All Whites to face Socceroos for historic Soccer Ashes trophy this October in London

The All Whites will play the Socceroos this October in London for the recently rediscovered Soccer Ashes trophy, the historic prize thought lost until April this year.  

The match on Tuesday 17 October 2023 will see the legendary trophy put on the line for the first time since 1954.

Housed in an elaborate wooden casket and constructed from a combination of rewarewa and Australian maple, the trophy contains the ashes of cigars smoked by Australian captain Alex Gibb and New Zealand captain George Campbell following the first meeting between the two nations in Australia in June 1923. 

Built by New Zealand trophy maker Harry Mayer in 1923, the Ashes are held in a silver-plated razor case that was carried by Queensland Football Association Secretary Private William Fisher at the landing of Gallipoli in 1915, a powerful symbol of the Anzac Spirit which underpins the strong trans-Tasman sporting bond and rivalry. 

Andrew Pragnell, New Zealand Football CEO, sees this game as a major moment for trans-Tasman sport and a continuation of the successful collaboration between the two organisations: 

“We know how much football fans on both sides of the Tasman want to see this fixture, and with the rediscovery of the Soccer Ashes trophy, this match has more relevance than ever. 

“This is a truly historic trophy, and it will be brilliant to see it played for this year, and in future years, for the first time since the 1950s. 

“This match, as well as last September’s 100 year anniversary games, the A-League expansion in Aotearoa New Zealand, and of course the FIFA Women’s World Cup, signifies the ongoing collaboration between New Zealand Football and Football Australia which can only benefit the game as a whole in this part of the world.

“We have a significant leadership role to play in football development across the Asia Pacific region and we are stronger together through our continued partnership and alignment.”

James Johnson, Football Australia CEO, said:

“First and foremost, the Soccer Ashes trophy is a wonderful piece of sporting history and it’s been a pleasure to learn of the many storylines attached to it, which ultimately brought it to being rediscovered earlier this year.

“The trophy illustrates Australia and New Zealand’s ongoing connection and celebrates our shared love of football, as well as the rich history of both nations. 

“In many ways, the creation of this trophy set the foundations for how our organisations work together today.

“When discussing the significance of the trophy and the story behind it, returning it to its rightful place as the prize the Socceroos and All Whites play for was an easy decision.

“It will be a fantastic occasion and I look forward to the Soccer Ashes trophy being the centrepiece of future fixtures.”

Presently, the FIFA Men’s International calendar does not support the staging of an annual match between both nations, however both Member Associations are proactively looking for opportunities to play fixtures.

All Whites head coach Darren Bazeley is excited to face the Socceroos for such a historic prize:

“Playing Australia is always special but with this trophy on the line for the first time in nearly 70 years, this will be a really historic moment.

“This game continues the high-quality fixtures we are scheduling every window to really challenge the team leading into the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying campaign. 

“We look forward to seeing all of the Kiwis in London this October.” 

Venue, kick-off time and ticketing information will be announced in due course. 


Article added: Tuesday 11 July 2023


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