Narbonne supporters march to honour Jerry Collins
ESPN Staff
June 7, 2015
Narbonne supporters march in memory of Jerry Collins © Getty Images

Narbonne supporters have marched to honour former All Blacks back-rower Jerry Collins, who was killed in a car crash in southern France on Friday. Collins, 34, who had been playing for the city's rugby club in the French second division, died instantly with his partner, Alana Madill, in the crash. Their infant daughter, Ayla, remains in hospital in a serious condition.

Former Hurricanes and All Blacks team-mates Neemia Tialata and Chris Masoe, who had formally identified Collins' body, were among those marching silently behind a giant image of the player, Alana Madill and Ayla.

A host of tributes have been paid to Collins since a bus crashed into his stationary car near Beziers, and moves are afoot to honour him in New Zealand.

A Narbonne supporter holds a rose and the club flag in tribute of Jerry Collins © Getty Images

Passionate All Blacks fan and New Zealand entrepreneur Derek Handley has set up a Give a Little page for Ayla, and more than NZ$20,000 had been pledged by the time of publication. The money will be put into a trust to help Ayla as she grows up, the organiser says.

"I have no personal connection to Jerry Collins or his family," Mr Handley wrote on his page. "The idea of Ayla growing up without both her parents immediately made me want to do something to inspire New Zealanders and rugby fans around the world to rally in some small way."

Other fans are calling for a memorial to be set up for Collins, with more than 10,000 people showing their support for a Facebook page that calls on Westpac Stadium to name aisle six "Jerry Collins Aisle".

More than 3500 fans had liked a page calling for Porirua Park to be renamed "Jerry Collins Memorial".

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said a remembrance book for Collins had been started in the city for people to sign, and a more permanent memorial would be established, Radio New Zealand reports.

Collins' family have expressed their gratitude for the support they have been receiving from all levels of the game he starred in.

We're only beginning to understand how much Jerry Collins meant to his French rugby family. This is very moving.

Posted by ONE News - Sport on Sunday, June 7, 2015

Jerry Collins' French rugby family pays tribute with 'Siva Tau'

Posted by ONE News - Sport on Saturday, June 6, 2015
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