Friends of Football have inducted legendary backroom “diamond” Arthur Egan to their roll of Medal of Excellence holders.
Egan (86) received his medal in a surprise presentation at a function at Auckland City’s Kiwitea St clubrooms on April 27, where he is the club’s longest-serving staff member.
He becomes the 10th recipient of a Medal of Excellence, joining a group of the sport’s highest achievers.
Main photo: Five fellow Medal of Excellence holders welcome Arthur Egan to the group. They are (from left) Terry Hobin, Carol Waller, Barry Smith, Arthur Egan, Ivan Vicelich and Brian Turner.Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Arthur Egan’s contribution to football
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 New Zealand national team, gaining vital experience for his role as team manager for the All Whites 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 was 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 New Zealand 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.
READ MORE: Meet Arthur Egan, the talisman of New Zealand’s most successful sides >>>>
Medal of Excellence
The Medal of Excellence presentation was a well-kept secret as Egan and fellow Auckland City members gathered for a football movie night, hosted by Friends of Football.
At the end of the movie — Marvellous, the story of legendary English kit man Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin — Egan discovered the audience had swelled to include family members, friends and admirers.
MC Andrew Dewhurst and former national coach and Auckland City head coach Allan Jones shared the details of Egan’s football career, and the influence he has had on players, teams and clubs.
“He’s a diamond,” Jones told the audience.
Egan: ‘My wife should take the credit;
Presented with his medal, Egan immediately thanked his wife, Margaret, crediting her for his ability to commit so much time to football.
“I could not have done any of this without her,” he said.
Friends of Football founder and former All White Brian Turner read a message from 1982 All Whites coach John Adshead, the inaugural Medal of Excellence recipient, who was unable to attend.
Adshead has long credited Egan with being a key contributor to the national side’s success.
“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,” Adshead once wrote of him.
“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.”
Our Medal of Excellence recipients
Since 2013, Friends of Football have recognised the following for their contributions to football:
- Terry Hobin — administrator, competition manager and football writer/photographer/publisher.
- Carol Waller — international player and outstanding administrator.
- Barry Smith — unquestionably the keeper of our sport’s history in New Zealand.
- Warrick Gendall — a national administrator and leader.
- The late Bert Ormond — a pioneering national league coach and former national captain.
- Brian Turner — more than 100 appearances in the national shirt and five World Cup campaigns as a player and in the coaching dugout.
- The late Steve Sumner — an inspirational All Whites captain and leader on and off the pitch.
- Ivan Vicelich — our sport’s most capped All White and a role model for the current generation of young players.
- John Adshead — coach of the 1982 All Whites who did so much to raise the profile of our sport.
When assessing candidates for recognition, Friends of Football looks to the following criteria:
1. The impact of the nominee’s contribution to football over a long period of time.
2. Belief that their achievements can inspire others to follow their example.
3. That our list of honorees is representative of the ways in which people can influence the success of our sport.
READ MORE: Our other recipients of our Medal of Excellence >>>>