that we said we were going to do together, I will do everything and more...you blessed the world with your presence and now the world will celebrate the great man you were and will always be.' 

Jonah  Lomu died unexpectedly on Wednesday from a heart attack thought to be linked to the kidney disease he battled for much of his adult life. He shares two young boys with his wife Nadene

Jonah Lomu died unexpectedly on Wednesday from a heart attack thought to be linked to the kidney disease he battled for much of his adult life. He shares two young boys with his wife Nadene

The mother of two posted a link to the fundraising page on the official Jonah Lomu Facebook page detailing her plans to bring his 'dreams and visions to life'

The mother of two posted a link to the fundraising page on the official Jonah Lomu Facebook page detailing her plans to bring his 'dreams and visions to life'

'All my love blows up into heaven straight at you Jonah xxx xx (NBD-RX)'

More than 30,000 people have commented on the Facebook post offering their condolences to the Lomu family.

The huge winger, who electrified the sport when he burst onto the international stage at the 1995 World Cup, died unexpectedly on Wednesday from a heart attack thought to be linked to the kidney disease he battled for much of his adult life.

He is survived by his wife Nadene, and their two sons Brayley, 6, and Dhyrelle, 5.

Jonah Lomu is survived by his wife Nadene, and their two sons Brayley, 6, and Dhyrelle, 5

Jonah Lomu is survived by his wife Nadene, and their two sons Brayley, 6, and Dhyrelle, 5

Lomu scored 37 tries, made 63 appearances for the All Blacks and is regarded as one of New Zealand's greatest wingers

Lomu scored 37 tries, made 63 appearances for the All Blacks and is regarded as one of New Zealand's greatest wingers

Lomu arrived back in Auckland, New Zealand, on Tuesday night from the UK where he had been working at the Rugby World Cup, and had spent a few days in Dubai on the way home with his family.

During his time in Britain, he told the Mail on Sunday how he dreamed of living until his sons turned 21, stating: 'There are no guarantees that will happen, but it's my focus. My dad died young and that makes you think.'

Lomu became the sport's first truly global superstar. 

Credited with increasing ticket sales whenever he played, he was famous for barnstorming runs that terrorised smaller defenders and is believed to have helped usher the sport into the professional era.

Lomu recently spoke of his desire to live until his two boys (pictured together), now aged 5 and 6, turned 21

Lomu recently spoke of his desire to live until his two boys (pictured together), now aged 5 and 6, turned 21

Lomu is pictured here during the Rugby World Cup third place play-off match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff, November 1999

Lomu is pictured here during the Rugby World Cup third place play-off match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff, November 1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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