VIDEO: A special game for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s team

They might have played only one game in the competition — and lost it 8-0 — but the Royal New Zealand Navy relished the historical importance of their involvement in this year’s Chatham Cup.

The team entered the 2023 Chatham Cup, a competition in its 100th year, and lost to Lotto NRFL Men’s Championship side Fencibles United.

Main photo: The Royal New Zealand Navy XI.

But the game was more than a 90-minute contest of footballing skills.

It maintained the navy’s links with a competition that began when the trophy – a meticulous replica of the English FA Cup – was presented to the New Zealand Football Association on  December 14, 1922, by Captain C.B. Prickett on behalf of the crew of the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Chatham.

The donation of the cup was in gratitude for the hospitality received during the ship’s tour of duty in New Zealand waters.

A hundred years on, and RNZN’s team against Fencibles United included goalkeeper Kelsey Crew, a great-nephew of a crew member from the HMS Chatham.

Playing his 10th season for the team, Crew said the nature of naval commitments made it difficult to keep a team together.

Still, they looked forward to the annual tournament with their counterparts from the New Zealand army and airforce, which would take place at Albany this year.

READ MORE: Football’s oldest club trophy — the Chatham Cup is 100 years old today >>>>

A hundred-year bond through football


Game played on Saturday May 13, 2023

Royal NZ Navy 0
Fencibles United 8 (Peter Garofalakis 7′, 33′, Brennen Priestley 37′ pen, Hazem Alfayad 41′, Frank Clarke 70′, 74′, 87′, Samuel Lonergan 82′)

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