Kiwitea Street grandstand to be named after football leader with ‘big heart’

A ceremony at Sunday’s ‘Dominion Road Derby’ between Auckland City and Auckland United will see the unveiling of the newly-named grandstand at Kiwitea Street.

The stand will be named after Central United stalwart David Vlatkovich, a long-time player and advocate for the club who died on May 12, 2018.

Main photo: The main grandstand at Kiwitea St, Sandringham.Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Announcing the ceremony, Central United president Mate Tolj told the club’s social media followers:

“David was an outstanding club member for many, many years and Central was engrained in him from an early age.

“We will never forget his valuable contribution or his extraordinary generosity towards our club and felt that naming our grandstand after him was an appropriate way to recognise this.

“We are proud and honoured to be hosting David’s family at Kiwitea Street this Sunday and we invite all past and present supporters of Central United to attend the game and be part of this special event.”

David Vlatkovich was a member of Central’s first-ever junior team in 1964 and played his entire football career for the club.

He played key roles in the 1980s era when Central won four promotions in five years to reach the Northern Premier League in 1989 for the first time in its history.

Vlatkovich made 102 senior appearances for the first team as an uncompromising central defender, scoring 18 goals.

He was a member of the team that embarked on the club’s first overseas tour in 1983 when Central was hosted by Jadran Hajduk in Sydney and he was captain of the iconic “Invincibles” side of 1984 that remains the only Central first team to complete an undefeated season.

The ‘invincibles’ Central United team of 1984.

In its tribute to Vlatkovich, the club said:

“David was a big man with a big heart who played an important role in the development of Central United Football Club.

“David was very much a leader and a visionary. A man of purpose and character, wisdom and integrity.

“David along with his brother Tony — through their law firm Vlatkovich & McGowan — acted as honorary solicitors for the club for many decades. In this regard — and especially in Central’s earlier years — they provided invaluable guidance, expertise and leadership as our fledging club began to flourish.”


Game to be played on Sunday October 29, 2023

Auckland City v Auckland United
Kiwitea St, Sandringham, 2pm

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