How football’s links between Auckland and Bournemouth go back half a century

The links between Auckland’s new A-League expansion club and English Premier League club Bournemouth have revived memories of two tours of New Zealand.

Auckland’s new club, Auckland FC, is owned by football investor Bill Foley, whose Black Knight Group own Bournemouth.

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First tour in 1973

In 1973, AFC Bournemouth — then an English third division club — toured New Zealand, playing four matches.

They won them all, beating Auckland (6-1), Otago-Southland (6-1), Canterbury (2-0) and Wellington (3-0).

The tourists had a number of players who achieved at a higher level or through careers off the pitch.

These included Mel Machin (future manager of Manchester City), Harry Redknapp (future manager of many clubs, including Bournemouth, West Ham United and Spurs), Scottish international Jimmy Gabriel and one-cap English international Phil Boyer.

Bill Foley’s vision is to build a network of football clubs around the world that provide pathways for players, from the A-League to the English Premier League.

As well as Auckland and Bournemouth, he also has stakes in French club Lorient and Scottish Premiership club Hibernian.

Main photo: The publicity photo used to promote the Bournemouth squad in 1973. Back row, from left: Mel Machin, Bobby Howe, Jimmy Gabriel, Brian Clark, Fred Davies, Tony Powell, David Jones, Keith Miller, John Benson, Phil Boyer.
Front row, from left: Harry Redknapp, David Chadwick, Micky Cave, unknown, Alan Groves, John Sainty.

Match programme

Read the match programme for Auckland’s match against Bournemouth in June 1973:

Second tour in 1982

In 1982, Bournemouth returned to New Zealand for an eight-match tour, winning seven games.

They beat Franklin County (3-1), Waikato (4-0), Gisborne City (4-0), Napier City Rovers (2-1), New Zealand U-19 (6-0), New Zealand U-19 (5-0) and Mount Wellington (2-0).

Their only loss was a 2-1 defeat in New Plymouth, against Taranaki.

A member of the Bournemouth coaching staff in 1982 was Harry Redknapp, who took the field as a player against Taranaki when injuries forced the visitors to include him and manager David Webb in their line-up.

Bournemouth’s 1982 touring squad was David Webb (manager), Harry Redknapp (trainer), John Impey, Ken Allen, Ian Leigh, Phil Brignull, Kevin Dawtry, Milton Graham, Tom Heffernan, Andy Crawford, Howard Goddard, Brian O’Donnell, Nigel Spackman, Chris Sulley, Derek Dawkins, Keith Williams, Brian Mundee, Richard Donovan.

Match programme

Read the match programme for Mt Wellington’s game against Bournemouth in June 1982.

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