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A stadium tour like no other!

July 3, 1979

July 3, 1979 – photo from Terry Maddaford’s book ‘The First 100 Years: The official centenary history of the Auckland Football Association’. Photo by Eric Jelly

In November last year this blog published a long feature on Newmarket Park, the stadium that was the home of New Zealand Football from 1964 until it was wrecked by a landslide in 1979. The post featured many memories from people who spent a lot of time playing, watching and writing about football there. It was clear to all who read it that this old place still holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the people who made it special.

The Newmarket Park post had two objectives for me personally.

The first was to try to convey a palpable sense of what it must have been like there in its heyday, for those of us too young to have ever played in or watched a game there.

The second was to fill the void I found when trying to search for old photos online. This place is too important to not have a digital presence!

On the second objective, mission accomplished…

Newmarket Park

On the first objective, job half done. It’s one thing to read about a place like this, but it’s altogether something else to experience it.

“But hang on” I hear you all cry, “you can’t experience it now, can you? It’s gone!”

Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong! The concrete and timber structures may be gone, but the place is still there and, thanks to Friends of Football, you can truly experience it once again! They are organising an event, where players and fans alike will be meeting and sharing their memories along with a BBQ lunch. Legends like Brian Turner, Sam Malcomson and Barbara Cox, to name but a few, will take you on a guided tour and talk you through their experiences playing on this hallowed ground with and against some of the greats of the world game.

There will even be a kick around that you can join in with, so you too can say that you have played on Newmarket Park!

I know I’m sold.

When: Sunday the 15th of March from 12-5pm
Where: Newmarket Park (duh), entrance off Ayr Street

Sam Malcomson receiving his famous red card from referee Les Coffman

Sam Malcomson receiving his famous red card from referee Les Coffman – photo by Dave Barker

Categories: Other Football Topics

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: https://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/

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