2 May 2012

Rugby great Sir Fred Allen farewelled

10:38 pm on 2 May 2012

Legendary All Black coach and player Sir Fred Allen has been farewelled at Eden Park in has been described as his "last match".

Sir Fred had been suffering from leukaemia and died on Saturday. He was 92.

Those who gathered to celebrate his life on Wednesday heard that a coach he had a fearsome reputation but was a generous gentleman to whom people gravitated.

The All Blacks never lost a game while coached by Sir Fred, nicknamed 'The Needle', and he had also captained the national side.

Another All Black great, Sir Brian Lochore, explained why Sir Fred was such a success.

"He made rugby a simple game - that's why he was such a great coach. The basics had to be done to perfection.

"In the end, we played for him because we believed in what he was telling us, we believed in him as a coach."

Sir Fred Allen was knighted in 2010 for his services to rugby and had been inducted into the New Zealand and the International Rugby Halls of Fame.

He was All Black captain from 1947 to 1949 and recognised as one of the greatest backs of the post-World War II players. He was coach from 1966 to 1968 - with not a single loss under his tenure.

His funeral service was followed by a private cremation.