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French striker Thierry
Henry says he is retiring
from professional football
after two decades in the
“After 20 years in the
game I have decided to
retire from professional
football,” Henry said
in a statement on his
Henry, 37, a world and
European champion with
France, and the record
scorer at English Premier
League club Arsenal, said
he was becoming a TV
commentator. “It is now
time for a different career
path and I am pleased to
say that I will be returning
to London,” he said.
Arsenal manager Arsene
Wenger said recently that
Henry will “certainly”
return to the club in some
capacity in the future.
Henry himself has
told L’Equipe in recent
weeks that he wants to
help Arsenal win the
Champions L eague. He
first made his mark at
Monaco before moving
to Italian giants Juventus.
The bulk of his career was
spent at Arsenal and he
also played for Barcelona.
He completed his
playing career in the US,
playing for the New York
Red Bulls in the MLS but
could not prevent them
being eliminated in the
semi-finals. — Reuters
Greymouth golfer Patti
Brown, who has been ambling
around the links at Kaiata
for nearly 35 years has been
honoured with life membership
of the Greymouth Golf Club.
The 80-year-old joined in
1981, but prior to that she had
been following her husband
Danny around the fairways
when he was playing.
“I would go along with
Danny, then I started hitting a
few balls and got hooked,” she
told the Greymouth Star today.
Brown said she learned early
on that if she wanted to see
more of her husband she
would need to make the
Greymouth golf course her
In doing so she has always
volunteered for working bees,
auction set-ups, tournament
kitchen duties and any other
jobs that need doing.
She was voted on to the
women’s committee at the
1988 annual general meeting
— a nd is still there.
She has ser ved the club in
many capacities including
match, kitchen and house
She has been in charge of the
kitchen committee, a vice club
captain and also assisted with
junior club members weekly
Brown has been officially in
charge of the club gardens
since 2004, although
unofficially she was designing
and tending to the gardens for
many years prior to that.
Visitors to the Greymouth
golf course often compliment
the club on the colourful
She was recently seen on
television during the ANZ
Golf Show with a paint brush
in hand during the clubhouse
makeover the club had won.
of the New Zealand Herald
What do you get when you throw together
a truck driver, cleaner, zoology student and a
collection of other part-time New Zealand
In the case of Auckland City FC, you get a
club football team.
John Irving always thought he was destined
to make an impact in football but certainly did
not imagine it would come from playing for an
amateur club side in the relative backwaters of
Irving scored the winning goal in a man-of-the-
match performance for Auckland City against
African club champions ES Setif on Sunday
to help them progress to the semi-finals of the
Club World Cup where they will play Copa
Libertadores champions San Lorenzo tomorrow
An unlikely victory against the Argentines
would see them progress to the final where they
would probably take on European champions
Real Madrid, stacked with galaticos of the world
game like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and
Irving, 25, always imagined playing against
players of that ilk as he grew up in Liverpool.
He was on the books of English Premier League
outfit Everton from the age of five until 20, and
was even on the bench for the first team a handful
of times in pre-season games, but that ’s when his
career took a dispiriting downward spiral.
When the Toffees neglected to offer him a new
deal, Irving assumed someone else would pick
“ I thought if I got released from Everton there
would be someone (willing to sign me) because I
had been at a Premiership club for near enough
my whole life,” he told the Herald earlier this year.
“ I had been trained by some of the best coaches in
the country but no one was willing to take a risk
and give me a go.
“ I got a letter in the post from (Welsh Premier
League team) Bala Town asking if I was interested
in going down for a trial. That was a last resort just
so I could play while people were trying to get me
back into the Football League but nothing came
up. It was a massive blow. I wasn’t happy where I
was playing in Wales and wanted a change, to go
in a different direction.”
That journey saw him end up in Ngaruawahia
last year. After only a couple of games in the
Northern League Division One, offers from ASB
Premiership clubs started materialising and he
settled on Auckland City, largely because it was
a chance for Irving to try to secure a professional
contract somewhere by playing in the Club World
The defender is like a lot of Auckland players,
desperate to impress scouts in the hope of
securing a professional contract.
“ I’m not really fussed where I go,” he said. “ I just
want to get to the highest standard I can before
my time runs out.” For now, though, his goals are
more team orientated and it is a difficult situation
for many within the squad to comprehend.
“ It ’s really incredible. We’re in heaven,” Irving
told fifa.com . “ Winning our first game (against
Moghreb Tetouan) was the greatest day of our
lives, but we were on another level (after beating
ES Setif ) and it ’s hard to explain the feeling. We
never thought we’d end up among the four best
sides here. We’re all very proud.
“ We’re making history. I think we can say this is
the best team Auckland City have ever had.”
Henry hangs up boots
Patti Brown, who was honoured with Greymouth Golf Club
life membership recently, with club president Paul Watson.
West Coast Rugby League’s
elder statesman and groundsman,
Frank Gibson, turns 90 tomorrow
but there is no sign of this rugby
league stalwart slowing down.
Gibson is the unsung hero of the
13-man code at Wingham Park,
dedicating his free time to keeping
the home of West Coast rugby
league in tip top condition.
He has worn the groundsman’s
hat at the park for 40 years and
says he enjoys being involved and
assisting the game he loves so
“Bob (the late Bob Aynsley) and
I had been working at the park for
years,” Gibson said.
“I’m a do-it-yourself type of
person and come from a milling
background, which helps, I suppose.
I probably come out to the park
three days a week, and in the
off-season work on the
maintenance around the venue and
get all the grass growing for the
He served 15 years on the West
Coast Rugby League board, is a
life member and also received a
distinguished ser vice medal from
the New Zealand Rugby League.
“I will celebrate my 90th birthday
with family and friends this
weekend but other than that, it will
be business as usual,” he said.
Golf stalwar t
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Business as usual for 90-year-old Frank Gibson as he checked the
growth of grass at Wingham Park today.
Coast league groundsman
going strong at 90
enjoy rare spoils
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