Elected 1998 Passed Away 1999
Tony Hilton joined the club in 1952 and played as goalkeeper for the junior 6th (under 12) team. Tony’s uncle Otto was at that time on the club’s management committee, and his father, Arthur, also joined that committee in 1954. Tony played junior football for 4 years and later also filled in for lower grade men’s teams while he was at college.
But, like his father and uncle, it was as an administrator that Tony was to make his mark with the club. His career as a budding football journalist, and later as a racing journalist, put paid to any prospects of continuing to play.
His administrative involvement started when he was elected onto the Management Committee in 1962, and he subsequently served as Secretary in 1966 and 1968. In 1968 and 1969 he was nominated by the club, and duly elected, to the committee of the Wellington Football Association.
Tony’s career then took him to Christchurch for some years. He re-emerged at the club in 1981 and agreed to take on the important role as Chairman of the Junior Management Committee, to stabilise and lead a club-focussed administration.
After three years in that role, Tony was again elected as club Secretary in 1984. The nature of the secretary’s role changed in that year when the club became the first in Wellington to appoint a paid full time manager. Tony continued in the Secretary role through to 1989, had a short break, and was then co-opted onto the management committee for the 1991 season. He was then elected each year from 1992 until he stepped down in November 1998.
Tony liked to be in the thick of things, in positions of considerable responsibility at difficult times, and attending to difficult situations. Helping on the football sub-committee and chairing the Junior Management Committee were examples, but nothing surpassed his delight at supporting the 1st team and offering his views on their performance. In addition, Tony was very proud of having written a centennial book for the NZ Football Association – ‘An Association with Soccer’, published in 1991.
Tony was awarded life membership at the 1998 Annual General Meeting in recognition of his contribution, the third member of his family to be so honoured. Sadly though, he passed away soon after, far too young. Tony’s family presented to the club a Golden Boot Trophy, awarded in Tony’s memory each year to the Club’s top goalscorer.