Auckland Anniversary Day: When the Swiss Cup holders met New Zealand

Auckland Anniversary Day holds a special link with an historic match played under floodlights sixty years ago.

On January 27, 1964, Swiss Cup champions FC Basel came to Auckland’s Blandford Park to play a New Zealand team preparing for their upcoming world tour.

Formed in 1893, Basel have become a powerhouse of Swiss football, winning Switzerland’s national championship 20 times and taking the Swiss Cup 13 times.

The 1964 New Zealand team. Back Row: J. J. Ryan, A. W. Leong. M. B. Russell, S. C. Scott, T. J. L. Pugh, D. Torkington, A. Inglis.  Second Row: R. McBriar, J. F. Lawson, A. Stroud, K. Sudlow, P. L. Whiting, A. J. Sefton, R. Moore, G. P. Bilby. Sitting: J. Smith (liaison officer), J. G. Kemp (vice captain), J. Kershaw (Manager), R. D. Ormond (captain), O. Hilton (assistant manager), J. A. Evans, K. Armstrong (coach).

The New Zealand team they faced included captain Bert Ormond, player-coach (and former England international) Ken Armstrong and goalkeeper Peter Whiting who was to become the first New Zealander to play in the top tier of English football when he joined Charlton Athletic in 1965.

Basel’s visit to Auckland was part of a 10-match world tour that included games in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Mexico and the United States.

Basel’s captain for the New Zealand visit was Hans Weber, a right half who had played for the club since 1949. Weber died from cancer a year after the Auckland match.

The Swiss Cup holders built a 4-0 lead by the hour mark, and New Zealand replied with a late goal from substitute Ron Moore, to the joy of the home crowd of 6,500.


Game played on Monday January 27, 1964
Blandford Park, Auckland
Attendance: 6,500

New Zealand 1 (Ron Moore 78′)
FC Basel 4 (Roberto Frigerio 18′, 60′, Karl Odermatt, Heinz Blumer 55′)

New Zealand

Peter Whiting, Alun Evans, Arthur Leong, Jim Lawson, John Kemp, Alan Sefton, Ken Sudlow, Derek Torkington, Arthur Inglis, Trefor Pugh, Bert Ormond. Subs: Ken Armstrong, Ron Moore.

Read the match programme

Programme courtesy of the late Dave Petraska, and converted to digital format by Friends of Football.

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