Luke Tipene’s funeral service is being held at Ohaki Marae in Ahipara, Northland, today.
A memorial service was also held for him at the Glenora Rugby League Club in Auckland on Monday.
The 17-year-old died after being attacked in Grey Lynn early on Saturday morning. A teenager appeared in the Auckland Youth Court yesterday charged with Tipene’s murder.
A hooker or loose forward, the highly-regarded Glenora Bears player was in the Vodafone Warriors’ development system and had been signed to join the club’s NYC squad for the 2015 season.
He had made numerous age grade representative teams and was a much-decorated player, among his honours being named the Auckland Rugby League’s 2014 Under-17 player of the year.
Notices have been published in the New Zealand Herald including one from the Vodafone Warriors and another from the Auckland Rugby League:
TIPENE, Luke. A life cruelly taken at the age of just 17 early on Saturday morning (November 1). Luke was an amazing young man who touched everyone he came in contact with. We will miss his many rich qualities, the power of his personality and his burning desire to chase his rugby league dream. Our deepest sympathies and support go out to Luke's mum Terry and the family. Aroha nui from everyone at the Vodafone Warriors.
TIPENE, Luke. Sincerest condolences, thoughts and prayers to Terry and the family of Luke. A very special young man taken too soon but in his short life achieved so much for one so young. Will always be remembered. Auckland Rugby League Board and staff.