Passed Away 2018
Steve joined the club as a nine-year-old in 1960, playing his first game on the then newly commissioned Memorial Park No. 1 ground. He soon found his niche as a left wing and moved through the age grades until commencing senior football in 1968.
In 1971 Steve started in administration as secretary of the inaugural supporters’ club committee and he sometimes attended management committee meetings as the supporters’ representative. He must have enjoyed the experience because for 1972, while still supporters’ club secretary, he was elected to the management committee, taking responsibility for football administration. The following year, he remained on the management committee and was chairman of the supporters’ club for a year.
Steve suffered a broken leg in a game in 1972 but returned to play again the next year, before becoming player/manager of the 3rd team in 1974, a year in which he took a break from committee work. In 1975 he was again elected to the management committee, filling in as acting chairman at the end of that season. He was also Hilton-Petone Tournament organiser at the beginning of 1976.
The 1975 season saw Steve take what was to be a long break from playing and start a nine-year stint as a very proactive manager of the 1st team. He changed the role from one of laundry and match-day duties to include also publicist, marketer and records-keeper. Steve meticulously kept appearance and goal-scoring records of the Central League team, a practice that enabled him to bring about the 1st team centurion awards and that contributed to the material on our new Honours Board.
Steve resumed playing in 1984 and enjoyed four years in the President’s grade, being a strategic weapon for the Pet Shop Boys’ team’s attack.
Perhaps Steve’s most visible role would have been many years spent as results officer, which included weekly gathering of results and the then new practice of announcing them and other information in the clubrooms. The equal and witty treatment given to all teams fostered good club spirit, as it does to this day.
A break in 1978 aside, Steve was elected to the management committee each year from 1975 to1997. During that time, he put a lot of energy for varying periods into such roles as publicity officer, gear steward, and editor of the club’s monthly magazine. He also served as deputy chairman for many years, a measure of his colleagues’ respect for his significant and sustained input.
Late in 1986 he was appointed one of Petone’s two directors, and deputy chairman, on the board of Hutt Valley United, a joint Petone, Stop Out and Lower Hutt set-up to enable representation in the then National League. Steve remained in this rather arduous role until 1991, shortly after which Petone withdrew from the arrangement.
At the Annual General Meeting in 1986, Steve’s huge commitment, initiative and taking of responsibility through16 years of administrative service was acknowledged with the awarding of life membership. It is easy to list the offices held and the length of service given that our life members have indebted us with, but it is much harder to convey the sheer intensity, extensive commitment and breadth of responsibility taken that were, and have been, characteristic of Steve’s contribution.
In the sponsorship area, Steve has been almost solely responsible for securing major sponsorships with most of our Central League and club sponsors over many years. He also arranged multiple minor sponsorships which were incorporated into our annual calendars and monthly magazines.
Another initiative unique to Steve was his success in organising special events. In particular, the visit to Petone of West Ham United star, Trevor Brooking, and the associated dinner; the 1988 John Adshead dinner; and in 1989 a series of luncheons in our clubrooms with eminent guest speakers, including Sir Robert Muldoon.
During 1988 – 90 Steve was at the helm in the hosting of three internationals at the Hutt Rec. where New Zealand played Young Brazil, Australia, and China. In this period and through to 1992, he also had liaison roles with England, and other international teams including the All Whites, when they played in Wellington. Along with being Newstalk ZB’s football reporter during 1985 – 96, these roles gave Steve a high profile in local football.
Steve led the project for fencing the no.1 pitch, and improvements to the changing sheds and the car park, leading up to the 1995 season. From that role he went on to be elected Chairman of the Management Committee in 1995-96, during which time he managed the termination of the Club Manager role.
He then withdrew from active club roles and in 2001 moved to Auckland where he still managed to set up a sponsorship deal with Bosch for the Hilton-Petone Tournament. He moved south in 2004 to live on the Kapiti Coast, and became seriously involved with the club again in 2010 when he filled a gap to take the leadership of the Honours Board Project Group, which saw the Board’s completion late in 2011. He also took the lead with the under 19 fundraising raffle, and last year secured a major sponsorship for the 1st team with Grant Plumbing.
This year Steve has established new sponsorship packages and gained support from several local businesses that will provide backing for all sections of the club. His work has involved re-instating the fund-raising club calendar and overseeing our match programmes to assist in promoting our sponsors’ interests.
Steve’s willingness to take responsibility for achieving good outcomes from major projects which really make a difference to the club has been of great benefit, and it would be greater if others might derive inspiration from his example.
Sadly, after suffering a significant stroke on 25 April 2018, Steve passed away on 9 June. A huge loss for the club and football in the Wellington region.