Locals are already sharing stories and paying their respects, as Sir Colin Meads' small Waikato hometown of Te Kuiti gears up to farewell the much loved rugby giant.
The rugby club boasting Meads as a life member has seen many stories shared about him over a beer since his passing.
"Be fair to say he was one of the most influential people this club would of had in it," Waitete RFC President Jason Church told 1 NEWS.
Even the local green grocer was singing the big man's praises.
"He was a legend and an everyday Te Kuiti man, if you saw him in the street he'd stop and say hello," Hari Nahna said.
Te Kuiti's statue of Sir Colin Meads has now become a beacon of pride and remembrance.
Local kids from Te Kuiti Primary honoured the rugby great with a spine tingling haka today.
"We just did a haka, like for respect for Colin because he's a great man," one of kids said proudly.
Thousands are expected in Te Kuiti for the 81 year old's funeral next Monday.