VALE: Football loses Bob Patterson, a ‘visionary leader who believed in people’

posted in: News, Obituary, Uncategorized

Long-time football leader and advocate Bob Patterson has died in Auckland, a few days short of his 80th birthday.

The president of Northern Region Football, he died on Sunday June 9, 2024, after a lengthy illness.

In its tribute, NRF said: “Bob was passionate about every aspect of the game and deeply involved right until the end.

“He was a passionate supporter of many, many people who ran the game and helped grow the next generation of football leadership in our region.

“He believed in people, and guided them to achieve more than they thought possible.”

NRF successfully nominated Patterson for Life Membership of NZ Football at the 2024 NZF Annual Congress.

READ MORE: NZ Football grants Life Membership to two long-time servants of the game >>>>

Originally from Newcastle in England, Patterson played football in the armed services at the regimental, corps and army levels.

He had extensive army and New Zealand National League coaching experience, before moving into administration with Sydney Football Club and the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, the first FIFA tournament to be allocated to New Zealand.

He became chief executive of NZ Football through this period, before taking on other leadership roles, including Auckland Football Federation (chair and chief executive), NZ Knights (chief executive), Central Football (chief executive) and serving on NZF’s Executive Committee until 2022.

“His vision was critical to the joint venture and subsequent merger of AFF and Northern Football Federation to create Northern Region Football,” NRF’s tribute says.

“Bob was passionate, incredibly knowledgeable and fair, with an ability to understand the broader picture and the rare ability to see all sides of discussions with his pragmatic and calm thoughtfulness is appreciated by so many in the game.

“Football has lost a huge advocate who always wanted us to do better and achieve more for those who played the game. We have lost a true champion.”

NRF said the thoughts of their board and staff were with Patterson’s wife, Petreece, and the Patterson family.

New Zealand Football chief executive Andrew Pragnell said: “Bob was a true legend of football in Aotearoa, New Zealand, who made an impact across the sport, from grassroots to the professional game through to delivering our first ever FIFA tournament.

“Bob had an infectious, lifelong passion for the game and served as a mentor to many of the people who now play senior roles in football.

“Football in this country will not be the same without him, and he will be greatly missed.”

Bob Patterson (June 15, 1944 — June 9, 2024)


Through the publication of obituaries, Friends of Football tries to recognise the loss of those who have significantly contributed to our game.

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