Referee’s handwritten match report presented back to him 55 years after final whistle

posted in: Heritage, News

When referee Les Coffman filled in his match report and expenses claim for a game in May 1967, he never expected to have it presented back to him more than 55 years later.

The match was the ground-breaking tour game by Manchester United before a 26,000 crowd at Auckland’s Carlaw Park.

Coffman refereed the 8-1 win to the English champions and later he sent his handwritten match report to the national body to file as the official record of the match.

Despite the size of the crowd — a huge commercial success for its organisers — Coffman carefully entered the amount of his claimed expenses: ‘NIL’.

For Coffman expected nothing other than the pleasure of refereeing such a high-profile game.

In July 2022, however, Friends of Football surprised the 93-year-old Coffman by presenting him with his handwritten report, framed and with a citation recognising his contribution to football in New Zealand.

The event was a reunion of Auckland and New Zealand players who played in the two 1967 games against Manchester United.

Main photo: Les Coffman (left) receives his 1967 match report from Friends of Football chair Josh Easby.

READ MORE: Click here for story of the reunion >>>>

READ MORE: Click here to see video highlights of the games >>>>

The match report

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Friends of Football thanks Kohler for their support of our reunion event.