A simple sheet of wood at Cambridge Football Club has become one of the sport’s most fascinating pieces of memorabilia.
Four years ago, the club hung the board on the wall of its clubrooms to collect signatures of visitors who have played for, coached or managed the All Whites and Football Ferns.
The collection now has more than 60 signatures.
Latest to sign were four who visited John Kerkhof Park with Auckland’s Eastern Suburbs to play Hamilton Wanderers in an ISPS Handa Premiership fixture in November 2018.
Coach Danny Hay (31 caps for New Zealand) was delighted to sign, followed by current players Andre de Jong and Tim Payne.
A spectator at the match, who also autographed the board, was Paul Rennell (now 80), a central defender for New Zealand in 1967-68.
The first signature on the board was that of Brian Turner, who played more than 100 games for his country and was part of five World Cup campaigns (three as a player and two as a member of the coaching staff).
Turner’s name is one of a number from the 1982 All Whites who became the first to reach the World Cup finals tournament.
Others on the board include ’82 coach John Adshead, Ken Cresswell, Ricki Herbert and the squad’s legendary kitman, Arthur Egan.
National coaches who have signed are Adshead, Herbert and Allan Jones.
One of the greatest All Whites of all time, Ivan Vicelich, has signed a corner of the display.
Another special signature is that of Waikato-born Barbara Cox who was the captain of the first-ever Football Ferns squad in 1975.
Two other Ferns to sign are former Cambridge FC players Maria Anderton and Andrea Rogers.
Now the club has filled one board with autographs, a second board will follow – creating more football history with the addition of every new signature!
Main photo: Striker Andre de Jong signs the board at John Kerkhof Park. Photo courtesy Eastern Suburbs FC.