Vale: Auckland and Waikato clubs mourn for administrator and friend Jim Church

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Football communities in South Auckland and the Waikato are mourning the death of long-time administrator and supporter, Jim Church, who has died after a short illness, aged 83.

Church was a driving force at Otahuhu United where he carried out multiple roles, including coaching, team management and serving on the club’s committee, until his relocation to Matamata about 10 years ago.

There, he became a regular sideline supporter of the Matamata Swifts.

Main photo: Jim Church (right) takes in a game at the Matamata Domain with friend and Swifts Life Member Jack Poole. Photo credit: Matamata Swifts.

In a tribute to Church, Otahuhu United said:

“Jim, his wife Judy, and family had been part of our OUAFC family for many, many years.

“Even when Jim moved outside of Auckland, his dedication to our club was made evident by travelling to many AGMs.

“Our deepest condolences and aroha go out to our Church family.”

Church was club president at Otahuhu United and served as its chair, while also working as a board member for the Franklin Football Association.

‘Most weekends, he’d be on the sidelines …’

Church continued his enthusiasm for football in the Waikato — and still couldn’t resist lending a hand when it was needed. He became the Matamata club’s go-to person when the linemarking machine was being temperamental.

In its own tribute to Church, the Swifts said:

“Most weekends, he’d be on the sidelines at the Domain, and you’d also often see him watching teams in black and white at various locations across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.”

Church died at Waikato Hospital on February 8 after a short illness.

James David Church (December 10, 1939 — February 8, 2023)

The following notice has appeared in the NZ Herald:

CHURCH, James David (Jim). Born, 10 December 1939. Passed away on Wednesday, 8 February 2023, aged 83. Much loved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, father-in-law and brother. Jim passed away peacefully after a short illness at Waikato Hospital. A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at the Rosa Chapel, 6 Tamihana Street, Matamata, Friday, 17 February at 1pm. In lieu of flowers donations to the Waikato Branch of Diabetes NZ www.diabetes. All communications to the Church family c/- 6 Tamihana St, Matamata.


Through the publication of obituaries, Friends of Football tries to recognise the loss of those who have significantly contributed to our game.

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