More than 60 years after helping to start the club, co-founder Ken Hastings has been made a Life Member of Papatoetoe AFC.
He’ll go into the 2022 season as a spectator and supporter of his football-playing grandson but club members will recognise his contribution to the South Auckland club’s growth.
Nominating Hastings for Life Membership at the club’s Annual General Meeting over summer, An Slecht said:
“Papatoetoe AFC was established in 1959 – Ken Hastings was a founding member and one of the driving forces in starting the club.
“Prior to forming the club, Ken and several other players mustered a number of senior players, all who played in the Auckland competition but lived in the Papatoetoe area.
“The players originally trained at the Papatoetoe Recreation Ground and it was not long before the players felt that a club should be properly formed and a meeting was held with Ken Hastings as the chairman.
“Papatoetoe AFC entered the Franklin & Districts competition in 1960 – with the team continuing to play at the Papatoetoe Recreation Grounds – In 1965 after several years of hard work by Ken and others on the committee the club moved to Murdoch Park and the same year entered the Northern League and in 1971 reached the Premier League.
‘Ken put in an immense amount of time and effort’
“During the first two or three years after the establishment of the club, Ken put in an immense amount of time and effort – attending senior and junior committee meetings as well as Franklin meetings.
“Ken was instrumental in setting up all three committees. While at the same time Ken coached three junior teams and still found time to train and play himself (his wife Katie is a very understanding and patient lady!)
“In the early 1970s – after many years of hard work and involvement with Papatoetoe AFC work commitments took Ken to Wellington. But even while not involved in the club Ken still kept in contact with me and always kept a keen eye on the club and results
“Outside of soccer I also knew Ken and his wife Katie through playcentre, where all our children attended at the same time.
“In recent years Ken has returned to the club and is a regular attendee at home games, usually bringing his young grandson who now plays for Papatoetoe AFC.
‘Without his efforts in the early days, there would be no club’
“It seems to have been an oversight that Ken has never been given Life Membership in the club, fellow founding members Tom Coysh, Tom Cunningham, Leo Martens … are all Life Members. Although Ken was not involved in the club during the “Glory Years” of the late 1970s and 1980s without his efforts in the first 10-15 years of the club – there would be no club.
“It is time that Ken Hastings was honoured with a Life Membership.”
The Executive supported An Slecht’s nomination and Ken Hastings was unanimously voted by AGM attendees as the club’s latest life member.
Friends of Football congratulates Ken Hastings on his Life Membership.
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