Phoenix fans kick quake relief efforts along

FANS of Wellington Phoenix FC have rallied in support of the people of Canterbury affected by a major earthquake and ongoing aftershocks.

The club organised a relief collection at the Phoenix-s game against Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium last weekend, raising $2777.50 for the Christchurch Mayoral Relief Fund.

Phoenix chairman Terry Serepisos was thrilled by the generosity of club fans.

“Christchurch is the Phoenix-s home away from home and I-m so impressed that our fans have shown their support for a city and region doing it tough. That-s the greatest hallmark of Kiwis – we support each other in times of need.”

Phoenix defender Ben Sigmund, who grew up in Christchurch and has family and friends in the city, also praised the willingness of Phoenix fans to dig deep in support of relief efforts.

“It-s amazing to see that people throughout the country are prepared to help in any way they can. Every bit helps and I know that the people of Canterbury appreciate not only the financial help but also the knowledge that our thoughts are with them.

“Cantabs are a tough bunch and they-ll get through this, but it-s important for all of us to keep helping in any way we can.”

The Phoenix play Adelaide United at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on December 5 and are looking forward to getting back to a city that has adopted them as their own.

“We got almost 20,000 people for our game in Christchurch last season and it-d be great to go better than that this time,” said Sigmund. “It-s always a great trip for us and the people there always make us feel like we-re ‘their- team. This time we-d also like to see people from all over the country come to Christchurch for the game because that-s sort of way football fans nationwide can really help rebuild the local economy.”

Meanwhile, a charity dinner featuring Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert and players Leo Bertos, Tim Brown and Andrew Durante in support of UNICEF has sold for $1030.

The evening with the four football stars was auctioned on TradeMe to raise funds on behalf of UNICEF to help children affected by devastating floods in Pakistan.

The winner of the auction will enjoy dinner for four people alongside the Phoenix quartet at the popular Dockside restaurant and bar on Wellington-s waterfront.