Controversial football character Dave Cook has died from cancer the day before the start of the 2016 football season.
His death brings to an end the lengthy saga of AFC Fury, a Tauranga-based outfit that he had led into the Northern League despite tangles with football’s rules and administrative hierarchy.
Cook was the chairman of Mount Maunganui FC in the 1980s and 1990s, helping take the club from the lowly ranks of local football to almost taking the country’s national championship and Chatham Cup.
He established a new football club at Maramatanga Park in Te Puna in 2001, naming it Western Bay United.
A couple of name changes later, the club became AFC Fury with many of its players imported from overseas.
The club withdrew from the Northern League upon Cook’s death and discontinued, despite initial efforts by volunteers to retrieve its activities.