STEVE SUMNER TO BE HONOURED AT CHRISTCHURCH GOLDEN OLDIES FOOTBALL FESTIVAL
Football teams from around the world will have the opportunity to play for the inaugural Steve Sumner Cup at next April’s Golden Oldies World Football Festival to be held in Christchurch as part of the Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018.
Golden Oldies Football manager for the event and former All Whites captain, Earle Thomas, said it was a privilege to be the first event to honour Steve’s contribution to football. “We are extremely grateful to Steve’s family for allowing us to name the cup for the first division competition at Golden Oldies World Football Festival in his honour,” said Thomas. “The Sumner family want to keep Steve’s legacy alive and are happy for the Golden Oldies event to name the cup in his honour. We felt it was very fitting with the event being held in Steve’s home town and being played for by footballers who participate for the sheer love of the game.”
While it is only the division one teams which will play for the Steve Sumner Cup, the Golden Oldies World Football Festival aims to attract some 60 or more teams in a number of categories and age groups from around New Zealand and overseas for the week long tournament.
Thomas said the cup would be contested every year at the bi-annual Golden Oldies World Football Festival and at a local tournament in Christchurch in alternate years.
The Golden Oldies World Football Festival will be played from 15 to 22 April, 2018 at Hagley Park. It is one of 10 sports – Rugby, Hockey, Netball, Basketball, Cricket, Squash, Softball, Golf, Lawns Bowls and Football – which make up the month long Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018 event and which aims to attract a total of 10,000 sports people and their supporters and officials.
Captain of the national team during the country's first successful campaign to qualify for the World Cup, in 1982.
His international career spanned from 1976 to 1988, including a record 105 appearances for New Zealand, 58 of which were A-internationals.
An active and attacking midfielder, Sumner scored a national record six goals during New Zealand's 13–0 defeat of Fiji during the 1982 World Cup qualifying campaign. He was also one of New Zealand's only two scorers in the 1982 World Cup Finals tournament in Spain (along with Steve Wooddin), in New Zealand's 5–2 loss to Scotland.
He was the first player of the FIFA Oceania zone to score in a World Cup.
In 1991, he was inducted into the New Zealand Soccer Media Association Hall of Fame and was then awarded FIFA's top award, the FIFA Order of Merit, before the opening of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, along with Johan Cruyff and former South African president Thabo Mbeki.
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