WELLINGTON Phoenix FC’s connection to Canterbury is a strong one and the thoughts of everyone at the club are with the people of the region affected by Tuesday’s devastating earthquake.
Christchurch has become the Phoenix’s home away from home in recent seasons, with the Wellington club playing regular competition and pre-season matches and having incredible support in the Garden City.
Back in September after the first earthquake, the Wellington Phoenix asked fans to dig deep and help out in any way they can. With the earthquake of 22 February significantly more damaging, the call has gone out for Phoenix fans to once again rally in support of our Southern cousins.
“Once again I am urging all Phoenix fans to dig deep and give whatever they can to help the people affected in their time of need,” said Terry Serepisos.
“Every little bit helps, both financially and in terms of demonstrating that the country’s thoughts are with the residents of Canterbury at this difficult time. What has happened in the affected region is a sobering reminder that all of us can be caught in a natural disaster with no warning and that we need the help of others to get through.
“What makes New Zealand so special is that everyone throughout the country is prepared to lend a hand when things are tough.”
One Phoenix player particularly affected by the earthquake is proud Cantabrian Ben Sigmund. The Phoenix and All Whites defender grew up in Christchurch and his parents, grandparents, sister and friends still live in the city.
Ben Sigmund was awarded the Phoenix-s Sony Player of the Year at the end of season awards on Wednesday night, and in his acceptance speech he made a touching tribute to his home city.
‘Siggy- takes solace in the knowledge that the resilience and spirit of the people of Canterbury will see the region through.
“Even though this is the second major disaster in six months, it’s a close-knit community and I’m sure it won’t be long till everyone’s back on their feet, especially with all the support out there nationwide.”
Wellington Phoenix CEO Nathan Greenham said “As sports fans one way to show our support for the region is to get in behind a couple of projects that Wellington Phoenix commercial partners the Radio Network and Vodafone have started. These two organisations have some great initiatives going that we are keen Phoenix fans get in behind.”
Details are below. Note that we will keep you updated on these appeals through our facebook and twitter sites.
• The Radio Sport Sports Auction. The Wellington Phoenix are donating a number of items to this auction including:
A signed 2007 pre-season shirt as worn by Richard Johnson. This was a shirt that could never be bought so it-s very unique. Richard Johnson played for Watford in the Premier League and even scored against Liverpool. The shirt is signed by the current Phoenix squad.
A ‘One Shot for Glory- street flag signed by all of the Phoenix-s All Whites plus Ricki Herbert. This is a unique memento of that famous night of 14 November. Was never able to be purchased.
A commerative Boca Juniors/Phoenix supporters pack including:
o Boca supporters flag, poster, scarf, playing mittens, socks, cups and mug
o Commerative Phoenix/Boca pennant (not available for purchase)
o Boca cups and mug
o Phoenix tie
o Phoenix boot bag
A night for two in Terry Serepisos- Century City Hotel.
All the details will be on www.radiosport.co.nz from Monday 28 February.
• The Vodafone Red Alert Christchurch Earthquake Appeal in partnership with the Red Cross. Text “Quake” to 333 to make a $3 donation or 555 to donate $5. This will be added to their Vodafone mobile bill.
Other ways to donate:
• Red Cross
• Phone 0900 33 200 to make an automatic $20 donation
• Donate in person at any branch of NZ Post, Kiwibank, ANZ, National Bank, ASB and BNZ