NZ Football pays tribute to Bill MacGowan

New Zealand Football is sad to hear the news that experienced administrator Bill MacGowan has passed away at the age of 66.

MacGowan, a former Chief Executive of New Zealand Football and more recently of the Auckland Football Federation, forged a career where he was respected as one of New Zealand’s most experienced and versatile administrators.

MacGowan was also the CEO of the Auckland Warriors and New Zealand Golf in a career that covered many sports in New Zealand and he leaves a lasting legacy in football.

New Zealand Football Chief Executive Andy Martin said MacGowan’s passing was a sad day for the football community.

“First and foremost our thoughts and sympathies are with Trish and the whole MacGowan family at their time of loss,” said Martin.

“Bill will be remembered as a pioneer of sports administration in this country. He had a significant impact on sport in New Zealand and was an influential leader of New Zealand Football on two occasions.

“He made a positive difference to football in this country at all levels and led the successful staging of the FIFA U-17 World Cup – the first FIFA event to be held in New Zealand. He will be missed by many in the football community.”    

His last position is sports administration was as Chief Executive of the Auckland Football Federation, a position he left last July due to illness.

John Macleod, the Interim Chairman of the Auckland Football Federation, said McGowan’s contribution to New Zealand Football both on and off the field at all levels over a period of decades was immense.

“Bill held key leadership and administration roles at club and federation level as well as the national body,” said MacLeod.

“Bill had huge influence over the development of the game he loved in this country and his loss will be keenly felt throughout the football community. On behalf of all members of Auckland Football, I extend the deepest sympathies to Bill’s wife Trish and his family.”

MacGowan arrived in New Zealand from Scotland as a seven-year-old in the 1950s. He played football at junior level for East Coast Bays before playing for Blockhouse Bay in the national league. He went on to coach a number of clubs, twice being named Auckland’s coach of the year.

After success in business - he spent some years as managing director of P&O New Zealand (services) - he began his first stint with the national soccer association.

Following his term there he ran the successful FIFA U-17 World Championship in 1999 in New Zealand before becoming New Zealand Football CEO again.

MacGowan subsequently changed sports to take up a role as New Zealand Golf Chief Executive and his most recent role was with the Auckland Football Federation.

A service for Bill MacGowan will be held at the Omaha Golf Club on Thursday 10 May at 2pm.

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