Warriors fans to pay what they want

Simon Mannering arrives at yesterday's press conference. Photo: Getty Images
Simon Mannering arrives at yesterday's press conference. Photo: Getty Images
The Warriors are calling on all Kiwi sports fans to show their support for retiring club legend Simon Mannering and giving them the chance to pay what they want for tickets to Friday's NRL clash against Canberra.

With Mannering celebrating his 32nd birthday ahead of his 300th game against the Raiders, fans can take up a special offer for today only that lets them choose to pay anything from $5 to $50 for the best available seats Mt Smart Stadium.

Tickets will be available through Ticketek from midday.

With the Warriors locked in to make their first finals appearance in seven years, the club are hoping a sell-out crowd will be on hand to give Mannering the send-off he deserves in what could be their last home game of the season and show their support for the team ahead of the playoffs.

"Fans can pay what they want between $5 and $50 to see Simon off," explained Warriors CEO Cameron George.

"If you think he's worth $20 you can pay $20 or if you think he's worth $50 you can pay that.

"We're putting the recognition for Simon first above and beyond any cash-grabbing exercise or anything like that given the nature of the game and occasion."

George hopes Warriors supporters and the wider New Zealand sporting public will show the same kind of enthusiasm for Mannering as Australians have in farewelling retiring North Queensland captain Johnathan Thurston.

A sell-out crowd of 25,000 turned out for Thurston's final game at Townsville's 1300Smiles Stadium for the Cowboys 44-6 win over Parramatta on Saturday.

Thurston's last appearance in Saturday's away clash against the Gold Coast has already drawn unparalleled interest with the Titans selling out Cbus Super Stadium for the first time in the club's history.

With Mannering having shown unwavering loyalty to the Warriors throughout his career by repeatedly turning down lucrative offers to join rival clubs, George is adamant anything less than a sell-out crowd would be a letdown.

"The public can come and pay tribute to one of the game's greatest and one of if not the greatest Warrior of all time," he said.

"We're giving fans and Kiwi sports lovers a chance to send off a national hero by paying what they think it is worth.

"Look at what Townsville did for Johnathan Thurston in selling out their stadium and the Gold Coast is already sold out for his last game and there's no difference in our view.

"Simon chose to stay and represent this club through hard times which represents New Zealand each week in the NRL as opposed to taking bigger offers to go and play for clubs across the Tasman.

"He stayed here to fight the good fight and now is our time to repay him and we want to fill the stadium up."

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