All Black legend Jonah Lomu's ripped shorts auctioning for half-a-million dollars

Publish Date
Monday, 20 April 2020, 9:00AM
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If this week's Lotto winner is stuck on what to spend some of their winnings on, here's an idea.

The autographed pair of shorts which were worn and ripped off from legendary All Black Jonah Lomu in the inaugural Super 12 final, is being auctioned online for half-a-million dollars.

Lomu, who died aged 40 in 2015 from a heart attack associated with his kidney condition, scored one of six tries for the Blues in their 45-21 win over the Natal Sharks in the 1996 decider at Eden Park.

It was during the second half of that game that Lomu had his shorts torn off by Henry Honiball.

The shorts were flung over the sideline and reportedly snagged by a ball boy and then a commentator, before Lomu demanded them back.

Lomu instead gifted them to Starship Children's Health for the charity to auction.

A man, who was a student in Palmerston North at the time, snatched up the shorts for $4800, hoping they'd one day be worth much more.

The man is now set to list them on Trade Me for $500,000.

He said 50 per cent of proceeds would go to charity.

Speaking anonymously to Stuff, the Brisbane-based Kiwi said the current covid-19 situation inspired him to create a "good news story".

"We need a bit of a dog on a surfboard story to pump up the tyres because morale is low," he told Stuff.

"I'm trying to separate the wheat from the chaff here ... I'm going to ask for $500,000. That's the start point, but I'm saying 'open to offers' and, look, whatever comes in will come in."

He said his dream is that a New Zealand celebrity will place a bid on the shorts.

The shorts have never been stored in his house and remain in a safety deposit box in a bank.

The auction is set to go live at midday today.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission