Surely no New Zealand football figure has been in the right place at the right time as often — or as effectively — as Arthur Egan.
Since his first official role in football as the collator of weekend results for the Auckland Football Association in 1956, Egan has been central to many of the country’s most successful team efforts.
In 1973, he was the team liaison officer for the All Whites, gaining vital experience for his role as team manager for the national squad that went to the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain.
When Auckland City formed in 2004, he joined the club as its property steward — and is the longest–serving staff member at the club, serving more recently as the club’s ambassador.
He has been a key part of City’s FIFA Club World Cup campaigns in Japan 2006, UAE in 2009, Japan again in 2011 and 2012 and Morocco 2013 and 2014.
In 2007, he filled a similar role with the NZ side to the FIFA U17 World Cup in Korea. For his half-century of commitment to the game, Egan is a Life Member of New Zealand Football and of the Auckland Football Federation.
When receiving his NZF Life Membership in 2007, Egan said he had never gone in search of honours or to make money from football.
“I have had a wonderful 50 years. I have never got into a fight with anyone,” he said.
John Adshead, coach of the 1982 All Whites, once wrote of Egan: “Occasionally in life you strike a bit of luck, but very rarely do you find a gem that turns into something special. That was the case for me and the NZFA when we ‘found’ Arthur.
“Some people called him the kit man … but they would be wrong, very wrong. He was much more than that. When you talk human resource management he was a genius, he kept our sanity and spirit together.”
2022: Egan continues his talismanic run
By 2022, Arthur Egan was still enjoying being part of Auckland City’s success.
Appointed as the club’s ambassador, he continued to greet visitors to Kiwitea Street and to mingle with the many friends he has made in football.
And he continues to be present wherever there’s a title or trophy to be won.
In December 2022, he was at Mt Smart Stadium — the scene of so many games for him in the 1981 World Cup qualifying series — when Auckland City won their 12th consecutive national title and with it, an historic quadruple of trophies.