The Centre Circle, a Canterbury-based football supporter group, had its origins when former players met to chew the fat as the world approached a new millennium.
On the evening of August 17, 1998, they decided there was more to football than just playing the game.
“As satisfying as it was to put on your boots and give it your all, football gave us a sense of purpose, and a common bond that went beyond the pitch,” recalls chair Bobby Almond, a member of that founding group.
Those who participated at the initial meeting agreed a number of objectives for their new organisation:
- Raise funds for our footballing community in Canterbury through social events.
- To enjoy the company of like-minded people with a keen interest in the game of football
- To provide a positive public profile for football
- To attend football occasions as a group- regionally, nationally, and internationally
- To enjoy shared hobbies and other sports with fellow members.
- To keep in touch with fellow members through a shared database.
- Uphold and deliver the core values of this charitable organisation
“We planned to raise funds for the good of football in Canterbury. Whether it was equipment for junior teams or providing financial support for a promising young player to attend a trial with a professional club or a football academy, it was about promoting the game in a positive and supportive way.
“It was about the football family, our football family.
“While the Centre Circle was active, we were making a difference, we were promoting the game and all funds went back into the game that we loved.”
Today, Almond says the initial group are “somewhat older, somewhat wrinklier and somewhat less mobile but we would like to think that the passion we had all that long ago, is still there.
“We have also lost a good number of our teammates along the way which tells us that we should do this again while we still can.
“One of the great benefits of this is the friendly banter that exists between us all, whether we were teammates or not. You just can’t beat that. And at the same time, we do some good for the game.”
How to join
To join the Centre Circle, fill out the following application form and either give it to a Centre Circle committee member or post to The Centre Circle, 25 Solway Avenue, Christchurch 8041.
Who we are
Board members of The Centre Circle (and their favourite teams) are:
Alan Stroud (Liverpool), Peter Phelan (Spurs), John Brown (Rangers), Norm Withers (Man Utd), Graeme Archer (Arsenal), John Hanson (Bradford – pronounced Bratford), Pat Berry (Spurs), Steve Roberts (West Ham), Noel Pinn (The Silver Ferns – don’t ask), Bobby Almond (Man Utd).
Friends of Football, who are primarily Auckland-based, and The Centre Circle, from Canterbury, intend to help each other achieve their common aims.
This includes invitations to each other’s events and gathering for football events (such as international games) when we can.