How two losses celebrated the opening of football’s new headquarters

In May 1964, a new home for football in Auckland was officially opened when touring German club SC Preussen Munster played the first of two games at Newmarket Park.

On Saturday May 30, Munster beat an Auckland representative side 4-2 in the first official game played at the venue.

On Monday June 1, the Queen’s Birthday holiday, the Germans ran out easy winners against New Zealand, cruising to a 6-0 victory

Despite the losses, the games began Newmarket Park’s tenure as the home of football until it was claimed by a landslide and destroyed in 1979.

The match programme for the first games includes the schedule of entertainment and formalities before the 2.30pm kick-off.

Spectators were entertained by recorded music, followed by performances by the Northern Military District Artillery Band, the Canadian Grenadiers, marching girls and the Royal Auckland Choir.

The ground was officially declared open by Reg Keeling, the president of the Auckland Football Association, and his guests from the NZ Football Association and the Mayor of Newmarket Borough.

The match programme includes stories about the Newmarket Park project and the shift of headquarters from Blandford Park.

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Main photo: Fans pack the terraces at Newmarket Park when New Zealand played Wales in 1971. Photo credit: Dave Barker.

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Read the match programme

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