Hundreds gather to support Richard
By ADRIAN MILLER email@example.com HE MIGHT be in Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane with a broken neck, but there was no way Richard Allen was going to miss out on all the fun yesterday. More than 250 family, friends and well-wishers turned out at the Bangalow A&I Hall for the% Richard Allen 14 Fund Luncheon which included, through the miracle of technology, Richard himself. Former Wallaby-turned-author Peter FitzSimons was the star guest, which also featured former ARU powerbroker Peter Crittle, former Wallaby Ben Darwin and NSW Waratah Al Kanaar. League legend Craig Salvatori and the ABC's Mick O'Regan were also in attendance just to keep the rugger-buggers in check. But Richard was also able to make an appearance and join the festivities, with the event being streamed live via a web cam, to him and wife Kylie in Brisbane. Richard, dressed in a dark-blue jumper, looked fantastic. Happy and smiling the entire time, he was able to wave both arms and chat to people who stopped by to say g'day. Wife Kylie said they had enjoyed the lunch and were overwhelmed by the support they had received. That support was shown in many forms, with organiser Neil Moran saying he was humbled by how much the Bangalow community had rallied around to support Richard. "The generosity we've been shown so that we can hold this lunch has been phenomenal," he said. Highlighting the generosity were the number of items donated for auction at the lunch. They included items such as a signed Wallaby blazer, signed sports jerseys, a Shane Warne cricket bat and the batting gloves and squash ball Adam Gilchrist used in the cricket World Cup final. Peter FitzSimons, who thrilled the crowd with lines such as, 'David Campese fell in love with himself at a very young age and has remained faithful ever since', said the support for Richard was typical of the rugby community. "People have been very kind in saying to me thank you for coming but the people who are really admirable are the people who said 'we've got to do something to sort out one of our rugby brothers who's fallen down'," he said. "Things like this give me faith in rugby."